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Building Student ICT in Teacher Education Expertise

This section of the Website is designed to introduce some ideas that Teacher Education programs can use for increasing the ICT expertise of preservice teachers.

You might want to begin by taking a look at the Table for Use in Planning an ICT Preservice Teacher Education Program. After that, you may find the following brief discussions on the 11 Learning Opportunities (LO) given below to be useful. Expanded discussions are available for each of these LOs.

LO-1: Prerequisites for entry into college level ICT course work. This categories covers learning opportunities that a preservice teacher might take advantage of prior to being admitted to any ICT in Education course that carries college credit toward a degree. LO-1 cover the level of knowledge and skills that one might now expect of a person graduating from middle school. It includes, for example, rudimentary knowledge and skill in word processing, use of email, and use of the Web. This level will increase yearly, for many years to come.

LO-2: Liberal Arts and other course work that is not specifically designed for preservice teachers. For most preservice teachers, approximately 3/4 of their course work falls into this category. These courses may constitute an important opportunity to learn roles of ICT within the content of the various disciplines.

LO-3: Liberal Arts and other course work that is specifically designed for preservice teachers. Often such courses are taken before admission to a teacher education program of study. A sequence of courses titled Mathematics for Elementary Teachers provides a good example for many preservice elementary school teachers. Similarly, a math department may offer a number of math courses specifically designed for preservice middle school and secondary school math teachers.

LO-4: One or more required ICT in Education courses, typically offered by a Teacher Education program.

LO-5: ICT integrated into non-ICT "content" courses in a teacher education program. For example, an Educational Psychology course might include some work on roles of computers in brain science and learning theory.

LO-6: ICT integrated into Methods courses.

LO-7: ICT integrated into Field Experiences

LO-8: ICT integrated into Student Teaching and required Work Samples. (Not all teacher education programs require students to do Work Samples.) In Oregon, a Work Sample is a detailed lesson plan covering 2-5 weeks of instruction in a specific area. This is typically done during student teaching. The Work Sample includes the collection and analysis of data from pre testing of students , actual instruction of the students, post testing of the students, and a careful analysis of the overall process and results.

LO-9: ICT integrated into a Capstone Project if such a project is required. For example, if a Capstone project results in a document and a presentation, both the document and the presentation can be used to illustrate knowledge and skills in use of ICT.

LO-10: Just in time learning. Assistance in learning may come from the Help features built into a piece of software you are using, from a fellow student or colleague, or from a well qualified Teacher Education employee or volunteer.

LO-11: Other. This includes students learning on their own through trial and error, using the Help features built into software systems, and using the wide range of readily available resources materials that can be accessed on the Web and elsewhere. It includes students learning on jobs before or during the time they are in a teacher education program of study. For example, some students in teacher education programs at the University of Oregon are graduate assistants, providing computer technology support to faculty and students. Click here of a small sample of resources that preservice and inservice teachers may find to be useful as they learn on their own.

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Learning Opportunity- 1: Precollege Education, Work Related, and Etc.

The typical student now entering college has had a significant amount of experience in using ICT in areas such as word processing, email, and searching the Web. The experience may also include game playing (perhaps playing online), use of computer-assisted instruction, use of music composition and performance ICT tools, and so on.

Many people feel that it is no longer appropriate to give university credit (much less, graduate credit) for course work covering this type of ICT knowledge and skills. They are beginning to suggest that it is now appropriate to expect that preservice teachers will need to meet a level of prerequisite ICT knowledge and skills roughly equivalent to the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for students completing the 5th grade (or, for students completing the 8th grade.)

Most colleges and universities offer remedial course work in areas such as math and writing. Such courses do not carry college credit toward a degree, but count as part of a student's course work needed to be a full time student. Sooner or later ("sooner has arrived at some institutions) similar remedial course work will be available to preservice teachers who need it.

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Learning Opportunity-2: General Liberal Arts and Other Non-Education Courses

On a national level, approximately three-fourths of the course work taken by preservice elementary teachers is taken outside the College or School of Education. For the most part, such courses are designed to specifically meet the needs of preservice teachers. (LO-3 discusses courses specifically designed for preservice education students).

