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ISTE Standards FOR
STUDENTS

Promote future-ready learning with the ISTE Standards for Students

Today’s students must be prepared to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape. Zip codes and borders no longer determine the learning opportunities, skills and careers that students can access. The ISTE Standards for Students are designed to empower student voice and ensure that learning is a student-driven process of exploration, creativity and discovery no matter where they or their teachers are in the thoughtful integration of ed tech.

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Redefining learning in a technology-driven world: A report to support adoption of the ISTE Standards for Students. Download the free report.

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The 2016 ISTE Standards for Students

The 2016 ISTE Standards for Students emphasize the skills and qualities we want for students, enabling them to engage and thrive in a connected, digital world. The standards are designed for use by educators across the curriculum, with every age student, with a goal of cultivating these skills throughout a student’s academic career. Both students and teachers will be responsible for achieving foundational technology skills to fully apply the standards. The reward, however, will be educators who skillfully mentor and inspire students to amplify learning with technology and challenge them to be agents of their own learning.

1

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.

1a

Articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.
Learning process itself: Recognize and evaluate the steps taken to meet learning goals—What worked? Why did things unfold as they did? What could be approached differently? What will you do differently in the future?

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Learning process itself: Recognize and evaluate the steps taken to meet learning goals—What worked? Why did things unfold as they did? What could be approached differently? What will you do differently in the future?

1b

Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.

Customize Choosing and making changes to meet Universal Design for Learning, and accessibility, for example, by using audio, video, dynamic glossaries, highlighting, note taking, voice command, text to speech, social bookmarking, cloud collaboration tools.
Build networks: Enrich learning by making online connections with other learners and experts for personal or academic interests, for example, via social media, connecting through email, video conferencing, digital pen pals, etc.
Learning environments: Local, physical and online environments, both formal and informal.

Build networks: Enrich learning by making online connections with other learners and experts for personal or academic interests, for example, via social media, connecting through email, video conferencing, digital pen pals, etc.

Learning environments: Local, physical and online environments, both formal and informal.

1c

Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

Use technology to seek feedback: Seek digital or human feedback, for example, via spell-check and grammar-check tools, online search, learning analytics programs that measure how time is spent on a problem or identify specific challenge areas, collaborative spaces that allow others to give feedback, reaching out to experts for input.
Demonstrate learning in a variety of ways: Create artifacts to show how students have met their learning goals, for example, digital posters, blogs, digital stories, assessments, e-portfolios, project showcase, research paper and works of art.
1d

Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.

Fundamental concepts of technology operations: Basic knowledge of how to use devices and software applications.
Troubleshoot technologies: Able to solve technical problems, for example, restart a device, install software updates, transfer work from one device to another and troubleshoot when audio/video won’t play.
Transfer knowledge: Apply prior technical knowledge and experiences to figure out how new technologies or applications work.
Emerging technologies: New digital tools and technologies that have potential to enhance the learning process.
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2

Digital Citizen

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

2a

Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.

Digital identity and reputation: How an individual is represented online in the public domain, based on activities, connections or tagging, for example, social media posts, photos, public online comments/reviews, awareness and monitoring of how others are depicting you online.
Permanence of their actions: Digital content is everlasting, even when individuals delete it or believe privacy settings fully protect them from scrutiny.

Digital identity and reputation: How an individual is represented online in the public domain, based on activities, connections or tagging, for example, social media posts, photos, public online comments/reviews, awareness and monitoring of how others are depicting you online.

Permanence of their actions: Digital content is everlasting, even when individuals delete it or believe privacy settings fully protect them from scrutiny.

2b

Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

Positive behaviors Interactions that convey a portrait of the way you want to be perceived and healthy interactions with technology itself, for example, moderating the time online or gaming, ergonomic issues and balancing use of media with daily physical activity.
Safe behaviors Interactions that keep you out of harm’s way, for example, knowing the identity of who you are interacting with; how much and what kind information you release online; protecting oneself from scams, phishing schemes and poor purchasing practices (e-commerce theft).
Legal behaviors Interactions that are mindful of the law, for example, abiding by copyright and fair use, respecting network protections by not hacking them and not using another’s identity.
Ethical behaviors Interactions that align with one’s moral code, for example, preventing or not engaging in cyberbullying, trolling or scamming; avoiding plagiarism; supporting others’ positive digital identity.
Online or networked devices For example, internet-connected computers or tablets, multi-player gaming systems and cell phones.

