Moursund's ICT in Education Home Page

ISTE SIG Teacher Education NECC Workshop in Philadelphia, June 26, 2005. Updated 8/11/05.

The goal of this full day workshop and this Webpage is to share information about the curriculum content, teaching methodology, and assessment of Information and Communication Technology courses for preservice teachers. Some of the presentation material remains to be added to this Website

Introduction/Overview (Dave Moursund; 8 page pdf file).

Introduction/Overview (Dave Moursund; 23 PowerPoint slides with extensive notes).

Traditional ICT in Education Courses (Tweed Ross; 14 page pdf file).

Traditional ICT in Education Courses (Tweed Ross; 11 PowerPoint slides).

See also, Appendix: Intel "Teach to the Future" materials.

ICT Assessment of Entering Preservice Teachers (Rachel Vannatta; 8 page pdf file).

ICT Assessment of Entering Preservice Teachers (Rachel Vannatta; 14 PowerPoint slides).

Integrating ICT into Non-ICT Courses (Louanne Smolin; 21 PowerPoint slides with notes).

Implementing Online (Donna Russell; 8 page pdf file).

Implementing Online (Donna Russell; 24 PowerPoint Slides).

International (Dave Moursund; 15 PowerPoint slides with extensive notes).

Futures (Dave Moursund; 32 PowerPoint slides with extensive notes).

Appendix: Intel "Teach to the Future" materials. John Judge has provided me with extensive materials about this Intel project. The materials did not receive as much mention during the workshop as I had expected they would, so I have added them here as an Appendix to the workshop presentatoins. (Dave Moursund, 8/11/05).

Historical records, course syllabi and other materials collected during the development of the workshop.


Appendix: Intel "Teach to the Future" Materials

John Judge


The Pre-Service Intel® Teach to the Future Curriculum was designed to be used in content-based methods courses as well as in courses that primarily focus on technology integration. In either type of course, the common factor is that students must be pre-service teachers and that planning K-12 instruction must be a course requirement.

The has been designed to provide hands-on instruction for future teachers about sound methods of using technology as a tool for teaching and learning. At its core, this project is about pedagogy. The pre-service curriculum introduces technology tools and strategies for enhancing learning through research, communication, and productivity tools. Pre-service teachers at participating institutions use this curriculum to plan instructional experiences that use essential questions to support effective instructional design. By working in teams, problem-solving, and participating in peer reviews of their unit portfolios, pre-service teachers gain experience integrating technology into K-12 instructional strategies. All curriculum materials are provided free of charge to participating faculty members for student use.


Tomorrow’s teachers learn to:

  • Develop technology-rich units with authentic assessments that meet state and national standards
  • Use computers to engage K-12 students in constructing deeper levels of understanding
  • Develop curriculum-framing questions and learning objectives

Some teacher education programs use the curriculum as the primary text for a course and many use it as a secondary text. Some use the curriculum in one course and quite a few universities use it within several courses. It has been designed for use in any courses that require pre-service teachers to be engaged in planning instruction and assessment for K-12 classrooms.

How it Works

College and university teacher educators attend a four-day, (32-hour) hands-on curriculum review workshop using Intel Teach to the Future materials. They then integrate the modular curriculum into existing college coursework. Pre-service teachers who are students of participating faculty members receive a free curriculum binder and resource CD-ROM containing templates, sample lesson plans and links to Internet resources.

There is no cost for participation. Intel has covered all costs including faculty curriculum manuals, pre-service teacher curriculum texts, and training costs. Universities or faculty members are responsible for the following:

  1. Planning which courses would use the Intel Teach to the Future Pre-Service Program curriculum.
  2. Whatever travel costs are incurred to attend the 4-day curriculum review workshop.
  3. Using the curriculum (at least in part) with at least 25 pre-service teachers for each faculty member who attends curriculum review workshop.

More information is available at

Research Results

The Educational Development Center (EDC) has been evaluating the effectiveness of the Intel Teach to the Future Pre-Service Program. More than 1,000 Faculty Members have participated in the program with the following results:

• 99% of teacher educators agree or strongly agree that the program is appropriate/relevant to courses they teach

• 97% of teacher educators agree or strongly agree that the program will help their  students understand how to integrate technology effectively into their future teaching

• 90% of survey respondents reported that they would recommend the training to a friend or colleague.

• In some cases program participation is catalyzing or supporting larger planning processes focused on redesigning how Pre-Service students are introduced to educational technology.

• Faculty repeatedly explained that this curriculum was helping them guide their Pre-Service students through the process of thinking about technology in the context of curriculum and learning, and would help their department or school move beyond the paradigm of the isolated, stand-alone course about computers and instructional technology

• Faculty members described three types of benefits that they associate with this program:

  • Support for Pre-Service students’ learning, particularly access to high-quality resources and an opportunity to familiarize themselves with content-oriented, research-oriented uses of technology;
  • Opportunities for the school or department to strengthen their course offerings and improve the integration of technology across their curriculum; and
  • Support for meeting external requirements for certification and accountability.