There has long been national recognition that the preparation of preservice teachers can be substantially improved by implementing some appropriate changes in their Liberal Arts courses. From a teacher education point of view these courses need to:

  • Be taught by highly qualified and experienced faculty in "reasonably-sized" classes. This is in contrast to having many of these courses taught by graduate assistants or offered only in a very large lecture class format.
  • Role model high quality teaching. Among other things this means NOT depending mainly or exclusively on the commonly used "stand and deliver" approach.
  • Make effective use of presentation aids, Websites developed specifically for the course, and Email for communicating with students.
  • Appropriately teach ICT as part of the content of the course. Do this in an integrated, rather than an "add on" manner.
  • Encourage and facilitate students making appropriate use of the Web, Email, desktop publishing, desktop presentation, and other ICT aids to learning the course material, doing the course assignments, communicating with their fellow students, and communicating with the course faculty.
  • Teach students how to effectively search the Web within the specific discipline being taught and to make use of software tools designed specifically for the discipline.

It is evident that relatively few preservice teachers have the benefits of a full implementation of these ideas. However, the typical college or university offers some courses that meet some or all of these criteria. Preservice teachers should be encouraged to select such courses in their programs of study. The College of Education can negotiate with the various Liberal Arts departments to offer more such courses, to offer the courses at time that are convenient to preservice teachers, and perhaps to give enrollment preference to preservice teachers.

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Learning Opportunity-3: Liberal Arts courses Designed for Teachers

Many colleges and universities offer Liberal Arts courses that are specifically designed for preservice and/or inservice teachers. Some of the courses are required and may be specifically designed to meet the licensure requirements of preservice teachers. In Oregon, for example, there is a Math for Elementary Teachers yearlong sequence that is usually offered through a math department. The University of Oregon has developed several Liberal Arts courses in its Pathways Program that are specifically designed for preservice teachers.

There has long been national recognition that the preparation of preservice teachers can be substantially improved by implementing some appropriate changes in their Liberal Arts courses. From a teacher education point of view these courses need to:

  • Be taught by highly qualified and experienced faculty in "reasonably-sized" classes. This is in contrast to having many of these courses taught by graduate assistants or offered only in a very large class format.
  • Role model high quality teaching. Among other things this means NOT depending mainly on the commonly used "stand and deliver" approach.
  • Make effective use of presentation aids, Websites developed specifically for the course, and Email for communicating with and among students.
  • Appropriately teach ICT as part of the content of the course. Do this in an integrated, rather than an "add on" manner.
  • Encourage and facilitate students making appropriate use of the Web, Email, desktop publishing, desktop presentation, and other ICT aids to learning the course material, doing the course assignments, communicating with their fellow students, and communicating with the course faculty.
  • Teach students how to effectively search the Web within the specific discipline being taught and to make use of software tools designed specifically for the discipline.

It is evident that relatively few preservice teachers have the benefits of a full implementation of these ideas. However, the typical college or university offers some courses that meet some or all of these criteria. Preservice teachers should be encouraged to select such courses in their programs of study. The College of Education can negotiate with the various Liberal Arts departments to offer more such courses, to offer the courses at time that are convenient to preservice teachers, and perhaps to give enrollment preference to preservice teachers.

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Learning Opportunity-4: ICT in Education Courses

The University of Oregon's EDST 114 course is a relatively typical introductory computers in education course. Somewhat similar courses are offered by Colleges of Education throughout the country. EDST course is typically taken by students before they are formally admitted to a teacher education program of study. Thus, for example, the typical student in such a class may have difficulty associating course content with what they might actually be doing sometime in the future when they become a teacher.

Moreover, it is evident that such a course cannot cover the range of ICT in education materials that a preservice teacher needs to learn. Thus, many teacher education programs offer additional ICT courses that are either required or elective, and are taken after the student has made significant progress in the teacher education program.

Throughout the country, preservice teachers are faced by the problem that their programs of study are quite full. They tend to have few electives. Thus, very few of these programs of study require more than six quarter hours (that is, more than four semester hours) of ICT in education courses.

