5) Prepare preservice teachers for 21st century classroom

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) calls for teacher preparation institutions to provide an "understanding of how knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to educational and information technology are integrated throughout the curriculum, instruction, field experiences, clinical practice, assessments, and evaluations."

Three conditions are necessary for graduating teachers to meet the standard set by NCATE.

First, college instructors in preservice programs must consistently model exemplary technology integration in all of their courses. It is not enough for instructors to talk about technology integration, but then leave it up to a special technology course to train the preservice teachers how to do it. Appropriate technology must be infused throughout the curriculum.

"Today's preservice teachers are the essential key in reaching the current generation of media-savvy, digitally-literate P-12 students. Preservice teachers and their students expect teaching and learning to involve technology. Not only will preservice teachers change schools for the benefit of today's students, they are already changing the culture of schools one classroom at a time as they infuse technology integration during their undergraduate field experiences."

Dr. Catherine Cavanaugh
University of North Florida

Second, preservice teachers must have access to their own laptop computers as they work through their teacher preparation program. Younger children tend to dive right into computer use with little need to understand why it works. Adults usually need longer with the computer before they are comfortable and therefore can focus on the task rather than the tool. Preservice teachers need to have the regular use of a computer during their college program so that they are comfortable and competent with the technology when they go out into the classroom

Finally, preservice teachers should have the opportunity for field experiences in classrooms with a range of technology, including 1:1 laptops. There simply is no substitute for actually using technology with students during an internship. The whole purpose of an internship is to practice teaching in the type of situation they will encounter in their own classroom. College students beginning an education major in the fall of 2004 will not begin teaching in their own classrooms until the fall of 2008. While no one can predict exactly what the ratio of students to computers will be in 2008, we can say with certainty that there will be many more computers available in classrooms four and a half years from today. Many, perhaps most, classrooms will have one to one computing by then. Our teachers must be prepared to enter this world.

Guiding principle: Preservice teachers must:

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