The last time the Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) were updated was back in 2011. For a field that changes as rapidly as technology, that’s a long time to wait for a TEKS update! But here we are. The State Board of Education has the authority for the review and adoption of TEKS for each subject of the required curriculum. The review process for the K-8 Technology Applications TEKS has been underway since June of 2021 with different work groups doing a portion of the work.
Content Advisors and Work Group A
Casey Phelps and Shane Haggerty were chosen by the State Board of Education to be content advisors who provide advice and input throughout the review and revision process. You can review their qualifications on the TEA website.
After the content advisors’ initial review, Work Group A took the advisors’ assessment and began to provide initial recommendations for the review and revision process. As a result of the review, their suggestions included breaking up the grade level bands. Since their inception, the Technology Applications in grades K-5 have been grouped together in grade level bands (K-2 and 3-5) instead of by individual grade levels. This has resulted in confusion as to when and if these skills are to be taught in each grade level.
Work Group A also suggested that the TEKS be aligned with the Computer Science Teacher Association Standards in addition to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards. Previously, the Texas TEKS were only aligned with the ISTE standards. However, recent legislation was passed to mandate that all students learn skills related to coding, computer programming, computational thinking, and cybersecurity. Consequently, this requires the state to look beyond the ISTE Standards. A complete list of Work Group A’s recommendations can be found on TEA’s website.
Work Group B’s Recommendations
Work Group B used Work Group A’s recommendations and began the process of establishing the six strands of the curriculum for the Technology Applications TEKS. As a result of their work, Work Group B removed some strands and added others. After determining the six strands, they were required to divide the standards under each strand. If they felt an explanation was needed, they provided notes on their rationale. Below is a comparison of the current strands with the new proposed strands.
|The Current Strands||The New Strands|
|Creativity and Innovation||Creativity and Innovation|
|Communication and Collaboration||Communication and Collaboration|
|Digital Citizenship||Digital Citizenship|
|Research and Information Fluency||Computational Thinking|
|Technology Operations and Concepts||Practical Technology Concepts|
|Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making||Data Literacy, Management, and Representation|
Work Group B did not follow the advice of Work Group A in regards to the grade level bands, and they kept the two grade level bands as is instead of separating by grade. They did not address their decision in their notes. Work Group B’s recommendations are listed on the TEA website.
Next Steps for the Technology Applications TEKS Revision
At this time, two additional work groups have been selected. These groups met to do their work on October 28-30 and were assigned the following strands:
- Work Group C – Digital Citizenship and Practical Technology Concepts
- Work Group D – Computational Thinking, Data Literacy, and Creativity and Innovation.
Communication and Collaboration is the only strand for which no group has been assigned to make additional revisions.
Timeline of Review
Below is the timeline that was initially set up for this process. According to TEA, they are a little behind schedule, but they don’t believe it will prevent the new standards from being implemented in the 2024-2025 school year.
- Summer of 2021 – Work groups review and revise the TEKS
- Fall of 2021 – The State Board of Education (SBOE) discusses and receives initial feedback
- Spring of 2022 – Public hearing is held and the SBOE votes on first reading and filing authorization. This triggers the 30-day public comment period.
- Summer of 2022 – SBOE adopts the revised Technology Applications standards
- 2024-25 School Year- Revised K-8 Technology Applications are required to be taught
How to Provide Feedback
TEA has made it simple for you to provide feedback. Email your comments to [email protected] at any time. They highly encourage you to provide feedback early in the process so the work groups can incorporate your suggestions throughout their review and revision.
- TEA’s site for the Technology Applications Review
- TEKS Review and Revision Process
- Content Advisors for Technology Applications
- Content Advisor’s recommendations
- Group A’s recommendations
- Group B’s Strand recommendations
- Group B’s sorted Student Expectations recommendations
- CSTA Student Standards
- ISTE Student Standards
- HB 2984 (86th TX Legislature). This is the bill that requires the SBOE to add coding, computer science, cybersecurity, and computational thinking.
- Submit comments to TEA at [email protected].