For elementary teachers, the University of Oregon has available several ICT courses that are used to build a Specialization in ICT in Education. Students in the Integrated Teaching program can select an ICT Specialization that they do during their fifth year. It is an 18 quarter (12 semester hour) program of study. Some student in the Graduate Elementary Teaching (GET, a "fifth year" program for students who already have a bachelor's degree) program have also been admitted to this Specialization program.

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Learning Opportunity- 5: College of Education "Content" Courses

For example, an Educational Psychology course might include some work on brain science and learning theory, and roles of computers in brain science and learning theory. An Educational Foundations course might include some work on "teaching machines" that existed before the advent of computers, and on behaviorism, which underlies much of today's drill and practice materials.

Both instruction about ICT and use of ICT can be integrated into any Content or Methods course required in a teacher education program. Some of the obvious approaches include:

  • All written assignments must be appropriately desktop published. Use of Web-based references is both allowed and encouraged.
  • All in-class presentations by students must make appropriate use of multimedia desktop presentatoin systems.
  • All students must turn in some or perhaps all assignments as Email attachments.
  • Every class makes use of Internet/Web software that supports teacher postings and discussion groups.
  • The teacher role models appropriate use of ICT.

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Learning Opportunity- 6: Methods Courses

Throughout the country, there is a movement to integrate a significant level of ICT instruction and use into the required Methods courses. The focus is on ICT as an aid to instruction, assessment, and the routine work that students do as an aid to learning and to demonstrate their learning.

The integration of ICT into a Methods course is often done by team teaching and/or by making use of "guest" lecturers.

However, the most effective approach is for the regular instructor of a Methods course to have an appropriate level of ICT expertise so that he/she can assume responsibility for the integration of ICT instruction and use into the course. This fits well with the ultimate goal of having the preservice teachers learn to integrate ICT into the courses that they will teach as part of content, as part of the instructional process, and as part of assessment.

Both instruction about ICT and use of ICT can be integrated into any Methods course required in a teacher education program. Here is an example of expectations that one might have in such a course:

    1. All students in the class are expected to routinely make use of basic (genric) computer knowledge and skills. Examples of this include: 1) Every formal presentation by students will make use of computer-based presentation media; 2) Every paper that is turned in is appropriately desktop published; 3) Students are required to submit some of their written assignments as email attachments; 4) Regular email interaction among students and the faculty member is facilitated, encouraged and (where appropriate), required; 5) When appropriate, students are allowed and encouraged to do multimedia forms of the assignments being given; and 6) Etc. In all of this, the course instructor provides feedback on the quality of the computer tool uses. (Note the strong parallel with “reading in the content area.”)
    2. All students in the Methods course gain increased understanding (knowledge and skills) of computers as part of the content in the academic discipline the Methods course is targeting. Ideally, this would build upon provide an educational interpretation of coverage on this topic that occurs in the content area courses the students have previously taken in their discipline-oriented content area courses. Each discipline has developed special-purpose tool software. For example, Music has software for composition and performance. Math has software (such as Maple or Mathematica) for representing and solving math problems. (The same software is used in the sciences.)
    3. A substantial amount of discipline-specific educational software exists for each academic discipline. A student needs to have some knowledge about such software and some skill in incorporating it into lesson plans. Each Methods teacher should be familiar with some of the “leading” instructional software within their discipline area. Developing an initial level of such knowledge and skill, and both maintaining and growing this knowledge over the years, should be one of the requirements to be a Methods teacher. Each student in a Methods course should become familiar with and learn to make instructional use of a representative sample of such software.

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Learning Opportunity- 7: Field Experiences

Field experiences allow a preservice teacher to observe what is actually happening in a school and in classrooms. Essentially all schools have Internet connectivity and one or more computer labs. It is now common for a typical classroom to have Internet connectivity and several microcomputers. Moreover, approximatley 75% of all student have access to a microcomputer at home.

During field experiences, a preservice teacher can observe how these ICT facilities are being used by student and their teachers. The preservice teacher can talk to students and their teachers to learn what the student know about ICT, how they use ICT, and how they would like to be using ICT.

