What are the ISTE Standards?

The ISTE Standards consist of five sets of standards and provide a framework for amplifying — or even transforming — digital age learning, teaching and leading.

How many sets of ISTE Standards are there?

There are five sets of ISTE Standards that work in concert to support students, educators and leaders with clear guidelines for the skills, knowledge and approaches they need to succeed in the digital age.

The ISTE Standards include:
ISTE Standards for Students (2016, 2007)
ISTE Standards for Teachers
ISTE Standards for Education Leaders
ISTE Standards for Coaches
ISTE Standards for Computer Science Educators

Who uses the ISTE Standards and how?

Education stakeholders from all U.S. states and countries around the world use the standards in a variety of ways.

The student standards:
Inform lesson and curriculum planning.
Help schools, districts and states create technology plans.
Aid academic researchers in their work.
Guide forward-thinking companies in developing products, services and resources aligned the ISTE Standards.

Meanwhile, the professional standards for teachers, administrators, coaches and computer science educators:
Guide educators in their professional development.
Help leaders and systems personnel define job roles and assess systems, curriculum, learning and staff.
Assist higher education faculty in research and teacher preparation.

Share how you are using the standards in your classroom, school, or district so we can highlight your work. Complete this short survey today.

When did ISTE change the name from “NETS” and why?

In 2013, ISTE changed the name of our standards from the “National Education Technology Standards,” or “NETS,” to the ISTE Standards. This change reflected the international reach of ISTE and of the ISTE Standards, which are used by educators around the globe. ISTE is committed to supporting transformative education technology in the U.S. and around the world.

What are the Essential Conditions and how do they relate to the ISTE Standards?

The Essential Conditions are the 14 qualifications that must be in place before a school or district can achieve meaningful technology integration. ISTE offers the Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool, a free self-evaluation application to evaluate system readiness measured against the Essential Conditions. The Essential Conditions guide the development of a robust, dynamic system that supports the implementation of the ISTE Standards in the classroom.

Will the ISTE Standards tell me what tools are best to use in my school or classroom?

No. The ISTE Standards are vendor and tool agnostic, meaning they do not endorse specific tools or companies. Because the standards focus on learning and professional skills, they allow for the use of a broad array of tools. If you have questions about specific tools, we recommend joining the ISTE Standards Community and asking the group for their recommendations.

What is the standards refresh?

The ISTE Standards are designed to serve the field for 5-10 years as a blueprint for tech adoption and implementation. But education technology moves quickly, so the ISTE Standards must be refreshed periodically to reflect the current and coming state of education. In 2017, ISTE updated and renamed the ISTE Standards for Teachers to the ISTE Standards for Educators. The ISTE Standards for Administrators underwent a refresh and name change in 2018 to the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders. The Computer Science Educators Standards are currently undergoing a refresh process and will be unveiled at the ISTE Conference in 2019. For more information about the ISTE Standards, including the refresh process or how you can give input, email standards@iste.org.

How can I get permission to use the standards?

ISTE encourages educators to use the ISTE Standards and provides a PDF of each set as well as a toolkit, which supports the refreshed student standards, free to those who request them. We only ask that you fill out a brief form telling us who you are and how you’ll be using the standards.The information you provide helps us determine how they are being used and by whom.

Educators, companies or organizations seeking permission to post the standards digitally or license the standards should complete a request form and receive the terms of their agreement. Education consultants and other independent content providers should contact standards@iste.org to discuss their use needs and receive permissions.

I have other questions, where do I go?

Please contact the ISTE Standards team at standards@iste.org. We are here to answer any questions you may have!