The availability of a wide variety of technological tools has dramatically increased the ability of educators to teach a broad array of P-12 students. It is imperative that teacher candidates and other education professionals become skillful in the use of these technologies, both to support their own learning and to enhance the education of the diverse learners with whom they work. Candidates must not only acquire a set of technological competencies, but they must also develop the ability to use these competencies to enhance student learning.
Because of the tremendous pedagogical benefits of present and emerging technologies in the education of P-12 students, as well as their pervasive presence in our culture, the unit has made a strong commitment to technology at both the initial and advanced levels of candidate preparation. Although the innovative, unique use of technology for a given department (e.g., the use of heart rate monitors to record activity levels in physical education) is encouraged and supported by the unit, there is, as well, a united picture of the fundamental technological knowledge and skills that candidates should have across all departments in the unit. To ensure that candidates have acquired these information technology skills, all departments in the unit require evidence of this learning in their assessment plans.
The effective integration of technology suggests a shift in the role of a teacher from “sage on the stage” dispensing information to passive learners to “guide” or “broker” of knowledge and/or resources. This recognition that learners must be actively involved in their own learning fits well with the unit’s emphasis on a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning.