I am asking the question when considering several sets of educational standards what is really carved in stone?  For this I have considered:

Stone Carving Some rights reserved by dileeshus


1) The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has created a set of standards which they feel reflect the core requirements of students in our digital age.

2) The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) have identified a set of approaches to learning (ATL) skills which should be as standard developed by students from 11 to 16 years old within the Middle Year’s Programme (MYP)

3) The American Association of School Librairians have also created their own set of educational standards.




All of these standards represent what the best and the brightest of these respected organisations feel students today need to develop above and beyond the curriculum content.  For the most part there is a general consensus on these attributes, but there are also some gaps.  Within this blog post I will compare ISTEs NETs with the MYPs ATL skills.

ATLvs ISTE Standards

The table clearly shows the large amount of crossover between the two sets of standards.  The most obvious gap is Digital Citizenship.  This standard reflects the need for students to be a responsible member of a digital society.  However, although not shown as an ATL skill this message is already expressed in the other aeras of interaction of which ATL skills presently only represents a portion of.  Suffice to say this is less of a gap but more of a unjust comparison on my behalf.

What the IBO ATL skills have which the ISTE standards do not is a requirement of self-reflection.  In fact the AASL stands also represent this through their self-assessment strategies.  I think this omission is a failing of those standards.  I believe that our digital times with blogging, tweeting and open-source ideas self reflection is an inherent and vital component.  Also with the high paced changes within the digital landscape to be able to self-reflect and say that I don’t know how to use that tool, because I have never needed to before, but I know a number of resources (often digital) with which can soon learn, would be welcoming.

The two standards which I found most difficult to match related to a final product:

1) create original works as a means of personal or group expression

2) process data and report results

I can understand why a list which pertains to approaches to learning does not strongly focus on the final product.  I finally found the link hidden within a transfer expectation ” making connections—including using knowledge, understanding and skills across subjects to create products or solutions, applying skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations”.  This is interesting for two reasons.  Firstly I like the fact that the creativity of the ISTE does quite accurately reflect the transfer skills of the IBO – this is a good thing.  I think this highlights a gap in the IBOs ATLs skill which reflects the requirement of an individual to have the motivation to complete a product and also the fact that we all only learn by producing something and reflecting on that and making it better.  So I would like to add two further transfer expectations:

1) self-motivating – to complete a product highlights the transfer of knowledge and understanding

2) personal transfer – to transfer prior experiences to improve future products