For a copy of the 35 page EDC evaluation, visit the web site at

Additional References

General info about the pre-service program:

Pre-Service curriculum overview:

Program results:


Historical Records, Course Syllabi, and Other Materials

The material given below provides a historical record for the development of the workshop as well as many valuable resources, such as syllabi of courses.

Overview and Invitation to Participate and/or Contribute Content.

Planning Document (1/13/05, seven pages):

Progress Report 1/23/05 (PDF version)

Critical discussion issues identified by/through the online discussion group.

Progress Report 2/21/05 (Hyper Document)

Given below are Web-assessable materials that have been contributed. They are in alphabetical order by contributor.

Banister, Savilla. Materials from Savilla Banister, Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

Here is a link to my IT course EDTL 302: Computer Utilization in Early and Middle Childhood Classrooms for preservice teachers:

Currently we have a team that is teaching this course for about 300 students each semester.

We also are doing a tech assessment for freshmen. Information on it is at

Bielefeldt, Talbot. ISTE, Eugene, Oregon.

Bielefeldt, T. (2001). Technology in teacher education: A closer look. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 17 (4). Accessed 2/13/04:

Brothman, Andrea. Bank street College, NY. Click here for pdf version of EDUC 525: Integrating Technology into the Curriculum to Support Learning and Inquiry – Fall 2004 - 1 credit. See also

Culp, Katie McMillan. Center for Children and Technology, New York.

My response to your questions is to ask if you're familiar with Intel Teach to the Future (I am guessing that you are but wasn't sure). We have been evaluating that program for a number of years now, and they do run a pre-service version. We did a small-scale formative evaluation of that program two years ago, which you can find at our website ( if you're interested. Basically many of the professors who have made use of that curriculum have swapped it into their Intro to Computers in Education course, replacing whatever they were using before. This made me think that it might be a useful example for you to include in the workshop.

Dalton, David W. , Kent State Univrsity, Ohio.

Goss, Marlene. West Chester University of Pennsylvania,

Horney, Mark, University of Oregon. EDST is a 4 (quarter hour) freshman-level course titled Communicating Using Computers. Access the course syllabus at

The course is required for some of the preservice teachers and taken by many others. Quoting from an email message sent to me:

In the second assignment, Picture Galleries, students learn to incorporate images and to control layouts with tables. But now the content must have a instructional purpose; the images must form a coherent set intended for some instructional purpose; they must be annotated; students must describe their audience and learning goals, etc. Here are two examples from last term:

The third assignment is to create a modified WebQuest. No new web skills are introduced. We spend two periods examining and discussing the general characteristics of WebQuests using materials from two archives, and another in planning. Much time and effort is spent considering just how and why k-12 students might do projects using web-based resources. Here are examples:

Judd, Diane. Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.

Judge, John. Institute of Computer Technology (ICT). Quoting from the ICT Website: "The Institute of Computer Technology provides technology training and planning services to clients in industry, education and the community. Since its founding by the California State Legislature in 1982, the Institute of Computer Technology has trained over 135,000 individuals."

John provided us with information about the Intel "Teach to the Future" course. Click here for a two page PDF file providing information on this course that is widely used in preservice teacher education.

Morris, Joyce. University of Vermont, EDSC 11, Computers in the Secondary Classroom For a rubric used to assess readings, see For example of required readings for online reading discussion groups of five for Spring 2005, see

Moursund, Dave. University of Oregon. Four syllabi and other related materials.

Niederhauser, Dale. Iowa State University. Introduction to Instructional Technology, Curriculum and Instruction 201

Pruitt-Mentle, Davina. University of Maryland.

Resta, Paul. University of Texas. Paul has made available the PDF of a 2002 UNESCO book Information And Communication Technologies In Teacher Education: A Planning Guide. He also notes that "The UNESCO Regional Office has developed a portal for technology in teacher education that has excellent resources. The URL is:

Ross, Tweed. Kansas State University. Two semster hour course EDETC 318, Instructional Media and Technology. Click here for 38 page pdf file of detailed syllabus aligned to the ISTE Standards.

Russell, Donna. University of Missouri-Kansas City. Click here for a 11 page description of a 33 semester master's degree program, Learning Technologies: Curriculum And Instructional Leadership. Gives a framework and descriptions of some of the courses. Click here for detailed syllabi for three courses.

Thombs, Margaret. Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island. Click here for four page pdf file of syllabus for three semester hour course Classroom Applications ofTechnology EDU 305.

Thompson, Mary. The University of Houston, Houston, TX. Computers in the Classroom, Three courses.

Student Portfolio Examples:

Veres, Maggie. Wright State University, Ohio.. ED 280 Classroom Applications of Computer Based Technology.

Wetzel, Keith. Arizona State University West.

Greetings Dave,

I am enclosing the URL for an article my ASU colleagues and I wrote about our required ed tech preservice course.

Wetzel, K., Wilhelm, L., & Williams, M. K. (2004). The introductory technology course: A tool for technology integration. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 3(4). Available:

The syllabus schedule of topics is available at

And on the syllabus schedule web page, the menu button “Syllabus” links to a .pdf of the actual course syllabus.  Course materials, assignments, readings list, tech skills mastered, pre/post student surveys and so on are included at the web site.

