Essential Conditions

Curriculum framework

Content standards and related digital curriculum resources that are aligned with and support digital age learning and work

What is it?

Technology is best able to enhance learning when educators use it intentionally within the adopted curriculum. As part of any systemwide initiative, a curriculum framework is needed to pair defined content standards with digital curriculum resources that are aligned to the content learning goals.

A curriculum framework guides both how and when technology is used for learning. It ensures that technology is applied:

  1. In ways that address real-world skills
  2. To learn the right skills at the right times for the right reasons.
  3. To meet specific learning objectives

Why is it important?

Technology is all too often applied as an add-on to existing curriculum. To maximize its potential benefits — such as the development of higher-order thinking skills — educators must weave it into the curriculum in such a way that the tool matches the desired learning outcome. A curriculum framework bridges the gap between overall curriculum goals and the use of technology for learning and teaching.

What does it look like?

Technology standards should inform and support the curriculum framework. For example, the Common Core State Standards include technology proficiencies in the array of knowledge and skills students are expected to build. In this way, technology use becomes part of the learning objective itself rather than simply a means of achieving it.

Join the movement

Based on the ISTE Essential Conditions, the Lead & Transform movement provides district superintendents, CTOs, CIOs, school leaders and other decision makers with a roadmap for planning and building a successful systemwide tech initiative.


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Curriculum framework resources



Reflection and Refinement