Technology projects are intentionally woven throughout the education curriculum, a strategy that allows teacher candidates to use instructional and informational technologies within a meaningful context. The unit faculty believe that candidates will incorporate technology in more authentic and meaningful ways if they are expected to use technology in their own teaching and learning. All unit faculty require candidates to create, maintain, assess, and to use an electronic portfolio. This project/assignment is introduced in the EDUC10000 (Gate 1) class with corresponding introductory criteria. In subsequent education courses, the candidate is expected to continue and advance the development of their eportfolio by adding accumulating artifacts that must be aligned with appropriate state, national and/or professional standards. As an example, a methods Reading course candidate is required to link artifacts to the International Reading Association’s (IRA) professional standards and methods social studies candidates are required to link their artifacts to the National Council for the Social Studies’ (NCSS) professional standards.
Additional technology assignments are designed to be Gate specific.
Gate 1 (Introductory level): Eportfolio requirements — creation of the candidate’s home page, a link to their resume and a link to their self-designed teaching philosophy. Field requirement – teach a lesson using an instructional technology tool, log number of hours in the field using an electronic report form, and lastly, evaluate the use of assistive technologies in special needs classrooms.
Gate 2 and Gate 3 (Methods level): Eportfolio requirements – enhancement of artifacts, alignment with various standards, continuous reflections and updating of resume. Field and college classroom requirements – use a SmartBoard to teach a lesson, develop podumentaries, podcasts, and digital stories in order to model how, as future teachers, they might require their own students use these technologies and incorporate the use of wikis and blogs to communicate with students parents and administrators.
Gate 4 (Clinical level): E-portfolio requirements – continue previously detailed additions with the objective of producing a functional electronic resume for upcoming job searches. Clinical practice requirements – use of EXCEL spreadsheets to examine and report assessment data and continued development of various communication tools.
The education department has deliberately designed this progressive integration of technology by course with the objective to encourage candidates to use those same required technologies to enhance their teaching, assessment, and communication skills.
As evidence of institutional support, The College of Wooster makes professional development opportunities available to the unit faculty and provides instructional technology support personnel for the department.