Neal Topp, University of Nebraska Omaha ( Neal Topp <>) has taken another approach.  They axed the required ed tech course and formally integrated technology in all of their teacher education preservice courses.

Williams, Mia. Arizona State University West. Electronic Course materials for Educational Technology for the K-12 Classroom.

Williams, Rodney. University of Michigan. EDUC 504: Teaching with Technology. Click here for PDF of a 20 page document for this course. It is an excellent example of a course with substantial non-ICT content, but where ICT is a central component of the course. Those interested in videography will want to check this out! Also, my quick reading of the syllabus and other materials suggests that this course has higher requirements and standards than many of the other courses I have looked at.

Online Discussion Group

The or-it-scde list is a closed list maintained by David Moursund. Only people on the list can post to the list. Contact to be added to the list. The focus of the list is on the computer preparation of preservice teachers being done through schools, colleges, and departments of education.

To remove yourself from the list, send an email message from your email account that is on the list to:

In the body of the message (NOT in the subject line) enter the two lines of text:

unsubscribe or-it-scde

(And then, of course, send the email message!)

Critical Issues

1. Expected hours of student effort in courses.

The courses that are offered tend to fall into various academic levels such as: Lower Division, Upper Division, Post Bachelors up to and including masters; and Post Masters up to and including Doctorate. Very roughly speaking, undergraduate courses require three hours of work (in class and out of class) per week per hour of credit, while graduate courses require four hours of work (in class and out of class) per week per hour of credit. My university (the University of Oregon) is clear in its statement about three hours a week per credit for undergraduate courses, but is less clear as it indicated 3.6 to 3.75 hours per week per credit for graduate courses.

Generally speaking, discussants in our or-it-scde list seem to think that students taking their courses do more than the minimum number of hours suggested in the above paragraph. I would like to see solid evidence of this. I have far more confidence in the correctness of this "feeling" when it comes to courses offered by a Computer and Information Science Department than I do for courses offered through schools, colleges, and departments of education. (Much earlier in my career I served as Head of a Computer Science Department for six years.)

2. Required reading and assessment over the reading.

The or-it-scde discussion is producing examples of courses that have no required readings and no tests, to courses that have substantial required reading and tests. The courses with no tests do their assessment based on student papers and computer-based assignments.

There is also considerable variation in use of (or, no use of) a mastery learning approach on computer-based and other assignments. Thus, at one end of the scale students can redo assignments until they achieve a grade that they are trying to achieve, or the term ends. On the other end of the scale there is no opportunity to redo assignments.

Related to the above, some instructors give students the opportunity to do "extra credit" work to raise their grade.

My point of view is that the idea of "reading and writing across the curriculum" is at least as important in ICT as it is in other disciplines. I feel that every ICT course that teachers take should contribute to their gaining increased skill at reading ICT (and ICT in education) materials and in writing such materials.

As I was thinking about readings and assessment, I thought back to my math and science courses I took in college. In these courses, I had to read the text and then immediately solve problems based on what I had read and upon previous knowledge. By and large, I could not solve the problems unless I had read and understood the content, and unless I could draw appropriately upon previous knowledge. This same situation prevailed when I later became a teacher of math and computer science. In these settings, problems tend to be things that can be solved in a limited amount of time, and that once I have completed a problem I could likely tell if I had achieved a correct solution.

When I try do a transfer of my learning from such a past to my current present of being a teacher of teachers in the field of ICT in Education, I find that my current teaching situation is much different than my past teaching situation. Problems and tasks of teaching practice (often called "problems of practice") are not like very much like problems and tasks in math, science, and computer science content.

I sort of see where I am going on this. I want teacher education to be more "science like." I am particularly interested in finding readings that are sufficiently science-like so that I can make practical, down to earth assignments based on them and students' previous knowledge, and that will help both the students and me to assess understanding of the old and new material

3. ICT in Education as a discipline.

A discipline has breadth and depth. The current thoughts on what constitutes a discipline are that:

Each discipline can be defined by its unique combination of:
• The types of problems, tasks, and activities it addresses.
• Its tools, methodologies, and types of evidence and arguments used in solving problems, accomplishing tasks, and recording and sharing accumulated results.
• Its accumulated accomplishments such as results, achievements, products, performances, scope, power, uses, impact on the societies of the world, and so on.
• Its history, culture, language (including notation and special vocabulary), and methods of teaching, learning, and assessment.

Thus, when I look at the ICT in Education curriculum being offered by a SCDE, I look for solid evidence of a vertical structure rooted in the theory and foundations of the field. A statement that a course or courses are aligned with the ISTE NETS for Teachers does not tell me whether the program has the discipline-oriented depth I expect. The ISTE NETS for Teachers lack the needed statements of depth that are needed to help design such a program of study.

4. Integrating ICT into Non-ITC Courses.

My question is, when ICT is a significant component of a non-ICT course, who provides feedback (how is it assessed and graded)? I think this is a critical question, so I'd like to hear answers from a lot of people. Here at the university of Oregon (when we were making good progress on such integration) we tended to use a team teaching approach, with one member of the team being highly qualified in ICT in Education. This was done in a manner to help the regular teacher eventually gain the ICT knowledge and skills so that the other member of the team was eventually not needed.


