Slykhuis, D. (2017). Commentary: Response of SITE to an interview with Joseph South regarding the preparation of educators to evaluate the efficacy of educational technology. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(1).

Commentary: Response of SITE to “An Interview With Joseph South” Regarding the Preparation of Educators to Evaluate the Efficacy of Educational Technology

by David Slykhuis, President, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education

Joseph South’s remarks should serve as a call to action for all members of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)—as the faculty members who are interested in teacher education and technology—as well as to our peer associations. We realize technology, pedagogy, and content need to fit together to make for the most effective instruction. How are we communicating this message to our students? Is it in a single lesson in a 3-hour technology course about technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK)? That is not going to help future teachers understand how to apply TPACK to make effective choices for the use and purchase of educational technology. Our preservice teachers need as many opportunities as possible to practice selecting appropriate pedagogy to convey content and the technology to support and augment these choices. This practice should be embedded in courses and field experiences throughout their time in an education program.

As researchers in the field of educational technology we are writing our research to be accepted into journals and conferences that are reviewed by our peers. Classroom teachers and preservice teachers do not have the time to read and consume this research. Joseph South, however, is making a case for preservice and in-service teachers to be consumers of this exact type of information. This lays out a challenge for all SITE members, what can we do to help our research make an impact on those in the field? Do we need to be writing shorter executive summaries to accompany the full research articles that are disseminated more widely to preservice and in-service teachers? Are we ensuring our preservice teachers would understand the statistical analyses to determine the effectiveness of the intervention? We need to go beyond talking to ourselves and put our results into the hands of those using educational technology in the field.