Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaching the Student Teachers First

When K-12 school districts rush to buy tablets for classes, often as a cost-saving strategy, one of the criticisms is that the technology will be underutilized. Many teachers aren’t yet prepared to integrate the devices into their day-to-day curriculum.

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma is trying to make sure its next crop of teachers is indeed prepared. A pilot program for the spring 2013 term will train 575 students enrolled in the university’s undergraduate teacher education courses how to use iPads for classroom work and developing lesson plans.

Each student will receive a shiny new fourth-generation tablet this month before the holiday break begins. Students pay nothing for the devices—it’s all covered by the pilot—and they can keep the devices when the program is over. The idea is they will continue to use the iPads when they start their teaching careers.

The teacher education faculty got their own iPads last fall and have been preparing coursework with the devices.

“The goal is to have the faculty use the technology as a tool to incorporate the activities that they are already doing, such as lesson planning, and to extend to such activities as reviewing apps that would further enhance what they are teaching,” said associate professor Teresa Cullen in OU’s press release about the pilot.

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