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Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A)

By July 29, 2010 June 14th, 2016 28 Comments

McREL recently presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in Denver, CO. It appeared that not many attendees knew about ISTE’s newest National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A).  Take a look at them below and tell us where you think leaders in your schools are strong and where more focus in needed in a comment to this posting. The NETS-A include:

  1. Visionary Leadership. Educational Administrators inspire and lead development and implementation of a shared vision for comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformation throughout the organization.
  2. Digital-Age Learning Culture. Educational Administrators create, promote, and sustain a dynamic, digital-age learning culture that provides a rigorous, relevant, and engaging education for all students.
  3. Excellence in Professional Practice. Educational Administrators promote an environment of professional learning and innovation that empowers educators to enhance student learning through the infusion of contemporary technologies and digital resources.
  4. Systemic Improvement. Educational Administrators provide digital-age leadership and management to continuously improve the organization through the effective use of information and technology resources.
  5. Digital Citizenship. Educational Administrators model and facilitate understanding of social, ethical, and legal issues and responsibilities related to an evolving digital culture.

You can find the detailed version of NETS-A here.


McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.


  • Karen Kaspar says:

    My school is strong in 1a and needs to work on 2c.

  • chip keel says:

    I think the administration in our school is taking a pro-active step in increasing the use of technology and web based learning.

  • Amanda says:

    My school is growing a shared vision (1A). We want our students to be prepared for college. By leading purposeful, targeted change (4A), we can encourage appropriate digital use among all the stakeholders in our school community.

  • Joe Mobley says:

    These standards expose a lack in my professional development. As a result, I have not pushed the teachersand students as hard as I should. These standards will be an integral part of my professional development this year. I feel like an observer sitting in the stands watching an amazing race but have yet to get on the track; but alas, the longer I wait, the faster the race travels. I better get in now!

  • Melissa says:

    Our district is currently working on 1b

  • Mark Ybarra says:

    I am strong with concept 2B in the sense that I am very comfortable using technology and always have been. I feel that I need to encourage and assist the leadership team to feel just as comfortable. I believe that an area for growth is definitely 2C for our campus. Many staff members embrace the idea of using technology on the campus yet are still hesitant with actual implementation beyond the use of a SMART board as a glorified overhead projector.

  • Carolyn says:

    I believe that our district is working very hard on the Digital Citizenship A) ensure equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources. They are making a financial goal to allot as much money as they can towards technology equipment. We are desperately working on Digital Age Learning Culture- the entire goal- specifically ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital-age learning. We have to infuse the learning environment with a complete culture change- technology is no longer an option. I hope that we see that vision change in the years to come!!!

  • Commenting on the ISTE NETS-A standards: Our school district is strong in 1. a and b as we have a vision and plans to transform our district by campus to be a learning community for 21st century students and educators, but we need some help on 1c. We apply for grants, but need additional funding opportunities to transform the face of our classroom instruction. We do a fair job on 2, but we need to practice 2e on a regular basis so we can learn more form each other and our peers in this global environment. We are at the root of 4 with purposeful planned transformation of our district. We need to do a much better job with 5 across the district with puposeful planned lessons that address 5 A-D.

  • Holly Havemann says:

    My school is strong in 1-5 A, but need to move to the next level in most domains. We need to grow in many areas.

  • Mark says:

    When things are going well in a school, it is very difficult to convince the “more experienced” stakeholders that there is a need for any change. Our responsibility as administrators is to ensure that they see the need for change (1a).

  • Gwena Thomason says:

    Our administration and staff are supportive and progressive in the integration of technology into instruction. An area that could be improved upon is 3b, which is facilitating and participating in learning communities. Participating in more national/global communities to stimulate innovation would help prepare students for the world outside of small-town America.

  • Janice Koether says:

    Our district has a strong visionary leader. Our administrators are moving in all areas but the comfort level and time to learn new technologies create a barrier to step out as a technology leader on campuses. Added resistance is from a very mature aged staff where technology was not a requirement when they entered the teaching field.

  • Kathy says:

    In our district we are strong in the area of 3b but need to focus on 4b.

