We can’t teach what we don’t know

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Last week a diverse collaborative of national organizations released a set of Teacher Educator Technology Competencies that are intended to outline what teacher educators – namely, postsecondary instructors who prepare future teachers – should be doing to effectively integrate learning technologies into their instruction and academic programs. The overall list looks like this:

Teacher Educator Technology Competencies

and an expanded item looks like this:

Teacher Educator Technology Competencies- Item 8

Of course these competencies should apply to other educator preparation programs too, including the educational leadership program in which I teach. Right now most programs that prepare school principals and superintendents aren’t doing a very good job with technology-related issues, which means that the vast majority of the 600 or so educational leadership programs across the country continue to turn out new school administrators with little exposure to the social, learning, and other technologies that are revolutionizing the world around us.

To take this one step further, I wonder how many academic programs here at CU Denver – or at most universities – would say that they are doing a good job with these sorts of instructor- and program-level technology competencies? Do we instructors have the personal technological fluency and instructional integration expertise to utilize learning technologies well in our own classrooms with our own students? Shouldn’t all postsecondary faculty – not just teachers of future teachers – be using technology to differentiate instruction to meet diverse learning needs? Shouldn’t we all be using appropriate technology tools for assessment? Shouldn’t we all be engaging in ongoing professional development and networking activities to improve the integration of technology into our teaching? And so on…

We can’t teach what we don’t know.

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Scott.McLeod
By Scott.McLeod