Educator Preparation and Technology: Taking Stock and Looking Forward
AACTE is partnering with the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) to provide AACTE members with a reduced rate for the Teacher Educator Technology Competencies (TETC) professional development modules. Learn more about the series of self-paced online courses from the TETC research team.
Looking back, it seems as if we have been on an almost impossible journey. In response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, we faced the closure of campuses and an abrupt and extraordinarily difficult transition to remote teaching and learning. Given the relational and experiential nature of teaching, remote learning has been particularly difficult for teacher preparation programs. We found it extraordinarily difficult to replace the modeling and mentoring that our pre-service teachers needed using remote experiences. Working from home and balancing various responsibilities including caring for loved ones and supporting our own children’s learning only added to the challenge. Undoubtedly, this has been one of the most challenging times many of us have ever experienced.
And yet, despite all this, there have been some bright spots. Faculty have explored new ways of guiding learning, developed a range of new skills with educational technologies, and were reminded of the value and importance of deep human connection in teaching and learning (Ferdig et al., 2020). Some faculty have even reported that they are planning to carry over aspects of remote teaching when they transition back to the “normalcy” in our schools and classrooms; whatever that will be (also, see these hopeful posts on the AACTE blog, Clausen, et al, 2021; Hyler, 2020; Slykhuis, 2020).
The lessons we have learned and the skills we developed were hard earned, to be sure, and the suffering and inequities we have endured will never be offset by opportunities to learn from our pandemic experiences, yet we must move forward. As the move to remote unfolded, there was little time to work through the challenges we faced with intentionality and even less time to engage in reflective practice. Now, as the academic year comes to a close and we can finally take a breath, it is time to look ahead to the future and reflect on what we have learned. With the possibility that the tide is turning, we may finally have the headspace and the desire to think about how we can leverage what we learned while teaching remotely, using new educational technologies, and consider how we can bring together our content, our pedagogy, and our technologies to promote new ways of teaching and learning.
Research over the last decade about the knowledge required to integrate content, pedagogy, and technology—or TPACK (Koehler & Mishra, 2009)—has illustrated the complexity of this work but has also provided a theoretical framework for new learning. The Teacher Educator Technology Competencies (TETCs) (Foulger et al., 2017) were an effort to represent the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of teacher educators who work with teacher candidates as they learn how to use technology in their teaching.
Following the development of the TETCs we created the TETC Professional Development Program (Foulger et al., 2020; Slykhuis et al., 2020)—a series of self-paced, highly facilitated, online courses to help faculty be more strategic and intentional in how they integrate technology in different modalities (face-to-face, blended, or online), building the required skills and competencies along the way.
The TETC program is divided into four courses that can be taken individually or, ideally, as a complete program. Each course includes a series of modules that are aligned with one of the 12 TETCs.
Courses are designed around an inquiry cycle which provides participants opportunities to situate their learning within a personal context related to questions about their practice. Each course begins with an introduction and invitation to consider tools and strategies for enhancing practice. From there, participants leverage a design template to examine those tools and strategies, build new knowledge connected to their practice, then share new ideas and revise their work. Each module concludes with a reflective activity and a self-assessment. Within the courses, participants are also building an action plan for integrating technology into the courses they teach.
The courses are self-paced, so you can begin whenever you are ready and take as much time as you need. Colleagues from the same institution or from the same discipline across institutions may find it beneficial to complete the course as a cohort. As an AACTE member, you can enroll in a course or the bundle for a discounted price.
While it has been an exhausting year, it can feel empowering to look ahead and seize agency for what you might choose to carry forward. If you developed some skills and insights for integrating technology into your teaching and want to become more strategic and intentional in their use, the TETCs may be a great starting place for you.
For more information on the TETC PD program, visit aacte.org/tetcp/.
Clausen, J., Dieker, L., Kolb, L., McVey, M., Moody, M., & Slykhuis, D. (2021). Applying Technology-enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Ed Prep Matters. https://edprepmatters.net/2021/02/applying-technology-enhanced-teaching-strategies-to-the- new-normal-in-2021-and-beyond/
Ferdig, R.E., Baumgartner, E., Hartshorne, R., Kaplan-Rakowski, R. & Mouza, C. (2020). Teaching, Technology, and Teacher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stories from the Field. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 6, 2021 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/216903/
Foulger, T. S., Graziano, K. J., Schmidt-Crawford, D. A., & Slykhuis, D.A. (2020). Throw Me a Lifeline: A Professional Development Program for Teacher Educators Managing the Demands from the Rapid Transition to Online Teaching. In Ferdig, R.E., Baumgartner, E., Hartshorne, R., Kaplan-Rakowski, R. & Mouza, C. (Eds.) Teaching, technology, and teacher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Stories from the field (pp. 517-520). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). https://www.learntechlib.org/p/216903/
Foulger, T. S., Graziano, K. J., Schmidt-Crawford, D. A., & Slykhuis, D.A. (2017). Teacher educator technology competencies. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 25(4), 413-Available at https://www.learntechlib.org/p/181966/
Hyler, M. (2020). Educator Preparation During COVID-19: Lessons Learned for Fall (2020). American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Ed Prep Matters. https://edprepmatters.net/2020/09/educator-preparation-during-covid-19-lessons-learned-for- fall/
Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge?
Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.
Slykhuis, D.A., Foulger, T.S., Graziano, K.J., Schmidt-Crawford, D.A., Hofer, M. & Lee, J.K. (2019). Meeting the Teacher Educator Technology Competencies through Online Professional Development for Teacher Education Faculty. In K. Graziano (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for
Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 866-870). Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 7, 2021 from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/207747/.
Slykhuis, D. (2020). Online Teaching Curricula in Ed Prep. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Ed Prep Matters. https://edprepmatters.net/2020/09/online- teaching-curricula-in-ed-prep/
Mark J. Hofer is the director of the Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation and professor in the School of Education at William & Mary. Teresa S. Foulger is associate professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University and former president of the International Society for Technology in Education Teacher Education Network. Kevin J. Graziano is professor in the School of Education at Nevada State College and former chair of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology. John K. Lee is the associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Education at North Carolina State University and co-founder and co-director of the C3 Teachers Project. Denise Schmidt-Crawford is a professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University and past president of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). David Slykhuis is assistant dean and professor in the College of Natural and Health Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado and past president of SITE.