I have a timely post from e-colleague, Jan Pierce, about how current teacher credential programs prepare students for the technology push they face in schools. Not only has Jan been a fourth grade teacher for over 20 years, she also owns the website Elementary Education Degree designed to assist students interested in earning a degree in elementary education. She makes some good points. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section:
Are Elementary Education Programs Preparing Teachers to use Today’s Technology?
From smart boards and PowerPoint presentations to iPads, educational technology is becoming more of a regular element of today’s classroom. But are students in education programs being adequately trained and prepared to integrate technology into their classrooms?
When it comes to bachelor’s programs in education, the answers vary. Top education programs around the country ensure that technology training is an integral part of their curriculums, by introducing students to the various forms of technology common to the classroom and techniques for using them effectively. However, many programs still use a traditional approach with classes in school subjects, child development, teaching methods, and practicum experiences, but little or no technology components.
It is important to note that most of today’s college students are comfortable with using technology in their everyday lives, and so they may not require as much technology training as older teachers do. Nevertheless, while younger students have this advantage, education programs still need to do a better job at training students to integrate technology into their lessons.
There are many master’s programs that allow teachers to specialize in educational technology or a similar field. Classes range from using the Internet and computers effectively in the classroom to learning how to measure the effectiveness of technology use. These programs usually take one or two years to complete.
Online master’s degrees in educational technology are becoming more common, since they allow teachers to earn the degree while they continue working. In fact, many programs require applicants to be working teachers, as class components may involve implementing technology in their own classrooms and observing whether that technology is effective. For more information about these types of programs, you can visit the site Masters in Teaching.
Another option for existing teachers who don’t want to earn a full master’s degree is a certificate in educational technology. These can be completed in less time than a master’s program, as they usually last a semester or a year. This is a great option for experienced teachers to gain the extra skills they need to start teaching with technology. These programs exist in both real and online options as well.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.