During field experiences, preservice teachers get the opportunity to work with small groups of students and individual students. This provides a good opportunity to try out some one-on-one instruction in how to use a particular piece of software and to see how well students use ICT facilities.

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Learning Opportunity- 8: Student Teaching and Work Samples

The ultimate goal (from a teacher education point of view) is that preservice teachers routinely make effective use of ICT in curriculum content, instructional processes, assessment, and throughout their other professional work.

Student teaching presents the preservice teacher with the first opportunity to integrate ICT into the overall, all day teaching process. It is an opportunity to make everyday use of ICT facilities to help facilitate instruction and student learning. It is an opportunity to facilitate student making routine, everyday use of ICT facilities.

Oregon's TSPC requires that preservice teachers do two Work Samples. Each involved the development and teaching of a 2-5 week unit of study. Each involves pre testing of students, teaching of students, post testing of students, analysis of the results, and developing extensive documentation of the entire experience. Some programs of study require that the lesson plans developed for a Work Sample incorporate provisions for dealing with Diversity and for dealing with ICT.

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Learning Opportunity- 9: Capstone Project

It is common for a preservice teacher education program of study to include a Capstone Project. At Ohio State University, the Capstone Project is an Electronic Portfolio that students work on throughout their teacher education program of study. The University of Oregon's 5-year Integrated Teaching program of study requires a 3-credit (quarter hour system) course in which students write a 10-page paper and do a presentation. The paper must make use of appropriate references and be word processed.

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Learning Opportunity-10: "Just in Time"

The Home Page of this document contains the following diagram:

For each piece of software that you want to learn, you will begin at the left end of the scale and work your way towards the right end. Over time, and with appropriate instruction and practice, you will learn to learn software. That is, you ill increase your expertise in learning to learn and use new pieces of software.

Let's talk briefly about a word processor, since this is a good piece of software to use in illustrating learning on your own.

The average user of a modern word processor (such as Microsoft Word) probably makes use of less than 5% of the features of this piece of software. For most people, it is not helpful to take an extensive course covering the features of such a word processor. Instead, a person receives a short introduction to the software and then begins to use it.

From time to time, the person encounters word processing tasks that he/she "knows" a word processor ought to be able to handle, but he/she does not know how to do it. Some trial and error and use of the "Help" features in the software may well overcome the difficulties. This can be thought of as "just in time" help or instruction from your computer system. Increasingly, the Help features of an application package are designed as Computer-Assisted Learning materials, designed specifically to give you instruction that is both timely and in the context of the specific learning needs that you have encountered.

Otherwise, a little bit of "just in time" instruction from a human being will likely prove invaluable. A few minutes of one-on-one help, provided to a highly motivated learner who has immediate need for some specific ICT knowledge and skills, is highly effective. The instruction might come from a fellow student, a course instructor, an assistant in a course, or assistants in a computer lab.

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Learning Opportunity- 11: Other Opportunities

This includes students learning on their own through trial and error, using the Help features built into software systems, and using the wide range of readily available resources materials that can be accessed on the Web and elsewhere. It includes students learning on jobs before or during the time they are in a teacher education program of study. For example, some students in teacher education programs at the University of Oregon are graduate assistants, providing computer technology support to faculty and students.

Most preservice teachers now own their own computer, or have excellent access to computers at home. One of the important aspects of learning ICT is to develop "fluency" and confidence in using a variety of hardware, software, and connectivity. This requires hundreds of hours of routine use of such facilities.

Click here to access a short list of resources designed to help preservice and inservice teachers.

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Table for Use in Planning an ICT Preservice Program

This section is specifically designed for people who are doing strategic planning for the ICT program of study of preservice teachers in their teacher education program. It is assumed that the goal is to have all preservice teachers gain (at minimum) some specified level of expertise in the field of ICT in education. This might be the standards established by ISTE, the standards set by a particular state or school district, or a set of standards developed by a particular teacher education program. In terms of the 7-point scale used throughout this Website, the specific standards you want to might fall some place in or near the 3 to 4 range, as indicated in the diagram given below.

