As schools move towards digital learning environments, it is necessary to ensure that preservice teachers gain the knowledge and skills required for teachers working in digital age classrooms. Through modeling of digital learning instruction, EPP faculty members play a significant role for achieving that goal. The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in its Content and Pedagogical Standard states that “Providers ensure that candidates model and apply technology standards as they design, implement and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; and enrich professional practice.” The National Association of State Boards of Education report, Born in Another Time, highlights the need for shifts in teacher preparation programs to support digital learning. Digital natives are not necessarily more likely to include the use of technology tools and resources in the classroom simply because they leverage them for personal use. Teachers that are best prepared for digital learning environments are immersed with digital tools and resources during their own educational experiences and understand the value of digital tools and resources for student learning.
As a faculty member of an EPP, how can we prepare preservice teachers for learning in the digital age?Bridging the gap between teacher preparation programs and school systems is critical so that novice teachers are prepared for success in digital age classrooms. EPPs and school districts can support teacher preparation faculty by sharing innovative models for digital learning implementation to prepare preservice teachers for learning in the digital age. For example, the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model provides a method for how technology impacts teaching and learning. As teachers progress to the redefinition stage in the model, technology supports student centered learning through student generated discussions and collaboration. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework addresses the interplay of three primary forms of knowledge–content, technological and pedagogical. Scholars argue that good teaching requires an understanding of how technology relates to the pedagogy and content. The Innovation Exchange (developed by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) is a vehicle for EPPs to share their innovative approaches, new technologies, and transformative practices in educator preparation. The Innovation Exchange promotes interaction and collaboration within the professional community.
What are some of the best practices for EPP faculty and preservice teachers?The U.S Department of Education (ED) encourages Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to shift to student-centered learning models supported by digital tools and resources for all disciplines. The recently published report, Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education proposes a student-centered higher ed ecosystem—depicted in the accompanying graphic. If future educators in teacher preparation programs experience student-centered learning via digital tools they are more likely to integrate such practices in their classrooms. In addition, ED published the Advancing Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation: Policy Brief, which identifies key challenges and solutions to the effective integration of technology in teacher preparation, provides guiding principles on how to move the field toward effective integration of technology in teacher preparation programs, and identifies areas of opportunity and collaboration for stakeholders across the field.