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Digital learning in a standards world: A closer look at the Common Core and state content standards

As schools and districts implement the Common Core and other state content standards, they have an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate and share best practices across geographic borders to ensure their students attain these rigorous new learning goals. This focus on content also gives them a chance to explore new and interesting ways to use technology to help students learn.

The Common Core and state content standards require online assessments and call on educators to embed technology more naturally into the learning and teaching process. As a result, schools and districts are investing in all aspects of digital learning, from infrastructure and hardware to professional development.

Technology, when used effectively, can help students meet and exceed rigorous learning goals. It can also give educators access to tools and resources that personalize instruction and create relevant, engaging learning environments.

ISTE has been leading efforts to secure additional funding to help schools and districts address infrastructure needs. In the United States, this work has resulted in the addition of $4.9 billion to the annual E-Rate fund. Join the ISTE Advocacy Network to learn more about these efforts.

The ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age help educators build a firm foundation for teaching with technology. In contrast to content standards, which reference only stand-alone learning activities, the ISTE Standards address knowledge and skills that span the curriculum and set the groundwork for the effective use of technology in any content area. They also further the development of many of the skills addressed in state standards — including problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration — while helping students build the digital skills they need to succeed in the workplace. And the ISTE Standards work with the ISTE Essential Conditions to guide district leaders, principals and teachers as they develop implementation strategies to meet state content standards.

To further deepen their understanding of the Common Core, educators can join Project ReimaginED to learn best practices, get expert advice and find support in applying what they learn to what they do. This new social learning community brings K-12 teachers and coaches together in real time to develop lessons, learning activities and resources aligned to both the Common Core and the ISTE Standards.


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