By Diana Fingal
It’s not enough for educators to know how to use technology; they have to understand the pedagogical principals underpinning the tools so that tech is used effectively and gives students agency over their learning.
For example, technology should not merely be a replacement for nontech tools. An electronic whiteboard is merely an expensive chalkboard if teachers use it only to project lessons and homework assignments. But technology can transform learning when it is used in a way that allows students to collaborate with peers and experts across great distances, gather and analyze large data sets, and use creation tools to make art that can be critiqued by an engaged audience.
By Michael Rose
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation, endorsed by AACTE—the Rural STEM Education Research Act (HR 210.) The legislation supports research and development to increase access to STEM education opportunities in rural schools and to provide teachers with the resources they need to teach more effectively.
The bill also directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a prize competition to advance research and development of creative technologies for expanded broadband access. This bill further provides for assessments of Federal investments in rural STEM education to be conducted by the National Academies and the Government Accountability Office. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and passed the House with bipartisan support. It is unclear if the Senate will approve the bill.
By Mandi Jo John
How can we train teachers to elicit student thinking in ways that position students as sense-makers without being able to place them directly in the field?
The newest episode of Mursion’s Education Roundtable Series will dive into Oakland University’s account of how its math and social studies training program is implementing mixed reality simulations to replace and/or augment field experiences during the global coronavirus pandemic.
On June 8, Sue Wiley will be joined by Dawn Woods, Linda Doornbos, and Cynthia Carver from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. to present their findings. During the Roundtable, the team will discuss emerging themes from their research, such as how simulations supported the development of justice-oriented high-leverage practices within their teacher education program.
The Education Roundtable: The Argument for Mixed Reality Simulations in Teacher Preparation, will include a live simulation demo, as well as a Q&A session where attendees can ask questions about their findings as well as funding, vouchers, and more.
Register now for this free Roundtable.
By Meghan Grenda
AACTE and GoReact recently announced a partnership that grants members additional access to video assessment tools. GoReact provides colleges and universities with interactive tools to facilitate video observation, coaching, and assessment for teacher educators everywhere. The software provides live and remote observation and assessment via simple, interactive tools, where candidates receive individualized feedback.
Through the partnership, all AACTE members receive complimentary usage of GoReact’s video assessment platform.
- If you are not yet a GoReact user, your AACTE membership grants you free access until July 31, 2021.
- If you are an existing GoReact user, your AACTE membership grants you expanded access until July 31, 2021.
By Mark J. Hofer, Teresa Foulger, Kevin J. Graziano, John K. Lee, Denise Schmidt-Crawford and David Slykhuis
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).
By Paul Floeckher
Kennesaw State University computer science professor Dan Lo and mathematics education associate professor Brian R. Lawler have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to help meet the increasing demand for computer science teachers in grades 6-12.
The College of Computing and Software Engineering will partner with the Bagwell College of Education, as well as with the Georgia Department of Education and local school districts, to create multiple programs to train teachers in computer science. The one-year, $75,000 NSF grant has a stated goal to “create a metro Atlanta hub for computer science teacher education at KSU.”
By Linda Minor
AACTE wants to recognize individuals and institutions for significant contributions to the field of educator preparation. Applications for the 2022 AACTE awards are now open. For most of the awards, programs and individuals can be either self-nominated or nominated by a third party. To submit your nomination, visit AACTE’s online submission site.
In identifying notable programs, practices, activities, writing, and research, these awards encourage all member institutions to strengthen the profession of teacher preparation through innovation, high standards, and leadership.
Entries for the Outstanding Book Award are due May 14 and entries for the Outstanding Dissertation Award are due August 20. The due date for all other award submissions is October 8.
By Mandi Jo John
The newest installment of the AACTE and Mursion Education Roundtable series features high school students using virtual reality (VR) to demonstrate their curriculum-building skills for a chance to earn a scholarship. The roundtable discussion, Innovative Training for Everyday Heroes: University of Wyoming on the use of Virtual Practice for the next Generation of Educators, will take place on April 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Sue Wiley, business development director for education at Mursion, will host Lindsay Freeman and Colby Gull from the University of Wyoming to discuss the WYTeach Contest. During the session, the group will discuss this innovative project and how the team is using Mursion VR Simulations to recreate the classroom environment and replicate a real-world teaching experience.
