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).
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:
While some of our most vulnerable learners are left behind due to lack of computers or internet connectivity, and we need to strive for policies to end the digital divide, the COVID-19 pandemic also has revealed the long-term staying power of teaching and learning in both brick-and-mortar and distance learning environments.
As a teacher educator preparing new and veteran teachers to use technology in learning, I know the magic sauce of technology integration is not found in the tool itself, rather the instructional strategies that teachers use in conjunction with the tool.
In order to prepare new teachers to integrate technology to support blended learning, I show teachers how to use the Triple E Framework to evaluate how well a lesson is integrating technology using research-informed approaches. The Triple E Framework is a validated research-informed tool to assess how effectively the technology and the instructional strategies around the technology is helping to engage students in the learning goals, enhance students’ understanding of the learning goals, and extend students’ everyday connection to the learning goals. The Triple E Framework encourages teachers to ask three questions related to each E (engagement, enhancement, and extension) when designing or evaluating lessons with technology. As the teacher answers each question, a score is given, with each question receiving a score between 0 and 2. Ultimately the teachers’ lesson ends up with a total score in a range from 0 to 18. The closer the score is to 18, the better connected the technology choices, instructional strategies, and learning goals are observed in a lesson. When a lesson has a score less than 13, teachers are encouraged to 1) reconsider the tool choice, and/or 2) consider adding research-based instructional strategies around the tool to help boost the score, thus making the technology tools and strategies around the tool better connected to the learning outcomes.
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.
Is it time to upgrade your candidates’ tech competency? Please join us for a free half-day symposium before AACTE’s Annual Meeting, organized by the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology (I&T), to share leadership strategies for better integrating technology in teacher preparation.