Good afternoon. I’m thrilled to have the invitation to talk with you about teacher education in a digital era, what it is, what it looks like, and my view that we have a wonderful opportunity to leverage global network learning, and all that it implies, to shift our thinking about what education and teacher education can be.
Last fall I had a major moment of cognitive dissonance. I traveled on a two week trip to Korea and Taiwan, visiting six universities, and meeting with many teachers, scholars and students. First, I was surprised to learn that most of the faculty had received their degrees in America, and that the educational systems were modeled after American institutions. Second, in each location, I would ask, “What is the biggest need you have in education?” And without fail, the answer was the same, “Too much testing for our students.” The more questions I asked, the more I learned that both of these countries felt like they had developed cultures of testing, where children spent countless hours in the classroom, after school, and on the weekends in preparatory programs preparing for college entrance examinations. And the preparation starts when children are very young. At a university in Taiwain, I recall a College of Education dean saying to me, “You don’t understanding. We want our children to be more like American kids, spending more time playing. And you are trying to get your kids to be like us, and take more tests.”
Shortly afterward, when I returned to the U.S., Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education gave a now infamous speech at Columbia Teacher’s College, where he said that most colleges of education are doing a mediocre job, and need revolutionary change. I’ve been a teacher educator for over 20 years, and back in the south, we would say, “Them is fightin’ words.” Something wasn’t making sense. In Korea and Tawain, American education and culture is greatly respected. Yet in our own country, we were “falling behind as world leaders,” colleges of education were to blame, and we need more standardized tests. And this was my aha moment. I realized that as teacher educators we have two choices: 1) we can be responsive to the never ending change and mandates that bombards education from all sides, or 2) we can be proactive and work with teachers, students, administrators and policymakers to lead the change itself. So it’s my pleasure to talk with you today about how we’ve chosen to be proactive in our work at Boise State, and share some of the choices that we, and others, have made toward that direction of leadership.
I do believe that we are facing an unavoidable and necessary evolution in teacher education, with a large emphasis of the reform based in online education. There are many factors influencing this evolution. At the federal level, the National Educational Technology Plan has far reaching implications and visions for education. We’re also seeing calls for change in ESEA Reauthorization Act, the Blueprint for Change, and the FCC Broadband Plan. Innovations in technology itself, along with societal trends in digital media usage are impacting the need. We’re seeing huge growth movements in K12 online education. Emerging research and frameworks are helping us understanding how to leverage these new media literacies, and we already have some examples of very innovative programs that we can use as models for today’s learners. So where do we get started?
I believe that every challenge also represents an opportunity for innovation. Several months ago, I had an epiphany that helped shaped the current direction of our online educational technology program at Boise State. Here’s the SNL video that inspired me.
And here’s a copy of a brochure we were working on at the time that commercial was aired. We immediately decided to go in another direction—we carefully articulated our thinking and changed our mission statement. It was extremely empowering. I think we’re in a phase in online education where we need to move from “just don’t tell anyone” to “let’s tells everyone!”
I’d like to take estimates on how many K12 kids are taking fully online classes in Idaho, as either part or all of their educational day? 10,000.....estimates nationally are between 750K to 1 million kids. IDLA is the state supplemental program, serving all districts in the state with online course offerings. The next five schools are state approved charter schools offering full or part-time online learning. Inspire is the only school working with elementary aged children.
Their conclusion was clear. “...on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face classes. ” What was most interesting about this finding is that the result is not due to the technology itself, but rather to the affordances offered by the technology.
So while this conclusion may not sit well with those who have negative preconceived notions of online learning
Our job is to move forward with knowledge based in research, best practice, and just plain fun. Where does fun fit in the picture?
We all know about the use of rubrics to guide students’ participation in discussion forums as a type of reflective learning activity. And we may also have integrated blogs to support meta-processing of the learning experience. Have you also considered YouTube comments, or other forms of community posting an opportunity for reflection on their work or the work of others?
So now that we have confirmation that online learning works, and in what ways, let’s look at how we can use participatory cultures in today’s social networks to leverage learning potential.
Christakis & Fowler, Framingham Heart Survey, Networks are VIRAL, CONTAGION found 3 degrees of separation Obesity, drinking, and happiness (as measured in Facebook) move out three relationships, change occurs over time
We passed notes to social network….
Today we network in many, many ways. In this plethora of information, who becomes the authority on meaning making?
Encourage students to create, then lead in participatory cultures The effect is CONTAGIOUS, VIRAL They can literally change the world
Our department offers the technology integration course to preservice teachers in all credential programs at BSU. CLICK Our degree programs are all at the graduate level. MS in EdTech for those going into research. CLICK MET as a terminal degree for practioners working in schools or with ID. CLICK Three grad certificate programs
Global Network Knowledge Construction: Teacher Education in the Era of Digital Learning Lisa Dawley, Ph.D. Dept. of Educational Technology [email_address] Backchannel: http://edtech.acrobat.com/SITE
Reforming Teacher Education Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education, October 2009
“ By almost any standard, many if not most of the nation’s 1,450 schools, colleges, and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st century classroom.”
K12 Online Education Options Full-time Virtual Schools State Supplemental Programs College-Hosted Virtual Schools/Courses Brick N Mortar Full Virtual 0% of Day Online 100% of Day Online Traditional Tech Integrated Classroom Site-Based Online Course Lab Hybrid courses Online courses offered by B&M district Online Tech Enhanced Schools
The effectiveness of online learning is tied to learning time , curriculum , pedagogy , and opportunities for collaboration .
Give learners control of their interactions with media http://openreflections.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/rip-a-remix-manifesto.jpg http://voicethread.com/share/704030/ … move, use, remix, edit, build, change, click, interact, change, create, share, rate, record
Online learning can be enhanced by prompting learner reflection
Innovative courses YouTube for Educators Teaching & Learning in Virtual Worlds Mobile Learning Social Network Learning Online Course Design Online Teaching in K12 Environments Interactive Courseware Design and more!