Technology Leadership Academy
Fosters Technology Infusion in Teacher Preparation Programs
Although the advantages of incorporating technology into education are numerous, many barriers are faced in achieving that goal. One of the most daunting is the lack of technology-proficient teacher educators. These educators may recognize the value of infusing technology into their instruction, but lack the time to learn new technologies, and have little access to professional development opportunities, technical support and curricular tools that incorporate technology.
Working to improve teacher preparation by addressing these needs was the goal of the Technology Leadership Academy, part of the Technology Leadership Institute, a project funded by a three-year, $2,000,000 Catalyst Grant from the Department of Education. The collaborative, headed by the University of North Texas and including the University of Texas at Austin (College of Education, Learning Technology Center), Texas Center for Educational Technology, Texas State Board for Educator Certification and Texas Education Agency, worked to improve preservice teacher education in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico by promoting the integration of technology into teacher education in order to increase the number of preservice teachers with core technology competencies. The project ran from 1999 through August 2003.
The Learning Technology Center headed the Technology Leadership Academy. Academy members, consisting of teacher preparation institutions, public schools and state agencies, benefited from workshops, conferences and the leadership of the Academy. The LTC team established a Web site of faculty development resources (including the Faculty Mentor, Faculty Subject Area Mentor, Library of Technology Vision Plans, and Technology Tools) and developed a database of teacher educators who model exemplary integration of technology into their teaching practices.
Dr. Paul Resta, Director of the Learning Technology Center, was the director of the Technology Leadership Academy. Dr. Coral Noonan was the Project Coordinator. Ajay Nityananda created and maintained the Academy Web site.
Over one hundred representatives of teacher preparation institutions and state education agencies in the four-state area attended the organizational meeting for the Academy hosted by the Learning Technology Center on January 18, 2000. Task Groups were formed to begin work on the Academy’s major initiatives, such as Regional Workshops and Policy and Leadership. Academy members, including provosts, deans, and technology specialists, were also hosted by the LTC for the first annual Fall Institute in September 2000. They shared promising faculty development models and assisted one another in preparing strategic technology infusion plans. Two additional fall institutes were held on the UT campus in 2001 and 2002.