Overview and Invitation

ISTE's SIG Teacher Education will be presenting a full day workshop Sunday, 6/26/2005 9:00am- 4:00pm in Philadelphia. I have agreed to organize this workshop and be one of the presenters. This email is a request for others to be presenters and/or to provide information that will be used in the workshop and shared with others throughout the world.

Workshop title and brief description: A Modern Computers in Education Course for Preservice Teachers.

The workshop focuses on courses designed to prepare preservice teachers so they can implement ISTE NETS for Students. The goal of this workshop is to facilitate improvements in the IT in education course or courses taken by preservice teachers. Participants will see examples of modern, forward-looking courses and will be able to share their courses. They will gain increased access to courses, course materials, and people that are at the leading edge in the development and implementation of such courses.

I need the following from you and/or others you know who teacher IT-oriented courses for preservice and inservice teachers:

  1. Web-based access to examples of syllabi that you are willing to share. You can see examples based on the courses I teach at
  2. Agreements from about three or four of you to be presenters in the workshop. I will attempt to select presenters on the basis of the high quality of the courses they teach and the support materials they make available on the Web.

I expect that the workshop will be a free-flowing open discussion of strengths and weaknesses in courses and programs of study. I believe that this workshop will be well worth attending and will prove beneficial to the overall field of IT in education.

Progress Report 1/23/05

Dave Moursund

Working with a number of my colleagues, I am in the process of putting together a full-day workshop for ISTE’s SIGTE to be held at NECC in Philadelphia on Sunday 6/26/2005 9:00 am- 4:00 pm. This is a brief progress report. A more detailed version of this report is posted at

I have added the names of all people who have communicated with me to a Majordomo distribution list that I created several years ago. More than 30 people have communicated with me. They have contributed lots of good information and aimed me in the direction of other people who need to be contacted.

The name of the Majordomo list is or-it-scde. The list is hosted by the University of ORegon and the focus is on Information Technology (IT) in Education. The scde stands for School, College, or Department of Education. This is a closed list—only people on the list can post to the list, and I am the only one who can add people to the list.

This is a list that I created several years ago for use during my PTTT project. There are now about 70 people on the list. If you don’t want to be on the list, send an E-mail message to:

In the body of the message (NOT in the subject line) enter the two lines of text:

unsubscribe or-it-scde

(And then, of course, send the email message!)

On the other hand, if you are reading this document and want to be on the list, please contact me (Dave Moursund) via email: Tell me about your interests and what you have available to share.

At the current time, I am beginning to envision six major topic areas, each facilitated by one person. I am seeking feedback on these topic areas along with possible additions and deletions. Remember that you can either post responses to the whole list or you can communicate directly to me and other individuals. Because you are all email and list-savvy, I assume that you will make appropriate use of the list.

My current six major topic areas focusing on preservice teacher education are:

1. Fair, valid, reliable, fast, and low cost ways to determine if students meet the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) prerequisite levels that a SCDE wants to set. I am particularly interested in the idea that the prerequisite level should currently be someplace in the range of graduates of the 8th grade or higher on the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Students, with this level gradually rising from year to year, moving to the 12th grade level. I also want to learn about good ways to bring students up to the prerequisite level that is set.

To be very frank, I am embarrassed that many ICT in education programs for preservice teachers have no prerequisites. And, many other programs make some vague statement that it is assumed students know how to use a word processor, search the Web, and do email. In my opinion, this is setting the prerequisite to somewhat below the ISTE 4th grade NETS for Students. Moreover, in my experience a very large percentage of students who claim they have this knowledge actually are not at all prepared at the levels they claim. For more information about my thoughts on this topic, see

2. Good examples of “traditional” ICT in courses that are based on a clearly defined and relatively strong prerequisite. Such courses are often taught in a computer lab or in a laptop classroom environment, but need not be taught this way. Such courses often make extensive use of a course Website, or Blackboard, or etc. I am not particularly interested in learning about upper division undergraduate courses and graduate courses that are taught at a no-prerequisite level.

In 1999 Talbot Bielefeldt and I did a study ICT instruction in SCDE in the US. In brief summary we fund that of the responding SCDE, about 93 % used a course or courses to provide needed ICT in education instruction, and about 7% made use of an “integrate into other courses” approach (see 3 below).

3. Good examples of SCDE programs of study that accomplish their ICT in education goals without the use of specific ICT in education courses. This can be done, for example, by appropriate integration of ICT into the required and elective courses taken by preservice teacher before and after entering a teacher education program.

Note that this approach bears a strong resemblance to the overall goal of appropriately integrating ICT throughout the PreK-12 curriculum. At the SCDE level, this is a difficult challenge. At my university, for example, we use a very large number of adjunct (temporary, non-tenure-line) faculty. Many of these faculty do not know the overall teacher education curriculum. Many are not well qualified to appropriately integrate ICT into the course or courses that they teach—much less, to do so that fits well into the overall scheme described in the previous paragraph.

4. Good examples of complete courses or significantly sized chunks of courses that are available in an asynchronous distance learning or Computer-Assisted Learning mode.

