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Learning in the 21st Century: Digital Experiences and Expectations of Tomorrow’s Teachers

Tomorrow's Teachers coverProject Tomorrow®, the national education nonprofit organization that annually facilitates the Speak Up National Research Project, conducted a special Speak Up survey in Spring 2012 for college students in teacher preparation programs.

Since 2007, Project Tomorrow has collaborated with Blackboard Inc. to create a series of annual reports that focus on key trends in the use of technology to increase student achievement, teacher productivity and parental engagement. This new report, “Learning in the 21st Century: Digital Experiences and Expectations of Tomorrow’s Teachers,” is the latest in the series and provides new insights that will inform college and university based teacher preparation programs as well as the induction and professional development processes within K-12 schools and districts. Tomorrow’s teachers may have the keys to finally unlock the potential of technology to transform teaching and learning, but much depends upon their experiences in their preparation program and how well future school leadership can support their expectations for essential technology tools and resources.

Report Highlights:

  • Aspiring teachers are tapping into emerging technologies such as social media and mobile devices to self-prepare themselves for their future teaching assignments. For example, tomorrow’s teachers are leveraging social networking sites and discussion boards as informal professional development sources to complement their formal coursework.
  • In spite of their comfort with using technology tools, the aspiring teachers say that their field experiences as student teachers and observing their professors are the best way for them to learn about how to integrate technology within instruction.
  • School principals have high expectations for the pre-service technology experiences of their future teachers. The specific technology tools and techniques that the aspiring teachers are learning to use in their methods courses however do not match the expectations of those school principals.
  • Aspiring teachers place a high value on the role of technology to both impact student academic success and their own effectiveness as a teacher.
  • Thinking about their future teaching assignment, aspiring teachers consider access to technology tools and resources to support instructional plans as one of the top five factors that will determine their future success as a teacher.

Click here to request a copy of the report from Blackboard's website.

Featured Article: “Aspiring teachers ill-prepared to use ed tech effectively” , eSchool News

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