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 AACTE Committee on Information and Technology will host a Deeper Dive session at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, “Applying Technology-enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond” on Thursday, February 25, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The committee members offer a preview of the panel discussion in the following article.
Over the past year, educators have learned much about technology in teacher education. Technology has become the classroom and often the location of field placements. While many of these learnings were forced due to the pandemic, lessons learned can be carried forward into 2021 and beyond to create improved responsive teacher preparation programs in the future at all levels of education. As a result, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology Committee is offering a Deeper Dive session that includes teacher preparation experts discussing the lessons learned from remote learning and ways to move forward post-COVID with technology in teacher preparation. The Deeper Dive session will include panelists from a wide variety of teacher preparation institutions to discuss their particular lessons learned from the challenges of the pandemic. Furthermore, our panelists will share how we can move forward in teacher preparation to prepare new and veteran teachers to teach with technology in 2021 and beyond. Our panelists include the following:
Last March, many educators were caught off guard—and dismayed—when they learned their school doors were closing and teaching would move online due to COVID-19. Rightfully so. They simply were not prepared for one of our nation’s greatest education experiments turning in-class instruction into online learning with a flip of a switch.
While some schools had already implemented remote learning strategies, the vast majority believed that teaching online and in blended environments would happen sometime in the future. No one anticipated that PK-12 schools and universities would be forced online overnight—without a plan.
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 shed a light on the need to enhance online teaching curricula in our educator preparation programs. Prior to the pandemic, most teacher education programs prepared candidates to go into brick and mortar schools, so their emphasis on teaching online was minimal. Often, teacher candidates were taught to use technology in classrooms as a tool to convey information or allow students to seek answers. What was not being done was a wide scale effort to prepare future teachers to model and integrate online technology in their pedagogical approaches.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
This past March, face-to-face instruction was canceled as universities began to implement emergency procedures for remote teaching due to COVID-19. In response, AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology (ITC) presented a webinar with guidelines for emergency remote teaching. Constituents can view that webinar and access additional resources.
The purpose of this blog post is to revisit the webinar guidelines with suggestions that can be incorporated into planning for 2020-21 blended or online instructional implementation plans:
Survey faculty and students to identify digital inequities and access needs. Develop easy to use support system for devices, reliable Internet access, and technical support.
Use Your Current Tools
If face-to-face instruction is not an option, now is not the time to revamp the current learning systems. Universities should encourage faculty to use the same tools (e.g., your Learning Management System) prior to and during COVID-19. Encourage instructors not to overwhelm students with too many new tools. Select a few versatile tools (e.g., Google Suite) and encourage innovative integration throughout a course or program.
This article and photo originally appeared on the Advancing Research & Innovation in the STEM Education of Preservice Teachers in High-Need School Districts (ARISE) website and are reprinted with permission.
Despite heavy investment in STEM (e.g., STEM for ALL), most PK-20 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction remains heavily siloed. To date, educators have not agreed on a clear definition of STEM. Is it curriculum or a teaching technique/pedagogy? Can a science lesson be called STEM, even if the other domains are not fully represented? As technology advocates, we think STEM curricula should have a strong representation from all four domains.
The STEM movement was intended to address science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in order to produce students who are prepared for the unique needs of today’s workforce. With regard to the “T” component of STEM, the only way to develop teacher candidates who fully embrace the power of technology for P12 is to infuse technology throughout their preparation.
A “technology infusion” approach
Members of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology at the 2018 National Technology Leadership Summit in Washington, DC (L to R Shaunna BuShell, Guy Trainin, Jon Clausen, Lara Luetkehans, and Arlene Borthwick)
At the AACTE 71st Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology (I&T) will host a free preconference symposium Thursday, February 21, on “Action Steps to Address the Challenge of Integrating Technology in Teacher Preparation.” Members of the AACTE Committee, leaders from the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, and representatives from accreditation and standards organizations will share strategies, exemplars, and tools for education leaders to make informed decisions, develop processes, and assess the impact of their efforts to infuse technology throughout educator preparation programs. Participants will focus on four themes related to action steps education leaders can take to address the challenge of technology integration throughout teacher education. These include
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The Teacher Educator Technology Competencies (TETCs) have been finalized, thanks to feedback from many of you, and we are excited to invite you to put them to use–and to tell us about them!
The Need for Technology Competencies for Teacher Educators
Last year, we reported to you on our progress developing the TETCs, which aim to address the “digital use gap” among teacher educators and their ability to prepare PK-12 teachers to teach with technology.
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.