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Washington State Adopts Educational Technology Standards

Superintendent Chris Reykdal signed new K-12 learning standards that launch Washington classrooms into the digital age.

OLYMPIA — May 18, 2018 — Today’s students are “digital natives,” and need to be prepared to thrive in the ever-growing technology-powered world. Communicating digitally, understanding computer applications, and using online research tools are examples of skills that students apply daily and need to know for success in the future.

To ensure all students are ready and empowered to learn, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal formally adopted the new educational technology learning standards today at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington (Vancouver Public Schools). Teachers at Skyview already incorporate many of these standards into classes and programs.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) developed the ISTE Standards for Students for use all over the world. One of the main differences between the previous standards (adopted in 2008) and today’s are the “aspirational” statements about what we want for our students’ futures, and the emphasis on students as contributors and producers, not just consumers of information. Being a “Computational thinker,” for example, is one new element.

“Transforming education for the digital age means thinking critically about how we learn and teach,” Reykdal said. “These educational technology standards empower our state’s innovative educators and administrators to re-imagine their schools and classrooms for today’s digital landscape and inspire students to become digital citizens and computational thinkers.”

The standards aim to have every student graduate as a/an:

  • Empowered learner,
  • Digital citizen,
  • Knowledge constructor,
  • Innovative designer,
  • Computational thinker,
  • Creative communicator, and
  • Global communicator.

Each standard describes how students can demonstrate learning. For example, students must use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, and engage them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.

“We congratulate Washington on becoming a national leader in endorsing the ISTE Standards,” said ISTE Senior Director Carolyn Sykora. “We see first-hand how technology is being used to transform learning and teaching and accelerate innovation. The ISTE Standards for Students help frame areas of focus and provide a roadmap that can be adapted from classroom to classroom.”

To honor the new standard adoption, Superintendent Reykdal and ISTE’s Senior Director Carolyn Sykora and Chief Membership Officer Jessica Medaille visited Skyview High School to tour the Science, Math and Technology magnet program and viewed student work.

Chris Reykdal signing the Education Technology Standards May 18, 2018
Photo: Supt. Reykdal talks technology with Skyview HS student.

“Our students must be innovators and problem solvers in every aspect of their learning,” said Steve Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools. “These new technology standards are critically important for preparing future-ready graduates.”

Teams of educators from across Washington convened during the 2017-18 school year to update the original 2008 state educational technology standards. After careful review and discussion, the decision was made to adopt the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students as the updated 2018 Washington state educational technology standards.

Two goals framed the development work that led to these updated standards:

  • Integrate technology across core curricula, and provide realistic examples connected to other content standards whenever possible.
  • Determine what students should know and be able to do in a digital world.

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About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 5/18/2018

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