My personal opinion is that every preservice teacher should be required to take some courses via asynchronous Distance Learning and via Computer-Assisted Learning. Thus, I am especially interested in finding DL and CAL courses that focus on learning to teach and to learn in DL and CAL environments. (Note that in my current teaching and writing I usually asynchronous DL and CAL into a single topic, rather than consider them as two distinct topics.)

5. Good examples of total ICT in preservice teacher education programs that are built on ideas from 1-4 above and meet or exceed very strong and solid interpretations of the ISTE NETS for Teachers.

The NETS for Students were rolled out at NECC 98. Because of their generality and careful design, they have held up relatively well over the past seven years. I view this as book good, but somewhat problematic. During this time the price to performance ratio of ICT has improved by a factor larger than ten. Consider a cell telephone that includes a Web browser and provides connectivity to the Web, provides email and instant messaging, takes pictures, has a built in GPS, receives, stores, and plays music, and so on. How does all of this fit into our educational system and current preparation of preservice teachers?

6. The international perspective, with particular emphasis on the ICT in education preparation of preservice teachers in lower socioeconomic nations throughout the world. Note that two-thirds of the world’s population lives on a per capita income of less than $2,000 a year.

ISTE (notice the International in the name of the organization) could and should be making significantly increased efforts to help worldwide education. If this topic interests you, take a look at what Raj Reddy is doing

For each of the six areas (or, for each of the areas that we finally decide on) I need to find a person or a very mall team of people who will take responsibility for preparing and presenting at the NECC workshop. I do not have access to any funds to help defray your expenses. However, your participation as a presenter (and/or writing and/or providing good stuff to add to this Website) will be much appreciated and will contribute to the field of education.

Within the framework described above I am looking for:

1. Informal and formal research evidence to back up claims of success. For me, success means that the students of these preservice teachers get an appropriate education—for example, one that includes their meeting ISTE NETS for students and learning appropriate uses of ICT to represent and solve the types of problems that they are studying in school. Of course, I am also interested in the idea that preservice teachers learn appropriate ways satisfy their own professional and person needs, such as being lifelong learners who make effective use of ICT in the non-teaching components of their professional careers as educators.

Recently I have been reading some of my old editorials from Learning and Leading with Technology and its predecessor, The Computing Teacher. Also, I have been reading some of my old books published by ISTE. (You can access a lot of this material for free at
.) I am troubled by the slow pace of our progress. Others share my concern, as you can see in the following quoted material.

Education Technology Plan 2004
U.S. Department Of Education, released January 7, 2005.

This report was undertaken by the staff of the U.S. Department of Education in response to a request from Congress for an update on the status of educational technology. As the field work progressed, it became obvious that while the development of educational technology was thriving, its application in our schools often was not. Over the past 10 years, 99 percent of our schools have been connected to the Internet with a 5:1 student to computer ratio. Yet, we have not realized the promise of technology in education. Essentially, providing the hardware without adequate training in its use – and in its endless possibilities for enriching the learning experience – meant that the great promise of Internet technology was frequently unrealized. Computers, instead of transforming education, were often shunted to a “computer room,” where they were little used and poorly maintained. Students mastered the wonders of the Internet at home, not in school.

2. I am particularly interested in transportability of curriculum and goals. We need to place considerable effort in helping the SCDE’s of the world implement appropriate ICT programs of study without each having (on their own) to “invent the wheel.” And, I am especially interested in free or very inexpensive materials and other aids to implementing this transportability.

3. I am interested in forward-looking, futuristic-looking curriculum and courses. I will focus my parts of the workshop presentation in this area, and I seek whatever help I can get. See two free books:

Moursund, D.G. (2004). Brief Introduction to Educational Implications of Artificial Intelligence. Access at

Moursund, D.G. (2004). Planning, Forecasting, and Inventing Your Computers-in-Education Future. Access at

SIGTE Workshop Progress Report 2/21/05

As you browse this hyper document, please feel free to provide suggestions to the six Topic Leaders. General suggestions on topics that should have been included (and, certainly should be included in a future workshop or document) should be sent to Dave Moursund,

Topic 1. ICT integrated into non-ICT courses. Leader: Louanne Smolin,

Topic 2. “Traditional" ICT in Education courses. Leader: Tweed W. Ross,, Kansas State University.

Topic 3: Assessment of entering preservice teachers. Leader: Rachel Vannatta,, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Topic 4: Online, hybrid, and computer-assisted learning. Leader: Donna Russell,, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Topic 5: Teacher Education outside the US. Sandy Turner,, University of Ohio, currently in second year of a Fulbright.

Topic 6: The future of ICT in preservice education. Leader: David Moursund,, University of Oregon.

[Topic 1.] ICT integrated into non-ICT courses both in and outside the College of Education.

In a typical four or five year teacher education program, student takes approximately 3/4 of their coursework outside their School, College, or Department of Education (SCDE). These non-SCDE courses vary tremendously in the nature and extent of their ICT content, their use of ICT in teaching and assessment, and their use of ICT to facilitate interaction among students and with the course instructor(s). They can provide an important component of the ICT preparation of preservice teachers. (…more) (Top of Report)

[Topic 2.] “Traditional" ICT in Education courses.