Building networks and learning environments: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

2c

Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.

Rights and obligations of using and sharing: Abiding by copyright and fair use, citing resources, gaining or giving permission to use (content), avoiding plagiarism, understanding and using creative commons.
Intellectual property Content or ideas created by an individual or entity, for example, music, photos, narration, text and designs.
2d

Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.

Managing personal data: For example, creating effective passwords, authenticating sources before providing personal information, sharing personal data conscientiously, not posting address or phone numbers visibly.
Digital privacy and security: For example, activate privacy settings on social media accounts and search engines, recognize sites that use encryption, secure login and password information on shared devices, read and be conscientious about accepting privacy policies and access requests from apps and websites.
Data-collection technology for tracking navigation: Entities that track an individual’s personal data when using networked devices, for example, website cookies, search algorithms return results based on past searches, website analytics, GPS on cell phones, the “Internet of Things” where data is exchanged between networked devices and objects.
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3

Knowledge Constructor

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

3a

Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.

Research strategies: For example, using multiple sources (digital, online, print, etc.), using library databases and catalogues, using advanced tools and criteria for online searches, CRAPP test, using online bookmarking tools, using online note-taking tools.
Information and other resources: For example, research or other data, digital assets and media such as photos, clip art, videos, audio clips.

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Learning process itself: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

3b

Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.

Accuracy: When was resource last updated or copyrighted (i.e., is it current?); sources of information; links to other valid sources; factual correctness; URL cross-check on databases; use of .com, .org, .edu, etc.
Perspective: Who is the resource trying to reach? What is its tone and mission? Does it show indications of problematic bias?
Credibility: Who wrote/published the resource and what are their credentials? How objective is the author and how reliable is the publication source? For clues, look at the domain name, affiliation, mission and vision.
Relevance: Does the source meet your needs? Does it have the information you are looking for?

Building networks and learning environments: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

3c

Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.

Curate: To gather, select and categorize resources into themes in ways that are coherent and shareable.
Variety of tools and methods to create collections: For example, note taking, outlining, citation and annotation tools, aggregating apps/platforms.
Collections of artifacts: For example, portfolio, multimedia presentation, paper, project, video, demonstration, etc.
Meaningful connections or conclusions: Learning that reflects a theme, proves a thesis or builds knowledge around an authentic topic.
3d

Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Build knowledge: Construct and expand understanding and perspective on a topic or idea.
Actively explore: Open-ended, student-driven inquiry.
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4

Innovative Designer

Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

4a

Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.

Deliberate design process: A methodology for problem-solving; a series of steps used to solve a problem and design a solution. For example, human-centered design process, project-based learning, engineering design processes, scientific method.
Innovative artifacts: Artifacts created by new methods, original thinking or improvements to an existing artifact. For example, 3D printed artifacts, computer programs, robotics, simulations, virtual representations, prototypes, etc.
Authentic problems: Real-world problems, for example, design challenges, science explorations, philosophical questions, service learning projects, social issues (recycling, composting, pollution, hunger, poverty).

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Learning process itself: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

4b

Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.

Digital tools: For example, brainstorming tools, flow charts, drawing or mark-up tools, 2D or 3D design software, note-taking tools, project-management tools.
Design constraints: For example, time, money, expertise, materials, conditions and potential obstacles.
Calculated risks: A decision made after careful estimation of the probable outcome.

Building networks and learning environments: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

4c

Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.

Prototypes: A first or preliminary model of something from which other versions are developed or copied.
Cyclical design process: An iterative process of testing, reflection, refinement, etc. For example, alpha and beta testing.
4d

Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Tolerance for ambiguity: Comfort with the unknown or uncertainty.
Perseverance: Continued effort in the face of obstacles and/or uncertain outcomes.
Open-ended problems: Problems that have many or undefined solutions.
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5

Computational Thinker

Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.

5a

Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.

Formulate problem definitions: Create and articulate a precise and thorough description of a problem designed to facilitate its solution, including conditions and constraints that must be taken into account.
Technology-assisted methods: Methods that benefit from the application of technology and make something easier, more efficient, effective or powerful; computing.
Abstract models: Representation of a relationship, concept or structure.
Algorithmic thinking: The ability to develop precise instructions or sequences that form the basis for algorithms.

