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About the ISTE Standards Unpacking Process  

After completing a qualitative analysis of existing standards unpacking processes, the below ISTE Standards Unpacking Process was developed in order to provide clear, easy-to-follow steps for transforming an ISTE standard into classroom pedagogy. TPACK (the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework provides a theoretical lens for this process. 

This process consists of three phases and six total steps. To employ this approach, teachers should first analyze the language of the standards and connect that language to what students should be able to do and know within their unique subject-area and educational context (steps 1 and 2). Second, teachers will define the learning objectives for their classroom context by connecting an ISTE standard to existing standards or instructional goals for their course (step 3). Once that connection is made, they will write new learning objectives that combine one or more standards for their context. Third, educators will define what proficiency levels will look like for their learning objectives by developing criteria that are observable and measurable (step 4). Fourth, they will create their plan for implementation by determining appropriate assessments, instructional tasks, pedagogical strategies, and technology necessary to scaffold students’ fulfillment of the learning objectives (steps 5 and 6). The chart below outlines these steps and the accompanying reflection questions educators will answer as they move through the process. 



Before continuing on, pause and reflect on the questions below by adding a comment to the bottom of this page.   

  • If you have experience unpacking a standard: In what ways is the above process similar/different to an unpacking process you’ve completed before?   
  • If you don’t have experience unpacking a standard: what interests you/surprises you/confuses you about this process?  


The following pages of this course will take you through the process of unpacking an ISTE Student Standard in order to implement it for classroom instruction. To prepare for this process, do the following: 

  1. Download the three linked resources below, which include: Blank ISTE Standards Unpacking Process Graphic Organizer, Completed Sample ISTE Standards Unpacking Process Graphic Organizer, and the ISTE Standard Unpacking Process Chart (all Microsoft Word documents).   
  2. Be prepared to use the Blank ISTE Standards Unpacking Process Graphic Organizer next in section 1.4! 

Links to Resources 


Go to 1.4: Analyze the Language of an ISTE Standard