What is the main purpose of a teacher preparation program? Um duh (my 4 yr old’s new favorite saying is appropriate here)! “Prepare teachers,” was your answer wasn’t it? So what are they preparing teachers for? Teaching curriculum and standards? Learning about metacognition? How about 21st century learning (whatever the crap that actually is)? What? Anyone? How about all of these – that includes how to use technology to support what is being taught in the classroom.
Monday a student teacher joined my coworker in his classroom. She is from the same undergrad I attended, Samford University. She and I were walking to the front office together and I asked her if she still had to do a senior eportfolio (you know me, I go straight for geek questions – not what soroity are you in – and typical Samford question). After she replied yes, I asked what format were they using, hoping it still wasn’t DreamWeaver. Her answer literally stopped me in my tracks. I was pretty much frozen. She said “We are using Word. Its terrible, my tables don’t line up.” Yes Word, saved as webpages. Um, hello? This is a step BACKWARDS from DreamWeaver I used 7 years ago. Both are not good tools for use in a classroom, so why is she spending hours upon hours working on it? Really, how much easier could this be?! The student teacher actually said to me she wished they would teach her to use wikis and blogs instead because she has a feeling she will use it in the classroom. You think?!
Colleges are doing a disservice. She has to take these two technology classes. That’s all. Why can’t the person teaching this class not teach them something beyond websites and webquest (there is a tech pg on her eportfolio and webquest was what was on it)? It is time to update the curriculum.
We hear so many times that its the “older” teachers who are not ready for tech integration. What about the new ones who are coming out of colleges who are not sure how to use technology in the classroom. College grads today are more “tech savvy” but do they know how to take that and use it in a classroom? Wouldn’t it be so much easier on the school systems not to have to retrain these teachers?
I have no stats on this or no research, and maybe this is just a problem in the Birmingham area. Just really got my blood moving and me thinking. Its just two courses, the failure to teach them correctly can negatively effect these student’s careers. I know @mandybfox has done research on this and I cannot her results.
I just wanted to share my thoughts on this.
Sorry Samford, I’m a bulldog forever, but you dropped the ball on this one!