My blog this week is written as part of an assignment for the course I am currently taking, Fundamentals of Educational Technology. Although my subject was assigned, I would like to preface it by saying that I whole-heartedly believe in the ideas I am proposing or I would not be posting them on my blog page.
The majority of students entering Texas classrooms today are tech-savvy. It is critical that the people entrusted with the task of educating them have the tools they need to adequately prepare them for the future. The state of Texas faces a daunting task of bringing our education system up to speed to meet the needs of this new generation.
It is critical that Texas educators be provided ongoing professional development. In order for effective changes to be implemented, teachers must also become learners and have ongoing opportunities for exposure to new ways of incorporating technology into the curriculum and classroom.
In order to achieve this goal, all beginning teachers are now required to meet Technology Applications educator standards. Veteran teachers receive ongoing professional development and over time are expected to master the SBEC Technology Applications Standards for all teachers.
The Texas Long-Range Plan for Technology 2006 - 2020 includes the following standards for Educator Preparation and Development.
"All educators are required to:
• graduate from an educator preparation program that models current technology in instructional and administrative practices PreK-12.
• exit educator preparation programs knowing how to use technology effectively in the teaching-learning process as demonstrated by the SBEC Technology Applications Standards.
• develop new learning environments that utilize technology as a flexible tool where learning is collaborative, interactive and customized for the individual learner.
• ensure full integration of appropriate technology throughout all curriculum and instruction."
Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020 (2006, November). Retrieved Sept. 2, 2009, from http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/technology/lrpt/LRPTCompleteDec06.pdf
The task of preparing educators to meet the needs of students in the 21st Century also presents educational institutions with a tremendous challenge. Educator training programs must include new ways to teach that will positively impact the academic achievement levels of their students. Professional development for veteran teachers must emphasize the continual process of learning about technology and incorporating its use in the classroom. If teachers and administrators are to prepare today’s students for the world they will live in tomorrow, they must have the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to make significant changes in our educational system.