South, J. (2017). Commentary: Response to “Preliminary recommendations regarding preparation of teachers and school leaders to use learning technologies.” Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(1).

Commentary: Response to Preliminary Recommendations Regarding Preparation of Teachers and School Leaders to Use Learning Technologies

by Joseph South

I am pleased with its overall tone of the document and the accompanying preliminary recommendations that are presented. The document is thoughtful and thorough. In my view, it illuminates many of the most pressing issues related to educational technology in teacher preparation programs.  I appreciate the way in which it preserved the authentic voices of participants throughout.

Reference to externally created and validated educational technology standards is one area in which additional emphasis could be placed. This would be helpful as a reference point for schools of education.  The preamble to the numbered recommendations in the current document mentions that they are being updated. The next revision of the document might explicitly state that schools of education should reference these standards and take them into consideration when the teacher preparation curriculum is developed. This is important because it provides a consistent measuring stick that comes from constituents whose first loyalties are to the practitioners who must function in the classroom.

Some excellent work with respect to standards for effective integration of technology in teaching and learning has occurred and is continuing at the present time. Many faculty may not be sure where to begin or what really matters. Technology standards can be both a beacon and a rallying point for change and needed realignment in emphasis and priority.  No standard is perfect, but the serious study and consideration of the standards that have been developed should be undertaken by schools of education when they evaluate the degree to which their curriculum accomplishes its intended goals.

Author Note

Joseph South is an educational researcher, technology consultant, and former director of the U.S. Office of Educational Technology. He provided oversight for development of the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan and the related Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation Policy Brief.