By Bart Epstein
The U.S. federal government, states, and school districts collectively spend between $26 and $41 billion per year on education technology materials, according to a new analysis released today by a coalition of education nonprofits led by the EdTech Evidence Exchange. These estimates reflect a troubling lack of understanding about how much the country actually spends on edtech, and also suggest that even according to the lowest estimates, the country spends at least twice the $13 billion figure often previously cited by industry analysts and policymakers.
“We are spending billions of dollars on technology with almost no information about which tools actually work, where, and why,” said Bart Epstein, CEO of the EdTech Evidence Exchange and a research associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. “We know that technology can have a profound impact on educational outcomes, but thousands of tools and programs used by schools are creating confusion for educators and administrators, not to mention students and parents. When poorly selected or implemented, they waste teacher time and energy and rob students of learning opportunities. Making good on the transformative potential of education technology starts with listening to, and learning from, people who are actually using it.”
By Trey Vasquez and James Basham
The Center of Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (CIDDL) is requesting AACTE members’ participation in the strategic planning efforts by completing a needs assessment survey. All members are invited and encouraged to participate.
This data will inform CIDDL to better understand current technology use and practices of teacher education faculty in special education, early intervention/early childhood special education, and leadership preparation. The outcome report generated will provide valuable national insights and trends and an electronic version of. This report will be provided to all respondents in Summer 2021 at no cost.
By Lynn Burdick
There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges in education. At the University of Illinois (U of I) in Urbana-Champaign, we are facing a lot of those challenges. However, I am trying to be the glass-half-full girl by saying there are a few things we have implemented in these past 12 months that I would like to see us put in place to stay.
When this pandemic is behind us, what best practices should we keep?
Technology for Collaboration, Engagement and Assessment
As we gradually move back into face-to-face classrooms, I know many teachers are ready to put the Chromebooks away! However, some teachers are continuing—and will continue—to apply the new technology skills and tools they discovered during online learning as they return to in-person teaching.
There are so many options for collaboration with creative uses of tools like Jamboard, Google Workspace, Padlet, and so many more. Technologies such as these have helped students who might not contribute when everyone is face-to-face actively participate in online activities. Quick online formative assessment tools have also made it easier for teachers to “take the temperature of the room” and make informed instructional decisions based on individual student learning.
By Leslie Ekpe
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought immediate changes to the normalcy of pedagogy practiced within the classroom. Because of the changes, educators are tasked with establishing innovative approaches to teaching in making the learning process more engaging. For a variety of factors, technology-enhanced learning (TEL) is critical. It is critical not only because it is the current educational standard but also because it can enhance the way we develop the education system (Carrillo and Flores, 2020). The Applying Technology-Enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond session at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting took a deeper dive into the need for more teacher preparation programs that adopt inclusive approaches to educating at all levels of education.
By Katrina Norfleet
AACTE is pleased to announce that Teresa Foulger, Kevin Graziano, Denise Schmidt-Crawford and David Slykhuis are the recipients of the 2021 AACTE Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education. The foursome are being recognized for the development of the Teacher Educator Technology Competencies (TETCs) and for their efforts to broadly disseminate the TETCs to teacher educators. The recipients are being presented with the award at today’s virtual AACTE 73rd Annual Meeting Awards Forum.
By Katrina Norfleet
AACTE is pleased to announce the University of South Florida (USF) as the recipient of the 2021 AACTE Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology. Ilene Berson, professor of early childhood at USF, is being presented with the award at today’s virtual AACTE 73rd Annual Meeting Awards Forum.
By Jerry Berberet
The Journal for Success in High-Need Schools, is seeking articles and columns for its Volume 16, Number 2, Issue theme – “Education in a Pandemic Age: Evolution or Transformation?”
The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest and by far the most severe of several pandemics (e.g., HIV, SARS, MERS, Ebola) global society has experienced in recent decades. COVID-19 has dramatically affected all sectors of education and society, including teaching and learning; how schools are structured; student, teacher, and parent/family relationships; and has thrust eLearning front and center in all aspects of education. In shuttering virtually all schools and colleges and with nearly all students “sheltering in place,” COVID-19 transformed, at least in the short term, the trajectory of the decades-long evolution of online and distance learning. As teachers scramble to develop their classes online and schools struggle to make technology more widely available, families must adjust to new realities with children at home. Already there are wider impacts on work, leisure, and family life, not to mention jobs, careers, social organization, governance, international relations, and the global economy. The timing and magnitude of these changes are open to speculation, but it appears that at some level they will be long lasting, even as the duration of COVID-19 and the likelihood of future pandemics on our complex, highly interactive Earth society are unclear.