While we were convening at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting, the U.S. Department of Education made its next move on the proposed regulations on teacher preparation programs. The Department sent the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) focused on the distance education portion of the proposed regulations. OMB will review the supplemental NPRM prior to publishing it in the Federal Register.
We won’t know exactly what information the Department is seeking until the supplemental NPRM is issued. We also don’t know how long the comment period might be—but it could be as short as 30 days, so we will need to be ready to respond.
AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology has selected the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) to receive the 2016 AACTE Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology for Tech EDGE, a collaborative partnership between UNL and eight PK-12 partner school districts. The award will be presented during the Speaker Spotlight Session on Thursday, February 25, at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
Tech EDGE infuses best practices in technology integration centering on the ideas of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). The partnership is dedicated to preparing preservice teachers with research and theory in university courses and practical applications in schools. As 21st-century skills are adopted locally and across the nation, it is critical that teacher preparation programs and schools work together to determine how to best teach the skills that are necessary in a diverse, global, and digital world.
The editors of the Journal of Teacher Education are pleased to be organizing our annual major forum for AACTE’s 68th Annual Meeting. This year’s session, “Equity, Access, and the Digital Divide: Challenges for Teacher Education,” will be held Wednesday, February 24, 9:00-10:15 a.m. (Be sure to add it to your personal schedule in the Online Event Planner!)
Our goal is to bring together representatives of stakeholder institutions and organizations to discuss how AACTE members, working together, might effectively respond to the challenges teachers face in using technology to meet the needs of all students despite the inequities posed by the digital divide.
Have you used the What Works Clearinghouse or wished for new content on its web site? If so, the clearinghouse wants your input.
Housed in the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education, the clearinghouse currently is running an online survey and planning a virtual focus group to help enhance its tools and publications to better serve the educational community.
Event apps for conferences are no longer a novelty. Businesses and associations everywhere are adopting this technology to facilitate interaction with their audiences—and AACTE is no exception! In response to member requests, and to keep AACTE’s meetings up to speed with industry standards, the Association now offers a custom-designed online Event Planner with full mobile functionality.
“We developed the Event Planner to help our members better manage their time and receive real-time updates during AACTE events,” said Alexandr Gumbar, AACTE’s director of information technology, who created the platform 2 years ago and recently completed its mobile version.
The online planner takes the place of a printed conference program. A digital planner is not only more environmentally friendly than a printed one, but also more accurate: It can nimbly reflect the latest scheduling changes to provide the most up-to-date information during the event. AACTE’s application also guides you around the conference, assists with creating your agenda, notifies you of important announcements, and facilitates your feedback through surveys.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology released the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan, titled Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education. Billed as the nation’s “flagship educational technology policy document,” the plan contains specific recommendations for teacher preparation programs relative to its “vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere-all-the-time learning possible.” For this article, AACTE asked two of our field’s leaders on the topic to reflect on the plan and its relevance for educator preparation providers.
Since 2000, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology has hosted an annual leadership summit for the presidents of a dozen teacher educator associations and editors of educational technology journals, who together comprise the National Technology Leadership Coalition. This summit in Washington, DC, provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary planning focused on technology and teacher preparation. Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE, recently wrote of the coalition, “Rather than reacting to new technologies, members of [the coalition] sought to shape them by partnering with developers to include discipline-specific pedagogical considerations.”
Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.
Teacher shortage is an issue nationwide but especially in Nevada, where 955 classrooms were without licensed teachers at the start of the 2015-16 school year. Now with engineering and technology giants Tesla and Switch establishing a strong presence in northern Nevada, top-quality teachers are in more demand than ever in our community.
Participants in the 2015 National Technology Leadership Summit included the heads of educator preparation associations for literacy, English, special education, engineering, science, mathematics, and more.
Last week, AACTE hosted an annual technology summit for the leaders of 10 teacher educator associations that formed a coalition in 2000 around educational technology and educator preparation. This 2-day event has witnessed or directly led to some amazing developments over the years, ranging from research to tools to entirely new technologies, as coalition members serve as a unique focus group and visionary working network bridging education and industry.
AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology seeks participants to pilot a recently developed formative diagnostic tool designed for self-reflection and guidance for educational leaders as they develop technology-rich models for teacher candidates to successfully become 21st-century educators. The diagnostic tool serves as an opportunity to examine current practices and help develop realistic goals for program development. Participation in this study will consist of a telephone interview that should take no more than one hour.
The tool utilizes the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to further the development of TPACK-proficient teacher candidates. Leaders can use the diagnostic tool as a means to gather assessment and curriculum development data and to make decisions as to where to further emphasize selected steps in the process. By engaging in self-assessment throughout the change process, deans, chairs, or department heads can record progress, determine necessary recalibrations, and keep their vision in mind as they continue their evolution towards the goal of preparing TPACK-ready teacher candidates.
AACTE is undertaking a new effort to strengthen its Innovation Exchange by developing better navigation tools, adding fresh resources, and boosting engagement opportunities for the professional community.
“The Innovation Exchange must be an interactive platform for bringing together and amplifying the innovative work our members do,” said Rodrick Lucero, vice president of member engagement and support.
As another ambitious teacher preparation innovation captures national attention, I invite you to join me in taking stock of how widespread creative change has become in this field. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced the launch of their brand-new research laboratory and graduate program to prepare teachers and school leaders. The educator preparation field, already rife with innovation, welcomes the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning as the latest partner in a robust entrepreneurial environment.
While I do not embrace the negative rhetoric that accompanied the new program’s announcement, I am keenly interested in the work. In fact, the Academy’s goals are quite aligned with those being addressed by many other educator preparation providers and organizations. Foundation President Arthur Levine and his partners at MIT will find themselves in good company as they pursue their particular reform interests and share their findings.
Nominations for all of the 2016 AACTE awards are now open on AACTE’s online submission site. To read detailed submission information, please refer to the official Call for Entries.
Now in its 20th year, AACTE’s awards program recognizes member institutions’ exemplary programs as well as individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to education preparation.
Despite common caricatures of Twitter as the domain of callow teens and celebrity stalkers, it is a technology that should be taken seriously by teacher educators. Although social media has had a dramatic impact on communication in the modern world, the field of teacher preparation has been largely reluctant to add its voices to the mix. It is high time that we wake up to the role new media can play in our professional lives—and to the risks of remaining on the sidelines.
We have seen what can happen when we allow others to decide how our story is told, especially those who view our work with suspicion or even outright hostility. When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that “many if not most of the nation’s 1,450 schools, colleges, and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st-century classroom,” for example, that message won broad circulation, including in social media. Today, the secretary’s and the U.S. Department of Education’s Twitter accounts reach more than 500,000 individuals. By comparison, AACTE’s Twitter account has approximately 5,600 followers.
This post also appears on the Public School Insights blog of the Learning First Alliance.
Last week, the White House announced a new push to protect students’ digital privacy, as ever-expanding data collection efforts heighten concerns from parents and advocacy groups about appropriate uses of the data. Institutions of higher education share the administration’s priority to protect elementary and secondary students and uphold diligent safety and privacy practices in preparing teachers for the classroom. Ultimately, safeguarding student data is everyone’s business.
Jeffrey Carpenter is a member of AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology, which selects winners for the Association’s Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology. This post highlights the work of a runner-up for the 2014 award, Saint Leo University (FL).
Last year’s submissions for the AACTE Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology included many outstanding entries that linked to the committee’s focus on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)-based approaches to teacher preparation. Although the committee was only able to recognize one institution with an award, it is our pleasure to share information about the effective, innovative practices described in another highly rated application.