The Collaborative for Educational Services will offer ISTE Certification for Educators in a fully online format starting this month, increasing access to critical training as schools prepare for sustained remote learning.
“When we moved to remote learning, many of my colleagues were having a hard time envisioning what this would look like, but thankfully, I was 100% prepared and ready to roll out online instruction because of the preparation I received through the ISTE Certification program,” said Heather Sprenkle, a teacher at Fairview Elementary School in Waynesboro Area School District, who is an ISTE Certified Educator. “I was able to teach and guide my colleagues as they explored new online resources and learned the ins and outs of our online learning platform.”
Grounded in effective pedagogical practices regardless of the specific tools being used, the program is designed to help educators use technology effectively whether in face-to-face, blended or fully online environments.
“The massive disruption caused by the pandemic makes ISTE Certification more important than ever,” says ISTE Certification Director Carmalita Seitz. “ISTE Certified Educators have been a vital support to their colleagues during this rapid transition to remote learning.”
ISTE is launching the online format just as the total number of educators in the program crosses 3,000 since its launch two years ago. The competency-based, vendor-neutral certification is based on the ISTE Standards for Educators and allows participants to earn graduate-level credit. The certification is delivered by 15 proven professional learning partners in the U.S., Asia, Latin America and Europe with extensive experience supporting teachers.
As educators have been thrust into remote learning, educators are seeking guidance on how to use technology equitably, translate learning activities into digital environments and engage students in independent learning. The ISTE Certification includes assignments and examples focused specifically on supporting online learning and helps educators design effective learning with technology. To help educators develop these critical competencies, states and districts may support the program with funding from Titles II-A and IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) or the recently-passed CARES Act.
ISTE Certification attracts educators from across a wide spectrum of roles. Classroom teachers, tech coaches and library media specialists want to engage students in deep, active learning; while principals, instructional learning leaders in their buildings, want to spot and acknowledge purposeful use of technology. At the district level, leaders want to implement systemic change, using the ISTE Standards to guide their vision. Even university faculty have pursued ISTE Certification for their own professional learning so they can better prepare their candidates for digital learning and teaching. Certification allows educators to apply their learning and demonstrate competency within the scope of their role.
“COVID has created a tipping point where all educators must use technology,” says Seitz, “and ISTE Certification ensures that they use it effectively for learning.”