ISTE 2014 Update: The Ed Tech Challenge: A Technology Integration Framework

Posted by Matt Berringer on July 1, 2014

WebsiteAt ISTE 2014, a panel of talented professional development/instructional technology specialists presented a framework for technology integration, called the Ed Tech Challenge.

The Ed Tech Challenge was developed by more than 20 Google Certified Teachers, Trainers, and ISTE awardees in spring 2013. The main components of the Ed Tech Challenge are:

  • A technology integration survey that gives teachers an individualized report on their current comfort level with the ISTE-NETS, personalized learning elements, and digital age work
  • A self-paced course that includes six units of online tutorials that focus on increasing efficiency/effectiveness of teaching practices
  • A classroom website template for classrooms that districts can customize
  • A personalized learning plan template for educators that districts can customize

One of the panelists, Caroline D. Haebig, led the discussion. She began by reflecting on her teaching experience and recalling a circumstance that forced her to realize that she was using technology as a replacement for really, really good teaching.

“Technology is just a tool. And a tool is anything used to achieve an end. That’s it. And, sometimes I feel like we get away from that when we tell a story about education technology and engaging kids, because really good teachers engage kids. And quite frankly, a pencil is technology. It’s just we have more elaborate and better technologies than we have ever had before. That’s a story that I don’t think is getting told nearly enough,” said Haebig. “So, businesses use newer tools to perform that operation more efficiently or more effectively. And the big question is: Are my students learning? And after that, can I be more efficient? And, can I be more effective?”

Modelling Business’ attitude toward technology, the Ed Tech Challenge team agreed on the following vision for technology in education:

Technology does not engage students; great lessons engage students. Technology should only be used when it increases efficiency or effectiveness.

The group then developed a framework to build systematic adoption of technology to support and develop personalized learning environments.

  • Digital age concepts that can improve efficiency and effectiveness include collaboration tools, content management systems, personal learning networks, formative response tools, open educational resources, and electronic portfolios
  • Instructional technology expectation must be driven by instructional experts
  • Technology services must be aligned with instructional goals and district needs
  • To support adoption by teachers, administrators must model how to use technology effectively.

They also developed a MOOC—which can be found at The MOOC is self-paced, scaffolded, and openly accessible (Creative Commons License). The curriculum for the course addresses the NETS for Teachers and personalized learning elements and includes an initial survey that allows teachers to self-reflect on their current uses of technology in the classroom. The MOOC is structured in such a way that districts can use it to easily provide personalized, challenge-based, blended learning professional development to teachers.


Topics: education, K-12