Historically, such courses have been the backbone of a preservice teacher’s ICT preparation. While this is slowly changing, for most students the ICT in Education required course or courses is the main coherent and carefully structured component of their ICT preparation. Nationwide, there is tremendous variation in the content, length, and rigor of these courses. (…more) (Top of Report)

[Topic 3.] Assessment of ICT knowledge and skills for entering preservice teachers.

The ISTE NETS for Students have existed since June 1998, and they have been widely adopted throughout the country. Nowadays, the typical student entering a preservice teacher education program owns a computer and has been “exposed” to computer usage for many years. The student may have received a great deal of well organized ICT instruction.(…more) (Top of Report)

[Topic 4.] Online, hybrid, and computer-assisted learning courses using asynchronous distance learning.

The terminology “hybrid course” has come to mean a course that makes use of some combination of traditional class meetings and asynchronous distance learning. We are living at a time of a steady increase in the availability of and use of online and hybrid courses. Moreover, the dividing line between “traditional” computer-assisted learning (CAL) and asynchronous distance learning has now blurred to being essentially non-existent. (…more) (Top of Report)

[Topic 5.] Teacher Education outside the US.

It is common to talk about how our world becoming a “global village” and the roles that ICT play in this ongoing worldwide change. Every country in the world is faced by the task of developing, staffing, and maintaining an educational system that meets its needs. Every country in the world is confronted by the changes and challenges that ICT is bringing to the world and to education. Perhaps these problems are most challenging in the countries with relatively low per capita income. (…more) (Top of Report)

[Topic 6.] Stretching the envelope, and the future of ICT in preservice education.

It is easy to claim that the future impact of ICT in education will be as large as the impact of the development of reading and writing some 5,000 years ago. What we do know is that so far ICT has had only a modest impact on precollege education and teacher education. Our educational system is highly resistant to change, and is struggling to deal with the pace of change in science and technology. It may well be that there will be more change in science and technology in the next 20 to 30 years than there has been in the previous 500 years. What can our teacher education programs be doing now to help prepare teachers and their students for such vast and fast-pasted change? (…more) (Top of Report)

[More on Topic 1.] For example, an English Composition course might be taught by an instructor who routinely uses a computer projection system to display written material and to do “live” editing of the material. This same instructor might require that all materials to be turned in be word-processed and turned in as email attachments. Math and science courses might require use of graphing calculators and allow use of such calculators on tests. Social studies courses might require extensive use of the Web, with a special emphasis on students making use of primary resources.

Typically, preservice teachers take a wide variety of courses from the SCDE. Most (perhaps all) of these are non-ICT courses, such as Assessment, Capstone or Terminal Project, Educational Foundations, and Field Placements and Student Teaching. Each course provides a variety of opportunities for contributing to a student’s growth in ICT in Education. These can be divided into three major categories:

  1. The instructor role modeling effective use of ICT in various aspects of instruction, assessment, interacting with students. This might include requiring that some or all assignments be turned in electronically, with feedback and grades being provided electronically.
  2. Students are required to make use of ICT in doing reading and homework assignments, and in interacting with their fellow students.
  3. The course content includes appropriate content on the capabilities and limitations of computers as an aid to addressing the types of problems and tasks being covered in the course.

Leaders in the field of ICT in precollege education stress the need for teachers to routinely integrate ICT into the content, instruction, assessment, and other aspects of their day-to-day teaching. This requires a relatively high level of ICT knowledge, skills, and comfort level on the part of a teacher. Routine integration of ICT into the non-ICT courses in a preservice teachers program of study is a good way to help prepare this person to be able to routinely integrate ICT into his or her teaching.

In many SCDE preservice teacher education programs, the methods courses provide an important component of the ICT program. There, students learn about ICT resources that is specifically relevant to teaching and learning within a particular discipline area they are planning to teach. As an example, consider the generally accepted idea of reading and writing across the curriculum. In this approach to education, each teacher in a specific discipline area is responsible for improving his or her students’ reading and writing skills within that area. Students learn reading and writing math in their math instruction, and reading and writing science in their science courses. This should include learning to find and read relevant discipline-specific hypermedia documents from the Web, and to write using the vocabulary and notation of the discipline using a word processor.

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[More on Topic 2.] The typical “traditional” ICT in Education course contains a combination of, training, applications, and general theory. Nowadays, essentially every preservice teacher entering an initial ICT in Education course has had experience in using a word processor, Web browser, and email. But, the breadth, depth, experience, and understanding of ICT in general and these particular topics varies.

For example, what does it mean when a student says, “I know how to use a word processor.”? Does that mean that the student knows how to use more than one brand of word processor, and more than one computer platform? Does it mean that the student knows how to make effective use of a spelling checker, an outliner, and a grammar checker? Does it mean that the student knows a variety of general guidelines specifying designs for effective communication? Does it mean that the student knows how to create and use a template (a style sheet) for consistency in design throughout a document and in multiple documents?

Does it mean that the student knows the rudiments of desktop publication? Does the student know how to include graphics (pictures, graphs) in a word-processed document? Does the student know how to create tables?

Does it mean that the student knows how to create and maintain folders of word-processed and other documents, knows how and when to make backup copies, and knows where and how to find documents that have been saved?

