Today our school hosted a group of 20 pre-service teachers from colleges and universities in our state. These students are currently juniors, and we had one hour to share with them how technology is being used in our school. That is a great deal of information to impart in such a short amount of time. Our instructional coach and I partnered together to organize this presentation. We began with a Prezi that introduced our school and various technology tools that we are utilizing with our students. The group was then divided up and sent to three different locations. One group went to a math classroom using CPS, one classroom where students highlighted projects they have completed, and one group stayed in the Media Center. These sessions were approximately thirteen minutes and during the session in the Media Center another teacher highlighed our use of Gaggle while I shared student work samples including Photostory, Flip videos, and podcasts. I also discussed the importance of utilizing your school's Media Coordinator and/or Tech Facilitator.
Student reflections and questions really made me ask some serious questions about pre-service education. While I believe these students have a great deal of technology knowledge that they use on a daily basis, I am not certain that they have been taught how to apply those to the classroom. I was surprised by how many were not familiar with tools like Prezi or Photostory. They wanted to know more about how to access this technology, how to advocate for the technology in their classrooms, and the logistics of planning technology lessons related to these tools.
All of the discussions of the day really made me wonder if pre-service teacher education is neglecting to prepare students for the role of technology in the classroom. Is it fair to say that we have to hope that these students have a cooperating teacher that utilizes technology in the classroom or that they will be forced to learn it on their own in the end? I just hope that there is a Media Coordinator or Technology Facilitator at their future schools to help them traverse technology integration.