Tech Training for Teachers: Dr. Erica Boling Prepares Teachers to Effectively Integrate Current and Developing Technologies Into the Classroom
Supported by a $150,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, Dr. Erica Boling, Associate Professor in the Department of Learning and Teaching at Rutgers Graduate School of Education, is working to equip teachers with the tools and skills needed to prepare their students for the rapidly-evolving use of technology in the global economy. Over the next two years, this “Educational Leaders of the 21st Century” graduate certificate program will consist of three, online-courses that will emphasize the resources necessary to be successful in today’s digital society and will help educators establish a foundation for using technology in a variety of educational settings. Utilizing Verizon’s ThinkFinity (www.ThinkFinity.org) program, the third and final course of the nine-credit program will be available to teachers beginning Spring 2011.
Dr. Boling has overseen the development, implementation and evaluation of the program over the past few years. Previously, she studied online learning communities and the dispositions of educators regarding integration of technology in the classroom. Through this research, Dr. Boling learned of the importance of interaction between students, students and teachers, and student and course content. Achieved through discussion forums, videos, and screen casts, this interaction provides students the opportunity to communicate and collaborate while receiving mentoring from a teacher. This helps to enhance both teaching and learning, as the students learn about and use the same technologies in their projects they will later implement in their own classes.
“We are facing the unfortunate reality that education systems aren’t keeping pace with the dynamic new ways that information is being made available,” said Boling. “The Educational Leaders of the 21st Century certification program will be unique in its capability to actually leverage the very medium on which we are offering training as a tool to reach a wider audience of teachers.”
Hosting between twenty and twenty-five students, the courses are intended audience for teachers, college/university instructors, school administrators, and any other interested parties who want to learn more about the use of Web-based technologies in educational contexts. The program is open to both matriculated and non-matriculated graduate students and students are not required to take the entire nine-credit certificate program, but a strong prior knowledge of Web 2.0 applications is necessary to succeed in the second and third courses. Also, students are encouraged to take the classes consecutively, and not simultaneously.
Learn more about the program by clicking here.