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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

COE Using Latest Technology to Prepare Teachers

Dr. Idara Essien-Wood looks over a student discussion
Technology is being used everywhere.

That is why it’s not surprising that the College of Education is using it to prepare tomorrow’s teachers.

Dr. Idara Essien-Wood, a lecturer with COE, used the Teaching with Technology Classroom to conduct her course CFD 370, a research methods course for the Department of Child and Family Development.

COE’s Instructional Designer Andrea Saltzman Martin recently did a training for faculty and staff in the Teaching with Technology Lab on how to use the Promethean Board, an interactive whiteboard that can allow instructors to do direct instruction while pushing out questions and learning activities to students via laptops and mobile devices. The training was recorded and will be made available for instructors in the credential programs to watch and get some hands-on experience with the Promethean Board and software.

And Dr. Donna Ross, a faculty with the School of Teacher Education, also conducted a workshop on how to use Google Classroom, a free web service which makes it easy for learners and instructors to connect.

“Schools are increasingly using technology to foster learning and development in students. This is evident in all levels of education,” said Essien-Wood. “As a result it is absolutely imperative that we prepare the next generation of educators to be proficient in understanding the technologies in the field and to know how to leverage those technologies to support the learning development success of their students.”

In her course, Essien-Wood had her students do simulated teaching videos, where the students had a topic from the course and had to teach it using the Explain Everything app on the Chromebooks and Ipads. The Explain Everything app is a widely used app in local San Diego public schools.

“The simulation videos are there to support and help retain information,” Essien-Wood said, adding that she has always felt it is easier to learn something by doing it.

In addition to the Promethean Board, COE’s Teaching with Technology Lab also has 30 Chromebooks and 30 iPads that allow instructors to create a dynamic learning environment. This technology is used in many K-12 classrooms in local school districts.

“We invested in a Promethean Board for our Teaching with Technology Lab in order to provide hands-on learning experiences for our student teachers in our credential programs,” said Saltzman Martin.

The technology is primarily being used in COE’s School of Teacher Education and the departments of Dual Language and English Learner Education, and Special Education.

“Our intent is for our students go to their student teaching placements already having had the chance to use the Promethean Board and related software to build interactive lessons and activities,” Saltzman Martin said.

Drew Munsell participated in one of the trainings at the Teaching with Technology Lab and found the using Chromebook and its apps useful.

“The staff were helpful and enthusiastic, and despite working with materials that were new to me, I felt supported in the knowledge given to me,” said Munsell, a senior pursuing a psychology major with a minor in child and family development. “In an ever increasing technologically cognizant youth population, keeping class materials and strategies relevant to students facilitates higher learning outcomes.”

Ross said many student teachers have reported seeing Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education at their school sites. That is why she has held several classes in the Teaching with Technology Lab this semester for students in the Math and Science Secondary Credential Cohort to gain experience with technology tools they may encounter at their school sites. 

“The students report feeling much more prepared and more confident to approach the technology at their schools,” Ross said.