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Texas educators are getting ready for big changes to their technology standards. Revised Texas Technology Applications TEKS are adopted and set for implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.
According to the Texas Administrative Code, the Technology Applications standards include “the study of digital tools, devices, communication, and programming to empower students to apply current and emerging technologies in their careers, their education, and beyond.”
With these important skills on the line, you may be looking to understand the differences between the old and new Tech Apps TEKS. Let’s explore the history, changes, and implications of the new Texas Technology Applications standards.
The original K-8 TEKS Technology standards were adopted in 2011 and implemented in the 2012-2013 school year. This made Texas one of the earliest states to formally enact a set of technology standards.
More than a decade later, in 2022, the Technology Applications standards were revised and updated. Implementation is set for the 2024-2025 school year. You can review the new standards on TEA’s Technology Applications page.
As part of this adoption cycle (known as Proclamation 2024), the State Board of Education (SBOE) conducted a robust curriculum evaluation process. Instructional materials that have been approved and adopted by the state can be found on TEA’s Instructional Materials Current Adoption Bulletin. If you buy off this list, you can use your instructional materials allotment to purchase curriculum.
All that being said, Texas is unique when it comes to a formal Technology Applications adoption. Educators have a trifecta for an effective implementation:
At Ellipsis Education, we’ve noticed that some states have one or two of these inputs, but very few have all three. Texans have a great opportunity to take advantage of these resources and continue to be leaders in technology education.
The new Technology TEKS are certainly more robust than they used to be. Where the old Tech Apps standards focused on digital skills such as typing and file sharing, the new Tech Apps standards introduce computer science, coding, and computational thinking. At a high level, here are the key changes:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) also summarized these changes in this slide deck: Understanding the Updates in the Revised Technology Applications TEKS.
Find a side-by-side TEKS breakdown, organized by strands and substrands. You can also download a PDF version of the table below. Both sets of standards are available on TEA’s Technology Applications page.
|2011 Strands, K-8
|2022 Strands, K-8
|2022 Substrands, K-8
|Creativity and Innovation
|Creativity and Innovation
|Innovative Design Process
|Ethics and Laws
|Privacy, Safety, and Security
|Technology Operations and Concepts Practical Technology Concepts
|Practical Technology Concepts
|Processes (Grades 3+)
|Skills and Tools
|Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
|Research and Information Fluency
|Data Literacy, Management, and Representation
|Organize, Manage, and Analyze Data (Grades 3+)
|Communicate and Publish Results
|Communication and Collaboration
|(Strand no longer used)
|(Strand no longer used)
So what do these changes mean for you? Maybe you’ve been teaching Tech Apps for years, or maybe you’re new to the discipline. Regardless, the revised standards represent a large shift in the way Technology Applications will show up in the classroom.
As a native Texan and former Texas educator, Whitney Dove, Ph.D. (CEO of Ellipsis Education) shares some of her thoughts about the new Technology Applications TEKS.
“We’ve previously viewed Tech Apps as a way to improve student fluency with technology as tools,” says Dr. Dove. Truly, the 2011 Tech Apps standards taught students how to use documents, create spreadsheets, and save their work. “But now, because we’ve added computational thinking and digital literacy, we’re taking a more academic approach to Technology Applications.” The new Tech Apps standards reflect the broader skills that come with technology use. These abilities fundamentally change the ways we think and act, and they are essential for students in our digital age.
Dr. Dove continues, “Because of these new focus areas, what’s been done in the past simply won’t work anymore. There’s just more to cover.” The new Tech Apps TEKS have more content, as seen in the grade-level differentiated standards and two additional strands. They’ve introduced advanced concepts, like coding and computational thinking. There’s also more clarity around what students should be able to do, following best practices for standards and instructional design.
That’s why a comprehensive Technology Applications curriculum is necessary to implement the revised standards. “The new Tech Apps TEKS reflect what we’ve been doing at Ellipsis Education for a long time now,” says Dr. Dove. “Our curriculum balances the practical application of technology alongside developing those computational thinking and digital literacy skills – all through the lens of computer science education.”
With the Tech Apps implementation quickly approaching, many schools and districts are conducting formal evaluations of Technology Applications curriculum Texas. Ellipsis Education by Coder Kids, Inc. is one of three K-5 state-adopted instructional solutions on the Instructional Materials Current Adoption Bulletin.
Most programs on the list have a large student-led component. But, students could miss out on the “why” behind what they’re learning. Ellipsis is different because the curriculum is designed so a teacher, not a computer, helps students learn technology applications concepts.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Ellipsis Education can help you implement the revised TEKS, preview the curriculum on our website or schedule a demo with one of our account managers. We’d love to hear about your district’s vision for Technology Applications and answer any questions you may have!