What does the student know about writing in a word processing environment, and the roles of a word processor as an aid to doing process writing?

The list of questions can be extended. Moreover, we can create similar lists for a wide range of different pieces of software that a teacher is apt to encounter during student teaching and on the job. Instead of focusing on such details, think for a minute about what we want this preservice teacher to be able to do on the job.

ISTE provides a quick way of saying what we want. We expect the newly certified teacher to meet the ISTE NETS for Teachers. This includes meeting the 12th grade ISTE NETS for students, and having a lot of knowledge and skills about using ICT in curriculum, instruction, assessment, personal lifelong learning, and other aspects of being a good teacher. We expect the newly certified teacher to be comfortable in working with students who routinely use computers. We expect the newly certified teacher to be able to work with a set of networked computers (perhaps a pod of five computers) in his or her classroom, and to work with a whole class of students in a computer lab. Moreover, the students will have varying levels of access to a wide range of ICT at home and in other parts of the community such as in a library.

“Hmm,” you might say. “Sounds like an impossible task. Most of the preservice teachers I encounter do not yet meet the ISTE 8th grade NETS for students.” Certainly that is what I think. Twenty years ago a single three or four credit ICT in Education course might have provided a preservice or inservice teacher with a reasonable level of preparation, relative to the demands in the teaching profession. Today, there is no chance that this amount of coursework can be adequate.

This means that the course designers and faculty must pick and chose their curriculum content very carefully. It is fun to talk with a group of ICT teachers of teachers, and ask what they consider the most important topics to include in a first course. When I do this, I look for an emphasis on roles of ICT in representing and solving the problems that students learn about during their precollege education. In my mind, the most important thing about ICT is that it provides us with powerful aids to representing and solving problems (and completing tasks), and that the breadth, depth, and versatility of these aids are growing rapidly. For me, problem posing, problem representation, and problem solving in an ICT environment lie at the very foundation of ICT in Education.

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[More on Topic 3.] It is common for faculty in a beginning ICT in Education course to have students do a self-assessment of their ICT knowledge and skills. Research indicates that these self-assessments are not very accurate, mainly because the students know so little about ICT and its capabilities as an aid top representing and solving problems throughout all curricula areas. Indeed, the self-assessment scores of students frequently decrease as a result of taking their first ICT in Education course.

It is still quite uncommon to have preservice teachers be assessed in a hands-on environment that is designed to gain information about their actual ICT knowledge and skills. It is interesting to note that some of this type of assessment is being done in a variety of states and school districts as part of requirements for graduation from Middle School or High School.

There are several reasons for gathering hands-on and quantitative data about entering preservice teachers’ ICT knowledge and skills. For example:

  1. To provide baseline data so we can measure their ICT knowledge and skill gains achieved in their teacher education program of study.
  2. To provide some data on how well precollege programs of study are doing in the ICT preparation of their high school graduates who go on to college and are considering going into teacher education.
  3. To identify the students who need remediation, and the specific areas in which they need remedial help, before they get in over their heads in coursework that assumes some level of ICT prerequisite knowledge and skills.
  4. To allow the traditional ICT in Education course to move at a faster pace than it can when it must accommodate rank beginners.

My guess is that (on average) the typical recent high school graduates who are entering a preservice teacher education program does not meet the 8th grade ISTE NETS for Students. Older students returning to school vary wildly in their ICT knowledge and skills, with some being quite proficient because of years of using computers on the job.

Some people argue that a hands-on assessment of entering preservice teachers is costs too much relative to the benefits that it brings. They point out the difficulty in assessing students who have learned their ICT in varying environments, such as on differing computer platforms, differing operating systems, and differing applications software. They also point out that if the SCDE cannot afford to offer appropriate aids to remediation, then the value of the assessment is considerably decreased.

There is a compromise assessment that lies between self-assessment and hands-on assessment. It is a hands-on assessment accompanied by a very carefully done and detailed rubric, so that students can self-assess their hands-on performance. Such an assessment would have an added benefit of helping students learn more about self-assessment and rubrics—both of which are quite important aspects of education.

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[More on Topic 4.] Students vary considerably in terms of how fast they learn academic materials, how well they learn, and the nature of the help they need to learn. On one end of the scale we have Learning Disabled students who may learn half as fast as average students and who benefit considerably from small classes and individual tutoring. Highly interactive computer-assisted learning materials may be of particular help to these students.

On the other end of the scale we have Talented and Gifted students who may learn twice as fast as average students, achieve at a very high level, and who can learn with minimal help of the sort provided in a traditional classroom setting.

There are many reasons why online, hybrid, and CAL courses and units of study, hybrid courses and units of study are likely to become a steadily increasing component of our educational system. These vary from the idea of providing better and more varied learning experiences to their potential cost effectiveness. Thus, many people feel that preservice teachers should learn a significant amount about such approaches to teaching and learning.

Some preservice teacher programs make available a variety of online, hybrid, and CAL resources and learning opportunities to their students. Indeed, some require that students do part of their required coursework in such environments. They feel this is an effective way for students to learn capabilities and limitations of these approaches to teaching and learning.

