Institute News

ISTE Awards IWitness Seal of Alignment for Proficiency for 5th Year

The international Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) awarded IWitness its Seal of Alignment for Proficiency after a rigorous review process, marking five years that IWitness has been approved by ISTE.

ISTE is the premier nonprofit membership organization serving educators and education leaders. ISTE is committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world and serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

Resources and products designed with the ISTE Standards in mind are choosing to demonstrate their commitment to support critical digital age learning skills and knowledge. Regardless of a solution’s intended grade level, purpose or content area, by addressing the ISTE Standards and earning a Seal of Alignment, a solution is shown to consciously, purposefully and meaningfully support best-practices for digital age teaching and learning.

ISTE considers a solution aligned to the ISTE Standards only after an extensive review conducted by trained ISTE Seal of Alignment reviewers, and has been determined to meet all critical elements of a particular standard indicator in accordance with specific review criteria.

IWitness is an educational website developed by USC Shoah Foundation that provides access to more than 2,200 full life histories, testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides for guided exploration. IWitness brings the human stories of the Institute's Visual History Archive to secondary school teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities.

Designed to be participatory, academic and student-driven, IWitness addresses education standards from the Common Core State Standards Initiative (United States) and the International Society for Technology in Education, among others. 

IWitness first achieved the ISTE Seal of Approval for Proficiency in 2012 and has been approved every year since then.

For the 2017 award, the reviewers examined all 20 Mini Quest and Information Quest activities and 10 Video Activities on IWitness. During the review process, they collected data on when and how each activity addressed specific skills and knowledge described in the ISTE Standards for Students.

The report ends with the following conclusion:

"Reviewers concluded that IWitness is a powerful resource that challenges students to explore difficult, challenging real-world issues through guided sequenced activities. Activities integrate a variety of approaches to evaluating media and creating new products. Students are given choices at strategic points during each activity and are encouraged to utilize multiple media formats. Social media tools are used to connect students with peers to gain global perspectives on the issues explored. An embedded video editor reinforces important concepts and skills related to creating digital media, evaluating content and providing feedback. Digital citizenship is modeled and reinforced throughout the platform. Overall, teachers will find challenging, rigorous activities to facilitate students exploring very complex and difficult questions in a digitally rich and engaging platform."