Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CCSS: Digital Tools as Part of the Whole

From the CCSS
Research and media skills blended into the Standards as a whole 

We are getting closer. The Common Core State Standards address the use of digital tools in the classroom. There is not a separate set of standards called “technology”.  Instead, the skills – research and media skills – are blended into the standards as a whole. At first I was concerned about that; however, once I took a deep dive into the standards, I realized that this is the way it should be. Think about the whole.

Those of us who understand that the promise of technology is to transform education also realize that the promise has been there for 25-30 years. We also know that this promise has not been realized. Why? One of the reasons is that we’ve been treating technology as something extra – something we need to talk about separately from education. Teacher professional development was on tools rather than on pedagogy or critical thinking skills that could be transformed with technology. We offered Wacky Wiki Wednesdays rather than Building a Collaborative Workspace to Enhance Research. We’ve also been using brand new tools to do the same things we’ve been doing for 50 years. All we did was add electricity. These tools do things that we never before knew was possible. So, why have we been using them to do the same old stuff? One of the reasons is because the skills and tools that our students need in this economy, in this connected world, in their world have been called technology and, as a result, treated separately.

We are getting closer. The Common Core State Standards treat them as part of the whole.

This series of blog posts will talk about how your district can blend these skills into the Standards.


  1. I think this work and conversation is excellent! I'm a firm believer that digital fluency and ubiquitous access are essential foundational pieces to realizing both meaningful student engagement and common core proficiency. For example, in our classrooms where use of Google docs is the norm, students no longer strive for completion of assignments, but rather anticipate an ongoing conversation about their work. They expect teacher and peer feedback and comments long before the assignment is complete, allowing for reflection and refinement.

  2. That ongoing conversation is truly formative assessment. The teacher and student know where the student is in their learning at any moment in time.

  3. Is there anything already started that matches standards with tech tools to give the teachers a place to start when they are looking to infuse technology into their lessons?

  4. My future posts on the intersection of Common Core and Digital Tools will be mentioning specific tools or categories of tools that tie into the standard. As we progress in this discussion, let's build it together here:

    I've created a Common Core Connections tab at the top of this blog, where you'll be able to see the results. You can also see them here:

    In the meantime, check out: