Summit Develops Shared Vision of New Model for Teacher Education - December 9th, 2009
Ideas generated in small group discussions were captured in Google Docs.
The College of Education Learning Technology Center’s invitational summit “Redefining Teacher Education for Digital Age Learners” brought together 100 policymakers in education to make recommendations on improving teacher education to meet the challenges of the future.
The event took place December 6-8, 2009 and was made possible by a generous gift from the Promethean Foundation. LTC Director Paul E. Resta was co-chair, along with Tom Carroll, President of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.
College of Education Dean Manuel Justiz addresses summit participants.
The summit was a unique gathering of a diverse group of educational leaders. Representative stakeholders from state legislatures, professional associations, and state certification boards, as well as teachers, teacher educators, and educational technologists took part in the in-depth conversation on how teacher education should change to effectively face the 21st century and how best to effect that change.
Participants discussed major issues confronting teacher education today, such as the traits and skills teachers must have to engage 21st century students, how to use online learning and other technologies to improve learning and make the teaching profession more attractive, and the use of data systems to boost student success.
Don Knezek, Chief Executive Officer for the International Society for Technology in Education, described the discussions he had on how to reduce the isolation teachers face in the classroom. “When teachers are part of a team and have access to each other’s skills, it lessens the burden of teaching. This is a very exciting concept I hadn’t thought much about before the summit.”
Attendees praised the summit’s format of small group discussion and the use of technology to facilitate discourse. Groups input themes and decisions into Google Docs as they talked. The major ideas generated were then projected on a Promethean Activboard and participants rated their importance with handheld response units to achieve rapid consensus. “Back channel” discussions also occurred in online chats to further stimulate thought.
Handheld response devices and an interactive projection board were used to rate issues.
Resta explained the summit’s success as “bringing together leaders of key constituents in teacher education. They developed a shared vision on the need to change the traditional paradigm of teacher education and to create a new model to prepare the education work force of the 21st century.”
Participants will continue to refine their ideas in the coming months. Online tools will provide access to discussion forums and summit documentation. The summit’s recommendations will be published in a final report that will be distributed to policymakers nationwide. A book will also be published. For more information about the summit, contact Ken Tothero.