Technology Standards What should we be teaching?

After years of teaching middle school students about technology, I still continue to ask the question "What should I be teaching?"  Both the NETS (National Education Technology Standards)  and in Michigan the METS (Michigan Education Technology Standards)  have defined the standards. The questions is what are the best practices to teach these standards. 

In the next years I will blog things that I have learned.

Here is the link to the Michigan standards

Is your state asking you to report if students are technology literate?  The State of Michigan is.  The following is a excerpt from the State of Michigan memo:

As in the past, you will report in the Michigan Electronic Grants System (MEGS) as a certification. We ask that you certify the number of students you have assessed and the number (not the percentage) of students you have deemed to be technologically literate. The new field which was added in 2008 to indicate how the technology literacy was determined will be required again this year, using the following methods of assessment:
• Teacher observation
• Portfolio: Hard copy or electronic
• District/ISD developed: Multiple choice only
• Commercially developed: Multiple choice only
• District/ISD developed: (multiple choice, portfolio, and/or authentic assessment)
• Commercially developed: (multiple choice, portfolio, and/or authentic assessment)
• Completion of coursework
• Other

Interesting that even though we are reporting,  the state has not yet defined what it means to be technology literate.  Each district gets to choose there own definition.

METS Grades 6-8
Approved by the Michigan State Board of Education—October 2009

6-8.CI. Creativity and Innovation—By the end of grade 8 each student will:
6-8.CI.1. apply common software features (e.g., spellchecker, thesaurus, formulas, charts, graphics, sounds) to enhance
communication with an audience and to support creativity
6-8.CI.2. create an original project (e.g., presentation, web page, newsletter, information brochure) using a variety of
media (e.g., animations, graphs, charts, audio, graphics, video) to present content information to an audience
6-8.CI.3. illustrate a content-related concept using a model, simulation, or concept-mapping software

6-8.CC. Communication and Collaboration—By the end of grade 8 each student will:
6-8.CC.1. use digital resources (e.g., discussion groups, blogs, podcasts, videoconferences, Moodle, Blackboard) to
collaborate with peers, experts, and other audiences
6-8.CC.2. use collaborative digital tools to explore common curriculum content with learners from other cultures
6-8.CC.3. identify effective uses of technology to support communication with peers, family, or school personnel

6-8.RI. Research and Information Literacy—By the end of grade 8 each student will:
6-8.RI.1. use a variety of digital resources to locate information
6-8.RI.2. evaluate information from online information resources for accuracy and bias
6-8.RI.3. understand that using information from a single Internet source might result in the reporting of erroneous
facts and that multiple sources should always be researched
6-8.RI.4. identify types of web sites based on their domain names (e.g., edu, com, org, gov, net)
6-8.RI.5. employ data-collection technologies (e.g., probes, handheld devices, GPS units, geographic mapping systems) to
gather, view, and analyze the results for a content-related problem

6-8.CT. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making —By the end of grade 8 each student will:
6-8.CT.1. use databases or spreadsheets to make predictions, develop strategies, and evaluate decisions to assist with
solving a problem
6-8.CT.2. evaluate available digital resources and select the most appropriate application to accomplish a specific task
(e, g., word processor, table, outline, spreadsheet, presentation program)
6-8.CT.3. gather data, examine patterns, and apply information for decision making using available digital resources
6-8.CT.4. describe strategies for solving routine hardware and software problems

6-8.DC. Digital Citizenship—By the end of grade 8 each student will:
6-8.DC.1. provide accurate citations when referencing information sources
6-8.DC.2. discuss issues related to acceptable and responsible use of technology (e.g., privacy, security, copyright,
plagiarism, viruses, file-sharing)
6-8.DC.3. discuss the consequences related to unethical use of information and communication technologies
6-8.DC.4. discuss possible societal impact of technology in the future and reflect on the importance of technology in
the past
6-8.DC.5. create media-rich presentations on the appropriate and ethical use of digital tools and resources
6-8.DC.6. discuss the long term ramifications (digital footprint) of participating in questionable online activities (e.g.,
posting photos of risqué poses or underage drinking, making threats to others)
6-8.DC.7. describe the potential risks and dangers associated with online communications

6-8.TC. Technology Operations and Concepts—By the end of grade 8 each student will:
6-8.TC.1. identify file formats for a variety of applications (e.g., doc, xls, pdf, txt, jpg, mp3)
6-8.TC.2. use a variety of technology tools (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, grammar-checker, calculator) to maximize the
accuracy of technology-produced materials
6-8.TC.3. perform queries on existing databases
6-8.TC.4. know how to create and use various functions available in a database (e.g., filtering, sorting, charts)
6-8.TC.5. identify a variety of information storage devices (e.g., CDs, DVDs, flash drives, SD cards) and provide rationales
for using a certain device for a specific purpose
6-8.TC.6. use accurate technology terminology
6-8.TC.7. use technology to identify and explore various occupations or careers, especially those related to science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics
6-8.TC.8. discuss possible uses of technology to support personal pursuits and lifelong learning
6-8.TC.9. understand and discuss how assistive technologies can benefit all individuals
6-8.TC.10. discuss security issues related to e-commerce