Integrating Digital Media into Teacher Preparation: Cal TAC Summit Report
Participants at the June 18 summit discussed
how to integrate digital media into teacher preparation.
A new summary report has been released detailing the proceedings of a June 2012 summit
on integrating digital media into teacher preparation in California.
The summit, convened by the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC), brought together
science and math teachers, university faculty, philanthropists, and technical experts to
develop a strategy for steering digital media and education in the right direction and
explore various pilot programs already underway in the state.
"Today's students can be considered digital natives," said Cal TAC Chair Brian Shay,
a Secondary Mathematics Teacherat Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego. "All of us are digital
immigrants who don't speak technology as well as our students."
The summit was organized into two parts. In the first set of sessions, technology standards
in current teacher preparation standards were reviewed as well as practice in the classroom.
"[Digital media] tools are terrific, but only if teachers know how to work with them," said
presenter Kami Thordarson in one of the early sessions, who described her experiences as a sixth grade teacher in the Los Altos
School District. The district's approach of blending online educational content with other
quality tools, good instructional practices, and constant opportunities for classroom
interactions can have a significant effect on classrooms, noted Thordarson.
The second part of the summit focused on what changes are necessary for moving the vision
forward, identifying barriers to integrating technology and what champions for change might be
necessary for effective integration of the technology via a systems approach.
Among the most significant barriers identified by summit participants were lack of time for training,
knowledge of the technology among program faculty, and a disconnect between 21st century
teaching models and the more traditional 20th century school environment found in many California schools.
The summary report, which includes an overview of all the panel discussions, is the latest
in an ongoing series of digital education papers produced by Cal TAC and CCST.
"The digital age is coming of age," said CCST Executive Director Susan Hackwood. "The group
assembled for this summit has the ability to apply thoughtfulness and reason to a complex
and urgent topic."