TEI: Providing technology preparedness
Given today’s extensive use of information and communication technologies across most modern economies, teachers are being asked to accelerate the integration of technology in order to better prepare their students. At the same time, the need to improve teacher knowledge about how to use technology in instructional practices with students has also become evident. The most common form of technology training for teachers is the delivery of technology workshops centered on how to use a tool.[i] This is an approach described as “technocentric.” But research indicates that teacher proficiency with technology has not appeared to impact teacher use in daily instructional practices with their students.[ii]
It is commonly accepted that new teachers will primarily adopt the pedagogical approaches used by respected faculty members during their educational experience. Once individuals begin their own academic careers adopting new technologies and new pedagogical approaches is exceedingly difficult, due to the time and resource demands placed on these new teachers.[iii] For new teachers to fully utilize cutting edge technologies, they need to see those technologies in use while they are themselves students.
In light of this continuing need, the associations comprising the National Technology Leadership Coalition (NTLC) are collaborating with Microsoft to develop the Teacher Education Initiative (TEI). TEI builds upon Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program (PiL), a ten-year, $500 million global initiative that supports educators’ use of technology in K-12 schools. The goal of the TEI is to ensure that future teachers are prepared to use technology effectively by building upon prior work such as the Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3), and previous PIL initiatives and continuing to advance this effort by incorporating new and emergent technologies.
The presidents and leaders of ten education associations jointly published an editorial, “Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow’s Technologies,” that establishes a consensus to work together across associations to advance the goals of TEI.
What is TEI?
TEI is a workshop with a series of modules that have been developed for several content areas (currently, math, science, social studies and English language arts/literacy as well as TPACK). The modules include a variety of activities that will provide teachers and teacher education faculty members with content-based technology exemplars that they can use to help them combine technology, pedagogy and content knowledge (TPACK). Each module contains the following assets: facilitator’s guide, participant workshop guide, sample files, technology demonstration files, instructor PowerPoint presentation, and videos of module builders presenting the module.
TEI will be accessible in three forms: as freely downloadable files from the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network; as preconference workshops at educational association meetings, and facilitated Ministries of Education or university workshops. The workshops are highly interactive and participants will not only learn about technology but actively apply it to their own classroom experiences.