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The Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council
A formative influence on the Professional Development working group is
the Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council first convened by the Joan
Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop in January 2010. The Council,
comprised of experts in early childhood education and child develop-
ment, educational policymakers, and technologists, worked together to
identify necessary changes in teacher training and professional develop-
ment within the context of 21st century schooling.
Through its collaborative work, the Council put forward several recom-
mendations for educational policy and program design that better support
the integration of digital technologies and participatory learning prac-
tices into educational settings for children from three to eight years old.
Specifically, the DATPC highlighted five general goals for improvement
and innovation related to training and support of early childhood and
Goal 1: Modernize program designs and professional development
models to promote success. Of primary importance to meeting this
goal is helping teachers and students gain meaningful access to new tech-
nologies. In addition, the Council recommended changes to staffing,
scheduling, and communication practices to create space and time for
collaboration and intentional learning, as well as increased opportunities
for parental involvement.
Goal 2: Train early educators to integrate digital and screen media
into their teaching practices in developmentally appropriate ways.
Following the lead of the National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC), the Council’s recommendation in this area focused
on empowering teachers to make choices about the kinds of media to use
in their classrooms, recognizing teachers’ expertise in principles of devel-
opmentally appropriate practice.
Goal 3: Expand public media use as a cost-effective asset for teach-
ers. This goal focused on raising awareness among teachers of the catalog
of media available for use in the classroom through public channels and
supporting design and production of public media across new platforms.
Goal 4: Advance coherent and equitable policies to promote technol-
ogy integration across standards, curriculum, and teacher professional
development. Acknowledging the ongoing, dual challenges of the digital
divide and the participation gap, the Council recommended restructuring
the allocation of funds and resources to ensure a more equitable distribu-
tion of new technologies.
Goal 5: Create R&D partnerships for a digital age. Also related to
improving equity in the distribution of technologies and funds for profes-
sional development, the Council recommended creative, interdisciplinary
approaches to R&D.
(Barron, Cayton-Hodges, Bofferding, Copple, Darling-Hammond, and
These broad goals outlined by the Council have been addressed by a variety
of programs for students throughout K-12 schooling and expanded learn-