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Instructional Technology Literacy for Educators

"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow!" ~John Dewey

"There can be infinite uses of the computer and the new age of technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails." ~Nancy Kassebaum, US Senator

Today's generation of student requires instruction that is learner-centered and interactive. Technology is an essential component of the active learning process and should be seamlessly integrated into the curriculum. Using technology is not an isolated event. Fundamental to integration of instructional technology resources is the need to understand how learning and teaching has changed due to technological advances. Educators must understand that the use and application of technology must be safe, equitable, fluid, and ethical. Today's educators require troubleshooting skills, the ability to assess and manage the integration of technology, and the capacity to identify the authenticity and the credibility of resources and technology.

Due to the evolving nature of technology, as illustrated by the Horizon Report, and the varying needs of districts, classrooms, and students, it is essential to continually evaluate current trends and available technologies and their instructional implications.

To be a 21st century educator and work with today's students, educator preparation programs and school districts need to plan for and develop instructional technology literacy for all educators. Based on this essential understanding, educators from around the state assisted in developing the following list of current (2012) instructional technologies and resources vital to classroom instruction. Educators identified technologies in two categories: those technologies widely used and require proficiency, and those emerging technologies that all educators should be exposed to.

Proficiency In:

  • Productivity Suite Software (word processing,
  • spreadsheet, database, presentation software; e.g.,
  • Microsoft Office)*
  • Online Collaboration Tools (e.g., Google Apps, Skype)
  • Web conferencing (e.g., GoToMeeting, WebEx)
  • Learning Handheld Devices
  • Internet Search Strategies
  • Interactive White Boards
  • Interactive Response Systems and Software
  • Content Management Systems (e.g., Moodle)*
  • Data Management Tools (e.g., data dashboards)
  • Digital/portable video cameras (e.g. Flip cameras)*
  • Online/Distance (global) learning tools
  • Badgerlink
  • ECB (Education Communications Board) Resources
  • Video Resources (including online)
  • Blogs, Wikis
  • Social Media/Web 2.0/3.0 (interactive
  • communication tools)
  • Professional virtual learning communities

Exposure To:

  • Assistive technology for accommodations
  • Interactive Applets
  • Network Structure
  • Podcasting/Vodcasting
  • Mobile Computing
  • E-textbooks and assessments
  • Document Cameras and other display technologies
  • Backchannel Communications (e.g., Twitter)*
  • Social Bookmarking (e.g., Diigo)
  • Educational Gaming
  • Digital Storytelling Programs
  • GPS/GIS Software (e.g., GoogleMaps, ESRI, ArcView)
  • Tablets

In addition to using the technologies previously listed, the following is a breakdown of technologies specific to particular instructional areas.


  • Film and Digital Cameras
  • Graphic Design Software (e.g., Adobe Illustrator)*


  • Electronic Keyboards
  • Music Design/Development Software

Business & Information Technology

  • Advanced Production Suite Software
  • (e.g., Microsoft Office)*
  • Accounting Software
  • Web Design/Development Software (e.g.,
  • Dreamweaver, Drupal, Joomla)
  • Digital Cameras and Photo Enhancement Software
  • Desktop and Graphic Design Software (e.g.,
  • InDesign, Illustrator)
  • Financial Calculators
  • Point of Service Software
  • Voice Recognition Software
  • Video/Graphics Editing Equipment and Software

Technology & Engineering

  • Automotive Diagnostic Equipment/Software (e.g.,
  • ALLDATA, Identifix, ShopKey/Mitchell-One)
  • Computer Aided Design/3D Modeling Software (e.g.
  • AutoDesk, Google SketchUp)*
  • Manufacturing CNC Equipment/Software
  • (e.g. MasterCam, Edgecam)*
  • Pre-Engineering Equipment/Software (e.g., Multisim,
  • Fischtechnick, ROBO Pro, Xilinx)
  • Video/Graphic Editing (e.g., Windows Movie Maker)
  • Web page Design Software (e.g., Dreamweaver)


  • Graphing Calculators or apps
  • Dynamic Software (e.g. Geometer’s Sketchpad, Fathom)*
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Virtual Manipulatives

Agriculture, Environmental , and Science

  • Standard and Digital Microscopes
  • Modeling software
  • GPS/GIS Software and Equipment (e.g., ArcView)
  • Landscaping Software
  • Data Collection Handheld Devices and Applications
  • (e.g., Vernier Probes)
  • Digital Identification Tools (e.g., dichotomous tree or
  • macro invertebrate keys)

Social Studies

  • GPS/GIS Software (e.g., GoogleMaps, ESRI, ArcView)
  • Modeling/graphic software

English/Language Arts

  • Collaborative Annotation Tools (e.g., Google Apps)

Library Media Specialist

  • Library Automation Software
  • E-readers and e-books
  • Collaborative Annotation Tools


  • Return on Marketing Investment Calculators
  • Recency, Frequency, Monetary Software
  • Credit Card Processing Applications
  • Point of Service Software

Special Education

  • Multiple software/hardware tools for effective instruction with students with disabilities, examples include:
  • Screen reading Software (e.g. Kurzweil 3000)*
  • Picture Communication Software
  • (e.g. BoardMaker)*
  • Voice to Text Software (e.g. Write OutLoud)*
  • Touch Transfer Software (e.g. Touch Window)*

Health Science Occupations

  • Medical Equipment Operation
  • Body Systems/Pathology Software
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Patient Simulation Systems

World Languages

  • Online Language Lab (e.g. WebSwami)*
  • Online Dictionaries
  • Mapping Web 2.0 Tools (e.g. Google Earth)*

*Software or technology listed here does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Public Instruction, nor are these examples a complete listing of possible options for the classroom.

Support for the contents of this document are derived from the following resources:

2012 Horizon Report. New Media Consortium: 2012.

Turner, Laura. “20 Technology Skills that Every Educator Should Have.” Guide2DigitalLearning,

Sponsored by Hewlett Packard and Intel: 2010.