  • Jada says:

    Our district as a whole is going in the right direction but has been slow-coming b/c of staff needs. In areas 1B, 2C, and 3A we are strong but need work on 2B (training) and 3D (education of our staff about what is out there). Area 4C has become more of a focus area for me as a campus principal when interviewing and hiring new staff members!

  • Joe says:

    Strong in 4E. Need to work on 2B.

  • Cindy Dillon says:

    Our school is making great strides in increasing our utilization of technology. We need to further develop Standard 2 in our school and district.

  • Mark says:

    5b – The safe use of our digital information system has to be a top priority. Safe & ethical.

  • April says:

    I think in my district our administration does a great job with 1b. Our school board, superintendent, and school leaders have developed current goals relating to technology and making this a priority. This goal is continually revisited, discussed, and planned.
    As for me personally, I feel that I need improvement in the areas of 2b-d. I need to do a better job of modeling for teachers and students the use of technology. This would help on follow-through of the district and campus vision I hold. My campus is working on creating a more learner-centered classroom environment as we add more technology to satisfy the demand for technology. In addition, I would like to look for more effective practices utilizing technology, sharing with teachers, and creating professional learning communities.

  • D.Harrelson says:

    I believe that teachers on my campus understand the administrator’s vision for technology integration, but often do not fully share in that vision. Veteran staff members are reluctant and resist this trend. The culture of the school is moving toward this digital age vision, but we are not there yet. Professional practice has not yet reached its potential as teachers need additional time and instruction in order to achieve this vision. It will be difficult to measure the improvements related to technology until we are able to see this training implemented. I keep waiting to see the excitement in both teachers and students that comes with appropriate integration.

  • Lacy Freeman says:

    Standard #4 My school is proficient in the use of data management to improve our campus.Data driven instruction is a must.
    Standard # 2 My school needs to do a better job of creating a digital-age learning culture. Limited resources play an important part of our deficieny in this standard.

  • CLowe says:

    Our district’s educational administrators model and facilitate digital citizenship very well. Our visionary leadership as a district team is growing and expanding at an extremely rapid pace at this time in terms of technology. This leads to many questions and concerns as we try to plan out the implementation of our vision toward the comprehensive integration of technology.

  • P Kaufmann says:

    Our district and campus administrators do a great job on 1a, inspiring a shared vision for purposeful change. Our district goals reflect this vision and our resources, professional development,and campus initiatives support that vision. I would like to improve on 2e, participating in local, national, and global learning communities to help our students experience other perspectives on learning.

  • Jerram says:

    The new NETS-A standards are an outstanding foundation for setting vision on a campus. Quality instruction, campus culture and technology integration stem from a strong leader that can set a vision and empower his/her faculty to achieve it. This is great common ground for schools to start that process…

  • Rhonda Phillips says:

    I think our district does a great job and is on the cutting edge. With digital citizenship, there are more and more ways that predators are finding to prey on the innocents. Trying to show students how to be safe and not fall victim to a predator is ever-changing.

  • G. McCollum says:

    Although we are continuously moving forward, I feel that we could grow in all areas. Our schools are rich with technology, just not always rich with effective integration. As an instructional technology specialist, this is where I need to show them the immense possibilities that technology provides for students (and their families), teachers, and administrators.

  • Sam Manning says:

    The entire #2 is difficult with “experienced” teachers. Especially in our “test result” centered educational culture, teachers will often disregard new and innovative ideas that have the possibility of producing high levels of learning, with tried and tested ways of teaching and learning that produce adequate results.
    Many of my teachers are modeling a fear of new technology. By avoiding new technologies that their students know about, teachers are allowing students to think that they do not have to experience new and possibly difficult experiences to be successful.

  • Amy Atherton says:

    It is my opinion that our campus does a mid-range effort of promoting technology. We do what we can with tech training. The biggest obstacle I see is apathy from the perspective of the teacher who is overwhelmed with other administrative and standardized tests demands placed on them.

  • I posted the article because I felt a good discussion about it was called for. As you will note at the intro, I cut out several paragraphs that I felt were over the top and not substantiated, and some images that were not originals and could not be sourced.

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