Technology Standards for Students: Moving Beyond Using Technology to Transformative Learning

Last summer, the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) released an update to their Standards for Students. First published in 1998, with a goal of helping students learn the basic skills of tech use, the latest version offers a stretch for even the most savvy student, techie teacher, or driven district.



LCUSD has been busy laying the foundation for growth in technology the last four years, focusing on updating our outdated classroom technology (we had desktops older than 7th graders in our classrooms!), designing a network that offered a secure environment without impeding learning, and shifting from tech as a management tool to an instructional tool. If you’ll permit another lap around memory lane, five years ago wifi was new to our district and hardly used. Today we have, on average, 1200 devices connected.

I want to connect this growth and change in our little corner of the world with the shifts we see in the new technology standards for students. We began our upgrades with device acquisition, skill building, and network infrastructure. We began our classroom experiences with learning to use the tech and now see learning in action with the technology. But if we stop there, according to ISTE, we are back in 2007.

The new 2016 ISTE Standards represent a reach goal for all of us and allow us the opportunity to engage in purposeful learning actions with technology. For example, the first standard, Empowered Learner, calls for students to “leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.” Wow. Let’s unpack that. Students set learning goals, choose how to measure success, and then make choices based upon understanding how learning works. Easy.

The standard continues with four indicators that expect student goal setting and reflection, building learning networks, actively seeking feedback to improve, and understanding core tech concepts along with obtaining troubleshooting abilities. Oh,  and then transferring said knowledge to those emerging jobs that haven’t been invented yet! Maybe I need to retract my comment about easy. That’s only the first of seven standards, but we got this.

Over the last four years, aside from the device and network transformation, the technology department has been working on reviewing the technology standards embedded in Common Core (read the document produced by Fresno County Office of Education and see some of the reading, writing, listening and speaking standards that have technology components) in order to create a vertically articulated guide to technology expectations by grade level. We studied some other districts, like Long Beach Unified, and built upon their great work. One major difference in our efforts was weaving in the ISTE Standards. The overall product has changed authors, format, and content each year as we tested lessons or debated language. This school year has been devoted to a road show with teacher leaders to workshop the guide.

Our work here will guide the technology department in terms of goal setting for the network, professional development offerings, parent tech academies, and how we measure success. Read our take on the Empowered Learner standard for K-5 and 6-12.

 From the LCUSD Scope and Sequence of Technology Standards

From the LCUSD Scope and Sequence of Technology Standards

Here’s the challenge I would like to issue to our students, teachers, staff, and parents.

All of us should examine how we can use technology to achieve our personal learning goals. We should all have an understanding of how we best learn. We should all seek feedback to improve. We should all have a basic sense of troubleshooting. And we should be able to apply this knowledge to the new things we encounter. I guess this is going to be easy after all.

Please Take our Technology Survey

We are partnering with BrightBytes, an educational research and analytics company, in order to learn more about our students’ school and home technology use for learning.

Your participation is essential to help us form a more complete picture of technology use for learning in our students’ lives, and will help me assess the technology needed for their learning. For those of you who have heard me speak on the topic, our goals with technology use in school are to build up student responsibility, to allow students to engage and explore within the curriculum, and to guide our students towards creation over consumption. We are a unique district and have very talented students. Our technology story is not about increased graduation rates or attendance; it is about offering students a strong instructional program that prepares them for college and career. It's also about dealing with the difficulties that come with technology, together. You have a support system as we all learn about the balance needed when using technology in our current world. There are definite challenges that we face, but I believe in the advantages and will continue to provide a place for our students to achieve their goals. 

Below is the link for the Brightbytes survey. Please know that all of your responses will remain anonymous to protect your privacy. The questionnaire will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. 

The last day to complete this questionnaire is Wednesday, January 25th. If you have more than one student, you only need to take the survey once (unless your experience with each student is vastly different, you make take it more than once). Please respond using the link below:

Internet Safety for Students and Families

As we increase our use of technology at home and school, concerns arise about access to age-appropriate content. My position has been one of education first. I want parents, families, and teachers to talk to students about safe internet use, but I will concede that help is needed in the form of filters. We have conducted some research and found the following option (see below). In thinking of next school year, we are exploring an opt-in filter for families that would be provided by the tech department. 

The devices below have pros and cons. I encourage you to talk with each other about what works and do some independent research, but I will caution you that this must be an active part of your parenting. Savvy kids will work to bypass the filters. Do not over rely on any of these tools. Conversations with your kids and good modeling will also be key to working towards a viable solution for your family. In the classroom we will continue to work on tech skills with students that focus on internet searching and safety, online privacy, evaluating information, and tools for producing quality work. 

ABC's Blackish had a fantastic episode last week that sums of much of the frustration and fear we are facing right now with students online. It gives great perspective and reinforces the solution of working as a family. I will add that the technology department, site admin, and teachers are committed to helping with the education of our students as they learn to learn online safety. 

Download/view the pdf version guide: Filtering options

Learn to Roam with Google Chrome

Learn to Roam with Google Chrome

By now, if you're a student, parent, or staff member at LCUSD, you've probably used Google Chrome. It's one of the many Google products we use here at school to help us communicate, collaborate, and complete projects every day.

Since you will see the name "Chrome" refer to more than one type of Google product, we've explained a few of our favorites and how you can keep them updated.

Read More

Google Classroom Gets Parent Notifications

From the Google For Education blog:

Parent participation has a major impact on student learning. Today, we’re launching a new feature in Google Classroom that will automatically share summaries of student work with parents. Once invited by a teacher, parents and guardians can receive automated daily or weekly email summaries of student work and class announcements, making it easier to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the classroom. 


