Tag Archives: iste

The Power of Gratitude

I just want to share some thing that I learned in the last few weeks that I will use again in the future.

As a professor doing reviews is a necessary evil.   Peer review is what drives our world, in journals, in conferences, and in our promotion and tenure.

I have been in charge of reviews several times in my careers as Chair of SIG IT with AERA, as CITE Science Education Section Editor, and now as ISTE Research Chair.  And well it is always drudgery, asking (begging) for volunteers, knowing many will not do them, and having to figure stuff out in a scramble at the end..

When I started this ISTE process, I kind of dreaded the review process. When I found out that the previous reviewers did not carry over, and I had approx 150 papers and no reviewers, I panicked,  and my dread increased.. but I tried a different approach and I was impressed and surprised by the graciousness of the ISTE review community and others in my Professional network.

So when I saw I had almost no preset reviewers, I started with the traditional begging.  but still I only one one review per paper. (not enough). Then I reached out to my PLN and got some more reviewers.  A considerable challenge is that other divisions were giving 30 reviews to each reviewer so I tried to stay at 5.. (but I did have to go up a few).

Also ISTE has a 2 step approval process, you have to apply and then be invited – which also was a problem.

However, in my panic, I started using email and I used to thank our reviewers to great success.   First, I thanked everyone who did step 1 and asked them to complete step 2.. and then I did that a few times.  I also sent out a thank you to those that agreed but had not completed step 1 and was honest about their frustration.

Then each week during the review process, I sent a thank you and an update to all reviewers.  I have never done that before and I got so many personal emails from people that they appreciated it. (and a few emails from friends saying- are you ok – that is pretty informal). I had nothing to lose and a job to do so I tried to be funny and myself. A little sarcastic and more than a little honest.  People responded to it in a big way..

What did I get – Amazing reviews and new members of my PLN.   I also had people email to ask me questions and make their reviews even better. I also got to include some doctoral students in the review process. They were able to build their resume, did a great job, and also will likely be good reviewers next year!

I was worried that people would be mad at me for emailing them weekly, I know I am like .. I know the deadline, back off!  but I did not get that.. Instead I got to celebrate with reviewers and recognize them publicly via twitter. (which was incredibly fun for those that did!)

twitter post

I also left this weekend expecting to do a 100 reviews, I am doing 2!

So what did I learn?

Many others feel the same way about doing reviews that I do.. It is a necessary evil but everyone wants a good program and for their own papers as well.  In addition, they want a good process and want to make it better. If you open the line of communications, they want to contribute.  Also, I have amazing friends and students and networks, and they came through for me.. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

So what should I learn from this and do different moving forward? 

Gratitude is missing from a lot of our processes. As professors are being asked to do more administratia, do they often get thanked? probably not..   I need to thank people more in every day life.   It may encourage those reluctant to service to serve more.   There was a recently an article or a meme on social media – that instead of saying sorry say thank you.. I.e. instead of Sorry that I am late, … thank you for waiting.. could we practice it more..

So my question, how can I incorporate gratitude more in my academic drudgeries and day to day life?  and how can you?  


Special shout to the ISTE Staff especially Ari Brazfield who offered and sent out emails on my behalf so I did not have to keep data mining emails like I did at the beginning..  She was also super encouraging when she saw my results.

ISTE 2019 Research Reviewers Rocked!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you thank you. .




ISTE Stds for Admin Leaders Working Group

So this summer I got asked to be part of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) working group to write the new administrator standards.

Honestly, I figured i was invited because I had been a bit of a pain over an older set of standards but I really thought it was a great opportunity so I decided to go with it..   I am so glad that I did..

First a shout out to Carolyn Skykora and Sarah Stoeckl from ISTE who organized the group and eat, sleep and think Standards all the time.

The group was diverse in background, experience and perspective. There were only two higher education people on it, an experienced school superintendent, principals, professional development leaders, and classroom teachers.   The mix of leaders was really great to represent urban and rural schools and different levels of technology adoption.

The whole group is comprised of the following educators:  https://twitter.com/DrTerriC/lists/iste-working-group/members  

(May I suggest if you are a twitter person, this would be a great list to subscribe to)

The process was well structured, ISTE had already done a lot of work to gather preliminary information at the conference and other visits and this combined with the group, we started to refine them into larger buckets.

Later in fall, a refined draft 1 will be available for public comment. Currently you can comment on the existing standards here.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Admin1A  

So here are my thoughts on the process so far:

The refresh process – is a year long process.. so much public comment and experts – it emerges from the field.  I had thought it was more crafted, but from my experience so far, it seems to be very crowd sourced.

ISTE walks the walk,  I was impressed how we were using Google docs in a model style of work flow and an important part of our process.

I saw a lot of the themes I saw at the ISTE conference in San Antonio.  There were lots of conversations about equity, and adequacy, and the want to better involve higher education.   They also were very committed to the themes in from the Department of Education Office of Ed Tech prior to January 20th of this year..  if you are on board with those ideas – ISTE is worth paying attention to right now.  (Their new CEO and CLO are both former DOE Ed Tech leaders).

This was my first foray into national standards work and I was impressed that ISTE is interested in heaving an adequate shelf life and represent key ideas and not current trends or buzz words. This is both a blessing and curse – because we were engaged in a lot of forward thinking.. not today, but 5 to 10 years from now.. what will we be talking about?

Overall. even though I feel incredibly behind for being away from Oklahoma for 3 days, I feel that my time was well spent, I made some great connections, and I am excited to see where this process goes.

The most important thing that I can say is that I hope you will weigh in the standards discussion and contribute.  These standards can only represent the reality of the 20,000 members of ISTE if you make your voice heard!  I will make sure to share future opportunities for public comment.

The future tool kit for review can be requested from:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYlxo3oho2ECcm1AoTeBC593WcjuBUB3bLcE3yjyls7hcBZQ/viewform  

You can lead the review in Draft One in your own community.



Excited to work on the New Administrator Standards

I am excited to announce that I have been invited to part of the new working group for ISTE’s new Administrator standards. (many hope they will call them Leader standards.. but who knows)

ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education and they write the standards are used in most US states and many other placed in the world for Students, Educators, and Administrators. They are used by districts and organizations like CAEP to assess the quality of education and technology use in an educational setting, and guide the curriculum on technology integration in places like Colleges of Education.   The many uses of evaluation and also in making a case for funding, makes these standards very important for educators who care about utilizing technology in their teaching.

Every 5 years or so they do a refresh – starting with the Student, then the following year Educator, and then Administrator.

The new Educator Standards are quite good – https://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-educators  and are well aligned with the student standards  https://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students  There is a lot of talk within the members I know that they hope that the Administrator standards are equally well aligned to help leaders create a full vision for technology within their units and be encouraged to be both a participant and servant leader when it comes to technology.

This year, I got the chance to attend the kick off for the Administrator standards at ISTE – which marks a one year process where a working group will meet twice during the year and other times online to draft the new standards.  Throughout the year ISTE staff will be working to get feedback both online and face to face to make sure the standards are relevant.

I have also been asked to be part of the working group that will meet to help craft the standards and gain input. I am excited about this national opportunity and in supporting an innovative vision for technology integration into the future.

This post is just sharing that I will be part of the conversation, as the year progresses, watch this blog to see what opportunities there are for you to also be involved.