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Learning process itself: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

5b

Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

Collect data: For example, surveys, online data sets, physical measurements.
Identify relevant data sets: Could be big data, public access information, or private databases, for example, population or global food source databases, public data streams from weather satellites.
Analyze data: Making sense of data, identifying patterns and drawing conclusions, for example, using databases, visualization tools, analytics, mapping software, text-analysis software.
Represent data: Depicting and organizing data in appropriate graphs, charts, words or images.

Building networks and learning environments: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

5c

Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.

5d

Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Automation: Having computers or machines do repetitive or tedious tasks.
Sequence of steps: A series of ordered steps taken to solve a problem or achieve some end; an algorithm, for example, as part of computer programming, including coding.
Automated solution: A computer-aided solution that completes a task.
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6

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

6a

Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.

Platform: Mode of delivery, for example a blog, video, slide deck presentation, digital poster, social media site, podcast, website or other online tool.
Tools: For example, digital camera or video, audio software, graphic design software, writing software.

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Learning process itself: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

6b

Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

Responsibly repurpose or remix: Changing the way something was originally used or combining original assets in a unique way and, as needed, seeking permission to use content from the author/creator and using proper attributions.

Building networks and learning environments: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

6c

Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Communicate complex ideas: Deconstruct information and/or data and synthesize so it is more simply conveyed to increase understanding. For example, use of metaphors, compare/contrast, categorization.
Digital objects: Any product, asset or artifact that is digital.
Visualizations: For example, infographics, word clouds, interactive charts and graphs.
Models: For example, concept maps, mindmaps, flowcharts and prototypes.
Simulations: Representation or imitation of systems or situations that are not easily subject to experimentation or not readily accessible.
6d

Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Customizes message and medium appropriate to the audience: Identify both message (content) and medium (mode of delivery) to successfully convey ideas or creations to various audiences, for example, peers, parents and community members.
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7

Global Collaborator

Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

7a

Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.

Digital tools to connect with learners: Use tools, such as video conferencing, chats, virtual field trips, multi-player online games, email and social media, to connect with other students from around the world.
Engage to broaden understanding and learn: Connected global learners know how to respectfully reach out and work with others from different cultures to meet specific learning objectives, for example, engaging with digital pen pals, telecollaborative global projects, social action projects, translation software/apps, synchronous/asynchronous collaborative platforms, open educational resources and school global partnerships.

Articulate and set personal learning goals: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Learning process itself: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

7b

Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

Collaborative technologies: Applications that facilitate teamwork and collaboration between students and experts around the globe, for example, knowledge sharing tools, videoconferencing, digital project spaces/sites, chats, collaborative schedulers.
Examine issues from multiple viewpoints: Engage in conversations and debate through the lens of different cultural, geographic, demographic and personal perspectives, such as online debates, discussion forums, telementoring and personal learning networks.

Building networks and learning environments: Age-appropriate opportunities for students to have a say in their learning goals and make choices on how to meet them.

Contribute constructively: Facilitate or engage in collegial feedback, manage timelines and scope of project, engage team decision making, contribute in ways that are measurable.
Assuming various roles and responsibilities: Practice communication skills by experiencing different roles, for example, team lead, subject-matter expert, beta tester, timekeeper, notetaker or scheduler.
7c

Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

Contribute constructively: Facilitate or engage in collegial feedback, manage timelines and scope of project, engage team decision making, contribute in ways that are measurable.
Assuming various roles and responsibilities: Practice communication skills by experiencing different roles, for example, team lead, subject-matter expert, beta tester, timekeeper, notetaker or scheduler.
7d

Students explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.

Explore local and global issues: Examples include virtual field trips, research projects, e-pals and action projects using digital tools.
Investigate solutions: The ability to address and potentially solve significant problems in students’ communities and around the world, both independently and in collaboration with others.
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ISTE Standards for

Students

How have the ISTE Standards for Students evolved?
1998

Learning to use technology

2007

Using technology to learn

2016

Transformative learning with technology

Want to download the ISTE Standards?

Learn more and download the ISTE Standards.

RESOURCES

Join the ISTE Standards Community, an open network dedicated to all things ISTE Standards.

Redefining learning in a technology-driven world: A report to support adoption of the ISTE Standards for Students. Download the free report.

Computational thinking is vital to raising levels of achievement.

EBOOK

Get the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students ebook.