Examining the Integrated Technology Approach to Preparing Future Teachers

Education leaders share the advantages and disadvantages of this model.

by / July 1, 2016 0

DENVER — A group of leaders from teacher preparation programs shared their thoughts on an integrated technology model that's taking the place of ed tech classes at some colleges.

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University used to have a stand-alone ed tech class for undergraduates, but did away with it in 2012 in favor of infusing technology training into every methods course, leaders shared in a session at ISTE's annual conference on June 27. Arizona State's move to a more integrated model reflects its philosophy about education technology: Teachers should be incorporating it into regular academic classes.

"We really believe that now we are practicing what we teach with technology," said LeeAnn Lindsey, technology infusion and professional development coordinator for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. 

Two full-time staff members and a quarter-time employee work with faculty members to help them get up to speed on how they can infuse technology into the subjects they teach. As they see teachers model this approach, teacher candidates can then start their own integration work and apply it when they do student teaching in schools.

Meanwhile, Indiana University Bloomington's School of Education used to have an integrated ed tech training model for undergraduates, but has since switched to a stand-alone ed tech class. Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington, has taught in both models and said the technology-integrated approach was great — except there wasn't as much time to focus on technology integration when she had to cover teaching methods for a particular subject.

That said, associate professor Teresa Foulger from Arizona State sees an advantage on the integration side because students have more opportunities throughout their teacher preparation to practice integrating technology into lesson plans. The U.S. Education Department favors the integrated technology approach in its 2016 National Education Technology Plan, which calls for teacher preparation programs to model this type of integrated instruction as well as teach it to their students in every course. 

Tanya Roscorla Former Managing Editor

Tanya Roscorla covered ed tech from 2009-2017.