Study on EdTech in Teacher Preparation

The ways that teacher education programs in the United States address educational technology have changed significantly over the past twenty years.

2000 – 2010: Literacy Phase

In the early days of internet-connected classrooms, teacher preparation programs treated educational technology as a non-essential “add-on.” When technology was included, most programs replaced a single “overhead projector” course with a class on basic technology literacy skills.

  • Over half of the universities taught educational technology through standalone courses, and most programs had a “test out” option. (Gronseth et al., 2010)
  • Students primarily learned “point and click” skills with software tools (Foulger et al 2012).

2010 – 2015: Integration Phase

As technology became more widely available, its use in K-12 classrooms became more pervasive and complex. Teacher preparation programs shifted their focus to using technology tools to meet learning standards and outcomes.

  • Institutions adopted an integration model that included technology in every part of the teacher preparation program (Foulger et al 2015).
  • The TPACK framework rose in popularity for evaluating the effectiveness of educational technology curriculum and teacher candidates (Hofer & Neal Grandgenett, 2012).
  • Programs required preservice teachers to develop lessons that involved technology (Harlow Shinas et al 2015)

2016 – Present: Infusion Phase

During this phase, teacher preparation programs shifted away from the integration approach of assuring that technology is present in all courses. The new focus was on the infusion of technology — preparing candidates to use technology for teaching and learning.

  • The U.S. Department of Education released a revised National Educational Technology Plan in 2016 calling for program-deep and program-wide technology integration aligned to research-based frameworks and standards.
  • New emphasis on faculty preparation around educational technology in teacher preparation programs (Ottenbreit-Leftwich et al 2018).

While teacher preparation programs are still shifting models, we need to gather data in order to understand if and how well these models are preparing teachers to use technology in their classroom teaching. We are asking P-12 teachers to take a brief survey to share how well-prepared they were to use technology in their classroom teaching. The results will be shared widely and will inform teacher preparation institutions as well as P-12 schools on how and what to address in professional learning for teachers. 


Liz Kolb

University of Michigan