Open Menu Close Menu

Digital Equity

ED, ISTE Initiative to Help Educator Preparation Programs Build Teachers' Digital Skills

A new initiative from the International Society for Technology in Education and the U.S. Department of Education aims to help educator preparation programs update their curriculum and methods to ensure new teachers enter the workforce with the digital learning skills needed to lead equitable learning in modern tech-enabled classrooms.

The EPPs for Digital Equity and Transformation Pledge is a first step for teacher-candidate programs that commit to instilling "technology for transformative learning" throughout their educator training; organizations that sign on are invited to the new EPPs in the Digital Equity and Transformation Network, ISTE said, where they can "collaborate to build on the capacity of their faculty, update their curriculum to accelerate digital learning, and ensure candidates have the experience to utilize technology effectively for teaching and learning," ISTE's announcement said.

More than a dozen EPPs have already signed the pledge and more are expected to join soon, ISTE said.

EPPs within the Digital Equity and Transformation Network will have access to facilitated discussions addressing strategies, challenges, and opportunities for educator training programs in the digital learning space, ISTE said. After signing the pledge, EPPs are encouraged to conduct a "self-analysis" of their training programs and set change priorities based on the principles of the initiative.

Educator preparation programs that commit to the Digital Equity and Transformation Pledge are promising to:

  • Prepare teachers to thrive in digital learning environments;
  • Prepare teachers to use technology to pursue ongoing professional learning;
  • Prepare teachers to leverage established frameworks to accelerate digital learning;
  • Continuously improve expertise among faculty in modeling technology for learning; and
  • Collaborate with K-12 district leaders to identify digital teaching competencies.

ISTE and ED officials said the initiative is the result of a collaborative effort that included the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

The goal is to "support teacher prep programs in deepening the expertise of pre-service teacher candidates when it comes to the use of technology to increase equity and impact of learning," according to ISTE and ED officials.

"Knowing how to use technology to support student learning is an essential skill for teachers to thrive in a post-COVID world," said ISTE CEO Richard Culatta. "As a country, we have made an unprecedented investment in technology in education — but true transformation and innovation doesn't come from putting devices in schools, it comes from preparing teachers to use technology in innovative and engaging ways. We are calling on leaders of EPPs to commit to this shared vision of transforming how our students learn."

EPPs having already signed the pledge at the launch of the initiative, ISTE said, include: American InterContinental University, Arkansas Tech University, Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, California State University Dominguez Hills, Eastern Michigan University, Fairfield University, Georgia State University College of Education & Human Development, Johns Hopkins School of Education, Kennesaw State University School of Instructional Technology and Innovation, Mount St. Joseph University, New Paltz State University of New York, Nicholls State University, Northern Michigan University, St. Francis College, St. John's University The School of Education, University of Central Arkansas College of Education, University of Charleston, University of Maryland Global Campus, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Wyoming College of Education School of Teacher Education, USC Rossier School of Education, and Utah Valley University School of Education.

For more information, visit the ISTE site.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

comments powered by Disqus