ISTE Standards

Standards for K-12 Teacher

1. Learner

Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and by exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning. Educators: >
a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.

b. Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

In the past five to six years, I have been pursuing professional interests by se

c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

Digital Story Telling Tools >
Podcast for learning >
Website creative tool >






●Whiteboard apps that allow for synchronous interaction



●Apps like Vidku, What’s App

●Virtual meeting tools: Google Hangout, Skype for Educators, Vyew, etc.

Diigo: Online bookmark >
ISTE website link

2. Leader

Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning. Educators: >
a. Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.

b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.

c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.

3. Citizens

Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world. Educators: >

a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community. >

When I was doing my Montessori training in the 3-6-year-old category, I was impressed by one unspoken Montessori rule, no electronic device in a Montessori primary classroom, which mainly means for 3-6-year-old. That was almost five years ago. I haven’t checked if it was changed. I was impressed with the rule taking the circumstances of rising concern about “digital pollution” to our young generation. Companies with the rule is the practice focussing on the real-world-literacy-development Montessorian have been valued. 

This had been totally making sense to me, especially whenever I saw  2 or even 1-year-olds hooking on a screen on the dining tables in a restaurant all around China. It raised a significant concern for me. 

However, because I have been working on educational equity for years, I also realized the critical role technology can play in breaking down the equity barrier. I believe that technology has no good or bad identity, it only reflects the collective qualities of our own humanity as a whole. When I say “our” I mean “our current adults”, the defective finished-products and victims of a significantly outdated education-cognition system. 

As Dr. Montessori (as cited in McTamaney, 2007) stated, ”No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child“. “The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stone in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned”. “The most urgent task facing educators is to come to know this unknown child and to free it from all entanglements.”

If we adults want our children to show empathic behavior, we simply need to do it first sincerely and consistently.  In other words, holding our unconditional love to the children, especially when we think their behaviors are not following our will. Whenever a teacher or a parent complained to me about a child’s disobedience and asked for my solution, my first response has always been helping the adult to realize that it is not the child’s but the adult’s own behavior needed to be fixed. A bully grew up being bullied, a person who lacks empathy for others must never really have it himself. It’s just that simple. We can’t educate children about empathy or any other good human quality, they can only get them by experiencing it themselves. But this is not enough, especially for preschoolers. Most importantly, all human children also need to develop their character in an environment with Montessori works at age 3 to 6. Otherwise, they will be spiritually bored and carry out “misbehaviors” because of their mental hunger. 

I had a perfect example that just happened. Two days ago, my assistant complained about a few of the boys, who constantly ran around the classroom,  “ignored” her when she tried to “talk” to them. I give her two pieces of advice to solve the problem, one of them is,   instead of trying to discipline the children with her adult-will, offering them Montessori works whenever she caught them;  the second one is, instead of magnifying their misbehaviors and trying to fix them, focussing on discovering their good behaviors and appreciate them loudly. She took my advice and tested them the next day. She showed me pictures of a harmonious room with busy working children at the end of the day. In a Montessori environment, adults’ misbehaviors are constantly checked so children can live in and practice empathy on a daily basis.

So, what I found the ultimate solution to end bullying and all the other misbehaviors we blame on children,  is to stop adults’ behaviors that disobey the natural laws. and support them with Montessori materials as a handy tool.  

Reference: McTamaney, C.(2007)The Tao of Montessori: Reflections on compassionate teaching. New York, London, Shanghai: iUniverse Star.

b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency. >

 digital literacy

During our discussion, Mary and I agree that the digital world is just an extension of real-life circumstances. So, no matter if it is real-life literacy or digital world literacy, the ultimate goal is for an individual to be able to use the skills to enrich one’s life, make positive impacts on our society, and deliver meaningful contributions to human civilization. Digital literacy  is defined as “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.” Different from language literacy which only requires the ability to write and read, being digital literacy needs much broader skills (GustPost, 2017). 

We also have a commonplace in the argument about the standards of high-quality digital literacy. As Dr. Montessori (1955/2010) argued about real-life literacy, being able to read Shakespeare doesn’t mean one can fully understand the deeper meaning of the literature. Even though nowadays almost everyone knows how to surf online on all kinds of digital devices,   knowing how to find information in a digital world is only the beginning of gaining literacy quality. Evaluation ability is a critical quality for a high level of digital literacy. Without this ability, all the rest will be meaningless. Just like most adults know how to read and write, that doesn’t mean they can understand the information content such as the science of wearing a mask sufficiently, in advance, one will still not be able to make critical life decisions. The same applies to digital literacy.

Another factor about digital literacy education Mary and I both agreed on was that the higher intelligent quality of digital literacy education shares the same psychological development foundation with the real world literacy education, They both have to be delivered following the same laws of nature. The most significant concern our mainstream have about digital literacy to our children should be that they will grow up being manipulated by the digital world and getting lost in it. But we have to remember that the ones who are psychologically strangled in real life most likely will confront the exact same challenges online. Children who can handle real-life issues well will continually be successful in the digital world. The key to gaining a meaningful digital literacy achievement is to build a real-life-character, so the child is capable of making a reasonable critical evaluation, and dealing with life challenges anywhere and whenever.

If our adults want to stop bullying on the compass, we should first stop giving lectures to the children, then take a serious reflection of our own behavior toward our own children, stop bullying them around, and start modeling positive social skills at home. Then all the concerns we have about our younger generation’s real life and digital literacy will dismiss themselves automatically.

This leads to the final agreement Mary and I have in our discussion. The best way to prevent all the negative results related to digital life is to reform our education goal to build personal character. The best time to do it is during the fundamental development period of 3-6-year-old. The best effective and sustainable practice I have experienced so far is an educational experience in a Montessori-inspired environment.


Montessori, M.(2010). The formation of man: India, Kalakshetra Publications,(Reprinted from Kalakshetra Publications,1955).

c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.

d. Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.

4. Collaborator

Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems. Educators:

a. Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology. >

b. Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.

c. Use collaborative tools to expand students’ authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.

d. Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.>

In our DingDing group, we set up family group for each child, so the teacher and parents can share observation photos and videos of the child both at home and inside school. Parents can ask questions about parenting related to their child. Both I and my assistant support the parents by providing differential interacting methods with effective results. During the process of giving the instructions, I will considerate the long-distant parenting situation , so that our method can help parents who live in different cities from their children all year long, to be able to have a meaningful conversation with their child on a daily base.

5. Designer

Educators design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability. Educators:

a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.

b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning

c. Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

6. Facilitator

Educators facilitate learning with technology to support student achievement of the ISTE Standards for Students. Educators:

a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.

b. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.

c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

7. Analyst

Educators understand and use data to drive their instruction and support students in achieving their learning goals. Educators:

a. Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.

b. Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.

c. Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.