In addition, there is a growing understanding of roles of ICT in “just in time” learning and in exploiting the occurrence of “teachable moments.” For example, suppose that I am writing using a word processor. I write a sentence and I am not satisfied with one of the words I have used. I can quickly access a thesaurus and learn about some alternative words. The spelling checker may find some possible errors in my spelling and keyboarding. I can immediately deal with these difficulties, and perhaps learn the correct spelling of a word. The grammar checker provides me with its thoughts on possible errors in grammar. I can immediately deal with these suggestions and perhaps remediate a weakness in my knowledge of grammar.

When I am reading and doing research on the Web, I frequently encounter teachable moments. These are times when I feel the urge to follow up on an idea that I have just encountered. The Web and I work together to find information that will help my learning.

The two previous paragraphs provide a hint of the idea of moving education in a direction where the learner assumes an increasing responsibility for his or her own learning. The learner can be aided by a wide range of online resources. This is an important aspect of the educational goals of learning to learn, and gaining steadily increasing self-reliance in being an independent life-long learner.

In my opinion, all preservice teachers should be learning how to learn in an online environment, how to make effective instructional use of asynchronous distance learning, and how to learn and teach in a computer-assisted learning environment. There are lots of ways to do this. One way would be to include such modes of instruction as small components of various Methods and other required courses. In any one such course, a student might have a half-dozen short reading assignments that consisted of making use of a small amount of asynchronous distance learning materials that are on the Web.

Finally, it is appropriate to note that there are a large and steadily growing collection of online courses and units of study designed for use in teacher staff development. The profession of teaching both requires and expects that its members will learn on the job. Online learning provides an important resource in this endeavor.

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[More on Topic 5.] The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and its conference, the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) both have an involvement in and influence on global education. Many ISTE members live and work outside the US, and many people from outside the US attend NECC. It is clear that the countries throughout the world can learn from each other as they work to develop, implement, and maintain appropriate educational systems and teacher education systems to meet their changing needs.

Along with “global village” comes the very important idea of local cultures and diversity. Diversity is an increasingly important aspect of teacher education in the US. The idea of precollege students having pen pals from throughout the world could be beneficially extended to preservice teachers having preservice and inservice teacher pen pals from throughout the world.

An examination of the published literature reveals interesting and varied contributions to the field of ICT in education coming from many different countries. As an example, suppose that you happen to be interested in the field of computer games and their roles in education. You will find interesting research coming from England.

Or, suppose you are interested in distance learning. The Open University in the UK was developed during the late 1960s and now has undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the world studying in many different disciplines. Because of this long and successful history, the Open University is also able to offer a solid distance learning-based graduate program of studies in distance learning.

The United Nations, through UNESCO, has developed and made available a variety of ICT in Education resources that are being shared throughout the world.

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[More on Topic 6.] There is an old adage: “When you are up to you neck in alligators, that is not the time to think about draining the swamp.” Of course, there are many variations and interpretations of this situation. Many people reframe the situation into one that inspires careful analysis, planning, and work so that the alligator problem does not reoccur or will be less serious the next time it occurs.

I have long been interested in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is an important component of the field of computer and information science. AI is a good example of an alligator problem in education. As computers gradually become “smarter,” they can do more of the things that we currently teach students to do (by hand and/or using very simple technology such as pencil and paper) in school.

Over the past 50 years, AI has had its ups and downs, but has made significant progress. For example, we now have relatively good computers voice input systems. Many adults routinely use such systems, and futurists see such systems supplanting and eventually largely replacing keyboards.

Hmm. I wonder what the research shows about effective uses of voice input as an aid to helping students learn to read and write? And, I wonder what our preservice teachers are learning about the theory and practice in this area. A quick Google search suggests that voice output from computers is now widely used in education, but suggests that voice input has not yet become a significant factor to help young children learn to read and write.

My doctorate is in mathematics, and I have long been interested in math education. It is interesting to compare the contents of our precollege math education curriculum with the capabilities of calculators and computers. When we look at this curriculum, we see that it has a considerable emphasis on performing computations, drawing graphs, solving equations, manipulating algebraic expressions, and other somewhat mechanical, procedural types of operations. We now have handheld calculators that can carry out all of these procedures. This AI-related progress has had a little impact on our math education system—but “little” is a good description of the changes that it has facilitated.

You have likely seen movies that make extensive use of computer animation. You know that digital still cameras, digital video, and computer animation are powerful change agents—changing large commercial markets, changing the film industry, changing the occupation of graphic arts, and so on. These changes in the field of computer graphics have led to significant changes in some secondary school courses—or example, Computer-Assisted Design and Computer-Assisted Manufacturing replacing Mechanical drawing courses. But, I was terribly disappointed when I looked into the Art Methods course that preservice elementary school teachers take at my university. And, similar statements hold for the field of Music and music education.

To conclude this section, consider the impact that ICT is having on science and technology. Then ask yourself, what are our preservice teachers learning about changes in the various disciplines of science, and the various applications of technology, that are heavily dependent on ICT? As an example, over the past 25 years computer modeling and computer simulations have become routine tools in science. What are our preservice teachers learning about computer modeling and simulation? Are they adequately prepared to being these new science ideas and tools into the curriculum they are preparing to teach?

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