UCA’s iPad Mobile Initiative earns AACTE Technology Award

AACTE is delighted to announce the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Education is the recipient of the 2019 AACTE Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology for its iPad Mobile Initiative program. Donna Wake, associate dean of UCA’s College of Education, will be presented with the award at the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting, February 22-24, in Louisville, KY.

The UCA College of Education is in its third year of implementing the intensive 1:1 mobile technology initiative for all undergraduates in its initial preparation programs. Beginning in fall 2016, students who were enrolled in the university’s undergraduate elementary, special education, middle level, and all secondary education programs were immersed in the mobile technology initiative. The iPads devices were formally listed as a College of Education curriculum requirement, and students were able to purchase the devices at the education rate.

“Vision isn’t something you declare. It’s something you build. The mobile learning initiative has given our school the opportunity to transform traditional approaches into a commitment to active learning, increased student voice, and accessibility,” said Victoria Groves-Scott, dean, UCA College of Education. “This has been especially important as we strive to prepare the teachers of tomorrow to educate students who live in an increasingly interconnected and information-saturated world. Through contextual analysis and application, we aim for our students to be creators and designers of learning opportunities rather than simply as carriers of information.”

From the outset of the initiative, each faculty was paired with a coach to support their continued technology integration practices. In addition to the 1:1 coaching structure, a full menu of professional development options was provided to faculty and students. To date, the initiative includes 39 mobile learning courses and has grown to reach 346 students across the first two years of implementation. As a result, the College of Education has increased its use of key apps supporting student engagement, become leaders in the state in using video reflection and annotation in supporting teacher candidates’ pedagogical growth, and raised awareness of accessibility and Universal Design for Learning  to provide all students with access to learning opportunities.

Apple recently designated UCA College of Education an Apple Distinguished School (ADS), and has approached the UCA College of Education about piloting the new Everyone Can Create curriculum.

As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE represents teacher educators who sustain and advance our profession through innovation, high standards, and leadership. For 23 years, AACTE has honored the exceptional contributions of member institutions and individuals to our field,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “The 2019 AACTE Awards recipients exemplify excellence in educator preparation, and I look forward to honoring the University of Central Arkansas College of Education at the 71st Annual Meeting later this month.” 

This award is given annually by AACTE to recognize the successful infusion of technology in a school, college or department of education. The AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology reviews these applications and selects the winning entry.

AACTE issued a press release today announcing all of its 2019 award winners. For more information on AACTE’s awards program, visit the AACTE website. Nominations for the 2020 AACTE Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology will open in April.

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Katrina Norfleet

Content Strategist, AACTE