The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
To help educator preparation programs address calls for better preparing new teachers to integrate technology in their practice, we recently led a collaborative research effort to develop a set of teacher educator technology competencies. An article outlining the competencies and our underlying methodologies is currently in review for publication, and we look forward to disseminating the details soon – but for now, we’d like to share some background on what spurred the project and how we decided to approach it.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology released the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan, titled Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education. Billed as the nation’s “flagship educational technology policy document,” the plan contains specific recommendations for teacher preparation programs relative to its “vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere-all-the-time learning possible.” For this article, AACTE asked two of our field’s leaders on the topic to reflect on the plan and its relevance for educator preparation providers.
Since 2000, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology has hosted an annual leadership summit for the presidents of a dozen teacher educator associations and editors of educational technology journals, who together comprise the National Technology Leadership Coalition. This summit in Washington, DC, provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary planning focused on technology and teacher preparation. Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE, recently wrote of the coalition, “Rather than reacting to new technologies, members of [the coalition] sought to shape them by partnering with developers to include discipline-specific pedagogical considerations.”
AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology seeks participants to pilot a recently developed formative diagnostic tool designed for self-reflection and guidance for educational leaders as they develop technology-rich models for teacher candidates to successfully become 21st-century educators. The diagnostic tool serves as an opportunity to examine current practices and help develop realistic goals for program development. Participation in this study will consist of a telephone interview that should take no more than one hour.
The tool utilizes the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to further the development of TPACK-proficient teacher candidates. Leaders can use the diagnostic tool as a means to gather assessment and curriculum development data and to make decisions as to where to further emphasize selected steps in the process. By engaging in self-assessment throughout the change process, deans, chairs, or department heads can record progress, determine necessary recalibrations, and keep their vision in mind as they continue their evolution towards the goal of preparing TPACK-ready teacher candidates.