Preparing Teachers for a Digital World

Railing on teachers isn’t the way to go. Pointing fingers is actually not a productive way of handling issues we find in education. Teachers, like students, need support and guidance in their learning processes. School for students is crucial to them becoming life-long learners and innovative thinkers who can contribute to our world in new and exciting ways. Don’t our teachers deserve the same? They go through a process of learning how to teach, and while they never really stop, there is a formative time for them — college. Their thinking and foundational principles are greatly influenced during this time. The concrete begins to set, so before it completely hardens and cures, we should be working in overdrive to point them in the right directions and to support the kind of thinking in them that they will one day ask of their own students.

An online article from Education Week was posted January 27, 2014. It is titled Teacher Colleges Seek to Shift to Digital Age. There is a video accompanying the article that showcases the Clemson teacher education program. They have created a space for these college students to learn about and with digital media. It is all about the learning. Danielle Herro, Co-director of the Digital Media and Learning Lab, points out that when it comes to technology, many education programs focus on the technical skills necessary to deal with the tech in a classroom or school. What’s missing is the natural progression of learning and how it isn’t dependent on technology, but often thrives in its presence. Socialization around technology can lead to creative thinking and a desire to learn. This example at Clemson demonstrates that what we talk about for K-12 students needs to be part of the conversation when we discuss college students — especially education majors — as well. The article mentions technology literacy as a focus. Being literate doesn’t mean knowing everything and having control. It often means knowing where to go for the information and what the possibilities are for what to do with it. Check out the article for more examples from other colleges of how teacher education programs are revamping their approach to preparing teachers for a digital world.

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