Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Preparing the 21st Century Teacher

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Preparing the 21st Century Teacher

Article excerpt

Teacher education, especially in the use of technology, is an ongoing endeavor. Preparing teachers for the 21st century, with the onrush of new technologies and the flood of multimedia products, requires a restructuring of content, rethinking of existing methodology and another look at existing assessment tools. Radical changes in school environments have made available a variety of alternative educational opportunities.

The Internet and interactive computer-based multimedia capabilities are transforming the educational institution and the way teachers teach and students learn. A number of observations can be noted. These include:

* A greater number of educators use technology; teachers are more comfortable with the technology itself; and support from administrators, the community and the public has increased.

* Training of new teachers in the use of technology is still not widespread. A larger number of universities have moved to broaden educational training to include technology. However, the cross training of the teachers by the faculty from other schools with education students (i.e., engineering) is not widespread.

* Support in the form of grants from the federal government, vendors, non-profit organizations, etc. has increased. For example, Alan Weiss, President and CEO of Advanced Network and Services, which sponsors the very successful ThinkQuest competition, plans to offer "prizes to students and teachers for innovative use of networking in a multi-year program to help future educators and students currently pursuing an education track in colleges and universities to develop skills and know-how required to introduce technologies into their classrooms in a meaningful way."

* The World Wide Web is playing a consistent and pervasive role in education. Proper use of networks is contributing to the professional development of teachers as well as student learning.

* Most technology training for educators focuses on using technology in a traditional classroom or laboratory setting; however, the increasing availability of Internet access makes online courses an option. Many educators say they use the Internet as a teaching tool, although they received no formal training.

* Students are taking a more active role in their learning. Technology is motivating as teachers become more comfortable with its utilization. …

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