It is important to realize that the particular goals, objectives, and sub-objectives you select may be quite dependent on overall goals of your teacher education program, the nature of your faculty, the nature of your students, and the needs of the school districts where most of your students seek employment. However, you need to be aware that many of your students will end up teaching outside the local region of your college of university--indeed, many are likely to seek employment outside of your state. Thus, you will likely want to establish goals that will prepare your students to compete in the national marketplace.

After you select goals and objectives, you might want to make use of a table such as the one illustrated below. The left side of the table lists goals and objectives. For simplicity, we have labeled these Goal 1, O1.1, O1.2, Etc.; Goal 2. O2.1, O2.2, Etc.; Goal 3, O3.1, O3.2, Etc.; etc. The columns are labeled with the various learning opportunities that you will make available to your preservice teachers. For simplicity, we have labeled these LO-1, LO-2, LO-3, …, etc.

LO-1
LO-2
LO-3
LO-4
LO-5
LO-6
Etc.

Goal 1

O1.1

O1.2

Etc.

Goal 2

O2.1

O2.2

Etc.

Goal 3

O3.1

O3.2

Etc.

Etc.

As a starting point for developing your goals and objectives, consider using the five self-assessment instruments. Each instrument focuses on a specific goal, and each question corresponds to an objective.

A successful program of ICT in education study for preservice teachers requires the active participation and support of a substantial majority of the faculty. By and large, it requires faculty to be risk takers, willing to learn alongside their students.

Resources

Here is a short list of resources of specific interest to Oregon educators. Some will be of interest to educators from other states.

Oregon Technology in Education Council (OTEC)

Free Materials Developed by David Moursund

Some Local School Districts

Four Very Short "Readings" Designed for use in EDST 114

 

Oregon Technology in Education Council

A Website has been developed specifically for preservice and inservice teachers in Oregon. It is run by the Oregon Technology in Education Council (OTEC, a non-profit organization), and it is a free service. To join OTEC (there is no cost), send an E-mail message to:

majordomo@lists.uoregon.edu
In the body of the message (NOT in the subject line; it is OK to leave the subject line blank) enter the text:

subscribe ocite

end

(And then, of course, send the email message!)

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Free Materials Developed by David Moursund

Here is a list of some materials developed by David Moursund. Click here for a more extensive list.

Math, Brain Science, and ICT (A Website designed to support a short course or workshop on combining ideas from Brain Science with those from Information and Communications Technology, in order to improve math education at the K-12 levels.)

Moursund, D.G. (1992). The Technology Coordinator. (Full contents of 1992 book written by Moursund. Currently only available in PDF format.)

Moursund, D.G. (1996, 2001). Increasing your expertise as a problem solver: Some roles of computers. (Entire book, with updates added in fall, 2001.) Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Moursund, D.G. (1997). The Future of Information Technology in Education. (Entire Book.) Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Moursund, D.G. (1999). Project-based learning using information technology. (Selected Chapters.) Eugene, OR: ISTE. People interested in this book will also be interested in Moursund's PBL Website.

Moursund. D.G. (November 1999). Digital Technology: Transforming Schools and Improving Learning. In Day, B. (Ed.) Teaching and Learning in the New Millennium. Indianapolis, Indiana: Kappa Delta Pi. (This is a book chapter. It begins with a scenario of education in the year 2015, and continues with an overview of IT in education.)

Moursund, D.G. ( 2002). Obtaining resources for technology in education: A how-to guide for writing proposals, forming partnerships, and raising funds. This is a revised edition of a book published in 1997 by the International Society for Technology in Education.

Moursund, D.G. (2002). Brief Introduction to Roles of Computers in Problem Solving. Available in both HTML and PDF formats.

Moursund, D.G. (2003). Brief Introduction to Educational Implications of Artificial Intelligence. Available in both HTML and PDF formats.

Workshop on IT-Assisted Project-Based Learning (This can be thought of as a short book, suitable for use in a short course or a workshop of up to two days in length. It contains an extensive annotated bibliography.)

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School Districts

School districts and educational service districts have Websites. These may include material of use to both students and teachers. The following list of links is designed to help students in University of Oregon teacher education programs.

Lane Educational Service District.

Bethel School District

Eugene 4-J School District

South Lane School District 45J3

Springfield School District-19

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