“I enjoy helping my children prepare for assignments that they have coming up – and the earlier I know about them, the better,” says Michelle Barrette, a mother of five Medfield, Massachusetts students and pilot user of the new Classroom feature. “This way I can prevent them from missing deadlines and see if they need help brainstorming topics or solutions.”

The Technology Department is currently testing this new feature and will be working on Google Classroom Parent Notification Guides for teachers parents. Stay Tuned. 

Google Certification Bootcamp Update

We’re halfway through LCUSD’s Google Certification Bootcamps and they’ve been fantastic. Great instructors, lots of learning, collaboration, snacks, and even a little dancing… What more could anyone ask for?! Congratulations to the “We Got This” and “Aloha” cohorts, you have been amazing!

What is Google Bootcamp all about? Campers learn the ins and outs of the Google Apps ecosystem and how best to utilize these tools in the classroom and workplace. Each day campers will receive training on 2-3 Google Apps followed by a daily assessment. Assignments and lessons focus on collaboration, exploration, and authentic application of the features of these apps. As you work through the week, you will acquire essential skills to help you prepare for the Level 1 Google Certification exam.

Our two remaining camps are filling up quickly, click here to reserve your spot. Snacks will be provided. We hope to see you soon! 


July 25-29 9am-12pm  Session is now Full
July 25-29 2pm-5pm RSVP Here

UPDATE: The morning session, 9am-12pm, is now FULL. 


Video: Enrolling Your Chromebook

1. Turn on the Chrome device and follow the onscreen instructions until you see the sign on screen. Don't sign in yet.
2. Before signing in to the Chrome device, press Ctrl+Alt+E to go to the enrollment screen.
3. Enter your email address and password.
4. Click Enroll device. You'll receive a confirmation message that the device has been successfully enrolled.

Video: Wiping A Chromebook

1. Press Esc + Refresh + Power. A yellow exclamation point (!) is displayed.
2. Press Ctrl + D to begin dev mode, then Enter. A red exclamation point is displayed.
3. Press Ctrl + D. The Chromebook deletes its local data, returning to its initial state. This takes approximately 15 minutes.
4. When the transition completes, press the spacebar, then press Enter to return to verified mode.
5. Enroll the Chromebook before signing in to it.

Parent Tech Academy Update

Greetings parents!

Thank you very much for being a part of the Parent Tech Academy. We are excited to have such a large group join us for our 3-night course, and we hope to be able to provide some valuable resources and share in some great conversation.

Our plan is to introduce you to the some of the tech tools your children use in the classroom, discuss ways to keep your kids safe and balanced in their tech use, and then bring it all together on the final night by sharing effective strategies and resources to aid you in the home. 

Because we've had such a positive response, we've moved the meetings to the LCHS IRC/Library. The sessions will run from 6:00pm to 8:00pm each night. Our presentations will be aimed at the adults in our students' lives, and we plan to have candid conversations, so we ask that no children attend these classes. You don't need to bring your own device--we'll supply Chromebooks for use tonight to all attendees.

We look forward to meeting you tonight

Bring Your Own Chromebook Information Night

Dear Parents and Families,

In preparation for the second year of our Bring Your Own Chromebook (BYOC) program, we are holding a parent information night for incoming 5th and 7th graders. The event will take place on Thursday evening at 6:30pm at the District Office. 

Please RSVP by filling out this form

Full information about the program is now posted on the District Website,  Navigate to Resources and Offices, Technology, Chromebook Program for Grades 5-8. If you are unable to make it to the parent night, please visit the website to learn about the program.

There you’ll find frequently asked questions, a short video explaining the instructional rationale of the program, purchasing options, and how to request a Chromebook if you are unable participate financially.

Our overarching ideas about the program are that we want to provide a guided opportunity for our students to engage responsibly in the digital world that they have been born into, we want them to gain the deep understanding of using technology as tool, and we want them learn to be problem seeking, innovative critical thinkers able to engage with the curriculum in meaningful ways.

We believe this program offers significant value when paired with an instructional plan, but also to help formally teach students how to use technology for educational purposes in a safe environment. Now is the time to let our students make mistakes and learn about using tech when the stakes are much lower than college and the workforce.

This program only works for our district with your help. The cost of sustaining a program where each student has a device is not feasible long term with the fluctuation of school funding. Like Manhattan Beach, we are choosing the Bring Your Own Chromebook model where if the majority of parents participate, the District can cover the small gap.

Please visit the district website to review the program. If you have any questions, please email me.

Thank you for all you do to make our schools great!

Jamie Lewsadder
LCUSD Technology Office

Summer Boot Camps for Teachers and Staff

We are excited to present a series of Google Bootcamps that will further develop productivity skills, support instructional integration, and build collaborative processes. 

We have four dates to choose from. Please fill out this form to reserve your spot

June 6-10 2pm-5pm

June 20-24 2pm-5pm

July 25-29 9am-12pm

July 25-29 2pm-5pm

At the end of the week, you'll be ready to take the Google Certified Educator Exam, but you'll also have gained valuable practice with key apps. 

Google Classroom: Schedule ahead, post later

Schedule ahead, post later
"Starting today, teachers can plan ahead by scheduling announcements, assignments and questions to post at a later date or a specific time (great for the early birds who want to get a head start on school planning during the summer ;). Just look for the scheduling option when posting new assignments, questions and announcements. You can find scheduled and draft posts in the “Saved posts” section of your class stream, and you’ll get email and mobile notifications when your scheduled posts go live." -