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The ISTE Standards and the 4 Cs of Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity

Developing a Future Ready Classroom With the 4 Cs Connected to Learning
"The time for major change in education is now. In a world where rapid advances in technology have a profound impact on the ways we work, communicate and live, education has struggled to keep pace. The ISTE Standards work together to support educators, students, and leaders with clear guidelines for the skills and knowledge necessary to move away from the factory model. These are not the typical boxes educators need to check. They provide a framework for rethinking education, adapting to a constantly changing technological landscape and preparing students to enter an increasingly global economy." International Society for Technology in Education


I know that for some educators the word standard has become a bit of a dirty word. I totally get it, too often we feel like we are teaching to a test connected to standards that we don't like or don't understand. If you feel this way, today I am going ask you to set aside any misgivings you have about standards and take a closer look at the ISTE Standards. I believe these technology standards can be a framework to help teachers and students build mindsets that can transform learning and teaching for the better.

One of my favorite things about the ISTE Standards is that they connect so well to skills that support collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. I have always believed that these skills are essential for all students and teachers. The best classroom activities provide students with opportunities to practice these skills in learner-centered environments. The links below connect to resources inspired by ISTE Standards for each of the 4 Cs. 


Collaboration - Students need the opportunity to work with their peers in both the physical and digital work-space. A classroom full of students with headphones in front of their screens is a dull place no matter how engaging the activity might be. Students also need to learn that collaboration is more than divide and conquer.

Communication - Personal and digital communication are essential skills that must be developed in a learner-centered classroom. It is also important for students to understand best practices as a "digital citizens" connected to their modes of communication.

Critical Thinking - If the students can "Google" the answer, did I really need to be asking it? Being connected is more than just access to answers. Students also need to develop the skills needed to evaluate and personalize information. Connected learners should be inspired to discover and explore new questions not just search for answers.

Creativity - Creativity in a 1 to 1 classroom is not just about creating artistic works. Creativity is using digital tools to find new ways of doing something. Students need to find and explore new ways of learning and creating connections to digital resources.

Additional Resources Connected to the 4 Cs and the ISTE Standards

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