What is essential that pre-service teachers know about integrating technology in the classroom?
#1 Inclusion is not Integration
Even experienced teachers are finding that they are having to make an adjustment from using technology in the classroom to actually INTEGRATING technology into the classroom.
"Technology integration is the incorporation of technology resources and technology-based practices into the daily routines, work, and management of schools." (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2003/tech_schools/chapter7....
ISTE -- the International Society for Technology in Education -- has set out 5 standards for guiding teachers toward successfully integrating technology. (http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards...
1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments*
3. Model digital age work and learning
4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
5. Engage in professional growth and leadership*
Let's examine a new model for understanding technology integration: "SAMR"
#2 School districts and campuses will not necessarily provide the right kind of professional development.
As you have already guessed, true technology integration involves what I have come to call "no box" thinking. It's a little beyond "outside the box" thinking. Not all districts and not all campuses are geared up for the kind of professional development involved in this level of technology integration. So, where do teachers go to get this kind of PD?
One of the aspects of ISTE standard # 5 requires teachers to, "Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning."
This can only be done as teachers take personal control over their professional development -- especially the "global" aspect. Enter, social media. For my purposes, that means Twitter.
Consider this infographic provided by Edugraphic, a popular educational blogsite. (http://www.edudemic.com/guides/guide-to-twitter/)
Specifically, educational hashtags provide teachers with an ever-expanding number of options for online professional development and collaboration. Some school districts (including my own Arlington ISD) are discussing how to provide PD credit to teachers who regular participate in such events.
Here is a list of some of the more popular hashtag events provided by The Journal for Transforming Education Through Technology. To this list of a dozen or so, I would add my own favorites: #asiaEd, #aussieEd, #Nt2t (New teachers to Twitter), and #ChristianEducators.
One recent poll cited a discrepancy between what pre-service teachers
are learning and what principals expect them to know.
The dilemma is stated this way:
"With a new generation of teachers coming into the work force, there’s a discrepancy between what principals expect of teachers-in-training and what they’re actually learning in school." http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/02/13/are-teachers-of-tomorrow-prepared-to-use-innovative-tech/