A Sobering Survey

By Fletcher, Geoffrey H. | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), June-July 2010 | Go to article overview

A Sobering Survey


Fletcher, Geoffrey H., T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


IN THE LATE 1980s Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and I worked together at the Texas Education Agency. I remember sitting in a meeting with Don in support of his proposal that all Texas preservice teachers should have certain basic technology knowledge and skills when they left an educator preparedness program. This experience was one of the points of origin for what would become the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS).

Flash forward two decades and we have some new data on how colleges of education are using technology, courtesy of a recent Project Tomorrow (tomorrow.org) survey of preservice teachers' views on technology use. The results are fascinating and frightening, and made me wonder where colleges of education have been for the past 20 years.

One survey question asked: "What is the best way for you to learn about effective strategies for integrating technology into instruction?" Respondents were given 19 choices and instructed to check all that applied. The most common answer was "during my field experiences or student teaching," followed by "during classroom observations" and "by observing my professors."

This seems to reinforce the classic belief that teachers teach as they have been taught. So does the response to the question, "When you think about teaching in your future classroom, what types of technology would you like to use to enhance student achievement?" Three of the top four responses were "digital media tools such as video and audio," "interactive whiteboards," and "computer projection devices. …

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