Preparing teachers to bring technology into their classrooms
University launches library with educational online tools
There was a time when all the technology needed in a classroom was a blackboard, chalk and students wielding pencil and paper. Today’s instructors are challenged with successfully connecting with and preparing students for the high-tech working world by adapting and utilizing new technologies in the classroom.
To help current and future teachers familiarize themselves with the technology today’s students use every day, University of Phoenix recently introduced a technology library to its College of Education. The Technology Resource Library enables students and faculty to practice using cutting-edge audio, video and communication devices and software to create interactive lesson plans.
In the below interview with Kathy Cook, director of curriculum for the College of Education’s advanced programs, you'll get an in-depth look at what went into making the library a valuable part of the University’s teaching degrees.
How did the idea for the COE Technology Resource Library come about?
The concept of the College of Education Technology Resource Library grew out of the need to address three main ideas:
- Students want to learn how they can utilize technology tools and resources for completing assignments, and to enhance their learning experience.
- Our teacher candidates need to be prepared with knowledge and experience about new technologies so they can effectively utilize technology for instruction in their own classrooms.
- A resource library for adapting and utilizing technology is beneficial to educators and to many students in a variety of degree programs.
What do you hope the Technology Resource Library will accomplish?
It will serve as a resource for our students and faculty to learn about current education technology tools and resources. Faculty can use the resources to provide assignment options for students, allowing students to demonstrate their understanding about course concepts. Students can use the information to incorporate the technology tools when completing assignments.
The ultimate goal is to help faculty and students become comfortable with integrating technology in their future classrooms and jobs.
How is the Technology Resource Library organized?
Resources are provided in three main areas: instructional equipment, tutorials, and interactive education web tools. The first section exposes our students to interactive whiteboards, document cameras, video cameras, LCD projectors, and audience response systems. There is also a sample lesson plan for each piece of equipment to illustrate how it can be used for instruction.
The tutorial section features short videos that explain technology concepts, such as podcasts, blogs, wikis, and other tools. We will be adding additional videos in the future.
The third section will introduce a variety of educational Web 2.0 tools. The interactive education tools are organized by groups (e.g., communication tools, collaboration tools, assessment tools, reading/writing, math, social studies, science, etc.) so that users can quickly identify sites that will best fit their needs.
What role do you see technology and social media playing in the classroom?
I see them playing a large role in the classroom. Digital technologies are a big part of our lives and will continue to be. We must prepare students with the necessary skills to be successful in future job markets. Technology and social media are vital to teaching and practicing these important skills. It can also assist with making learning an anytime anywhere activity that is seamlessly integrated into the lives of our students and faculty.
Learn about other technology resources at University of Phoenix, speak to an enrollment advisor or feel free to ask our community a question on Twitter or Facebook.
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