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AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology Updates on Upcoming Preconference and More

AACTE governance, Annual Meeting, events, innovation, technology

The AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology is charged with developing the Association’s classroom reform and technology agendas related to PK-12 and postsecondary education. This year the committee’s focus has been on promoting use and facilitating communication and interaction in learning and technology. To do so, committee members have been planning the third iteration of the Information and Technology Preconference Workshop to be offered at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Feb. 27.

The Preconference Workshop will highlight Exemplars and Partners in Integrating Technology in Teacher Preparation. This half-day session will provide attendees with an opportunity to engage with key stakeholders from universities and professional organizations who are committed to preparing future educators to effectively integrate technology for student learning. Panels and sessions on academic program and faculty development, partnerships, diversity, and social justice will showcase the work and outcomes of exemplary researchers, practitioners, and organization leaders. Participants will engage in thinking about how to build capacity at their own institutions. Please join us on February 27, 1:00-5:00 p.m. for a packed agenda. To learn more and register, visit aacte.org.

 Beyond the workshop, several members participated in the National Technology Leadership Summit (NTLS) this past fall. One of the great privileges of serving on the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology is an invitation to participate in this summit. NTLS began in 2000 as a way to connect leaders in educational technology with leaders from the content areas of teacher education. NTLS is an invitation only event for over a dozen teacher education organization presidents, educational technology journal editors, industry partners, and select leaders in educational technology. NTLS provides an opportunity for these leaders to connect over a day and a half that is organized into three working strands. Participating in NTLS, along with President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone and myself, were committee members Jon Clausen, David Slykhuis (NTLS chair), and Guy Trainin.  

The “Design, Creativity, and Problem Solving” strand at NTLS was led by Michael Grant (president-elect of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology) and Glen Bull (past-president and founder of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)). The primary focus of this strand was to engage the leaders in thinking about how the principles of computational thinking can be incorporated throughout education, well beyond a computer science course. As an example, the group worked on how to engineer and build a working monochord. This illustrated some of the computational thinking principles that can be learned through arts and music. 

The “Diversity in Educational Technology” strand led by Shawna Bushell (former committee member) and Jonathan Cohen (chair, Teacher Education Council, SITE) emerged from the sense that the field is lacking a diverse pipeline into leadership. NTLS participants believe that diverse perspectives and an inclusive environment would be transformational and impactful considering the growing diversity of educators, communities, and K-12 students. During this year’s summit, we examined the biases that stymie opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to become leaders in the field of educational technology. We identified points within that process at which NTLS members could affect change to increase diversity and inclusion including some strategies to accomplish these goals. Outcomes from the strand are the development of a diversity and inclusion statement to be part of NTLS’s stated goals and the creation of the NTLS Emerging Leaders Program.

Elizabeth Langran (president-elect SITE) and Randy Hansen (International Society for Technology in Education board member) led the third strand, “Artificial Intelligence in Education.” This group worked on developing a shared understanding of AI and the implications for preservice and in-service teachers and learners. The group examined every day and future AI technologies and began a discussion on what is relevant for inclusion in teacher preparation and P-12 curricula. Outcomes include several follow-up projects including a roundtable at the 2020 SITE conference and the development of a survey to gather perceptions of AI from in-service and preservice teachers.

It has been an exciting year for the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

Lara Luetkehans is the chair of the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology.

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