Now the on the Web: Elementary Technology Education for Teachers

By Flowers, Jim; Kirkwood, James | Technology and Children, March 2002 | Go to article overview

Now the on the Web: Elementary Technology Education for Teachers


Flowers, Jim, Kirkwood, James, Technology and Children


If you're looking for new teaching methods and activities, try taking a course in technology education for the elementary grades. Currently there are 17 universities that offer an elementary technology education course, according to Dr. Charles Linnell, Clemson University Associate Professor and TECC President. For teachers who can't travel to a

university and can't afford to take time off work to take a graduate class, classes are in some cases available online.

Ball State University offers a Master of Arts in Technology Education degree over the Internet. One of the online elective courses in this master's for elementary technology teachers is ITEDU 564: Practicum in Technology Education for the Elementary Grades. This course will be piloted online May 13-July 19, 2002.

This class, as described in the university catalog, is a study and field practice of the philosophy, psychology, and objectives of integrating technology education in the elementary and special education classes. Students develop and integrate technology-based curricula in the classroom. Strategies related to classroom organization, physical planning, and tool and material acquisition are discussed and implemented. Students will have 10 to 20 contact hours with children. Being a practicum, this class is even better online than on campus, because the teachers who take this class can interact with their own students and apply what they've learned in their own classrooms. Yes, this is a hands-- on online class.

A recent study investigated what teachers know about elementary school technology education. They were asked to identify the three things that they considered to be the best and most effective ways to get more teachers/schools to implement ESTE (Elementary School Technology Education). The most frequent responses indicated a need for preservice and in-service instruction, along with a need for curriculum materials. The teachers suggested that they needed positive, active support in implementing technology activities. This is at the heart of this online practicum course.

Online learning is not for everyone. But compared to teaching an elementary class of 28 students, it is a piece of cake! In general, students who have some familiarity with computers and the Internet, and those who would like to interact over the Internet, may find an online class more enjoyable. …

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