Preparing New Teachers for Tech-Enabled Classrooms
The promise of technology to fundamentally change how we teach and meet the diverse needs of all students has yet to be fully realized. A recently research study from The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) found 56% of new teachers feel unprepared to use technology in today’s classrooms.
To transform teacher training for the better, educator voices need to be heard. New educators in particular have a uniquely important perspective – having recently participated in a teacher preparation program as they begin teaching in the classroom. Their insights are invaluable for identifying gaps and successes in current programs. What best prepared them to use technology effectively? Where did they feel inadequately supported?
ISTE is surveying new teachers in their first through third years about their preparation experiences. The findings will inform recommendations to strengthen teacher education in an upcoming second edition of the report linked above.
The report highlights positive steps some preparation programs have taken, while underscoring the work still needed. For example, slightly more than half of teacher preparation programs reported that most faculty incorporate technology into their instruction. However, only 9% said all faculty effectively model technology integration. This reveals a significant area for growth.
Incorporating instructional technology frameworks into coursework is another promising step. Yet the report indicates gaps remain between theory and practice. Among the 21% of new teachers who reported feeling confident, many wanted more classroom management experience in a technology-rich environment and support in selecting tools that best facilitate student learning.
The majority of the EPPs surveyed – 65% – are in the process of updating their curriculum, presenting a valuable opportunity to modernize coursework to set them up for success in the future. Strengthening teacher training requires examining programs with a critical eye, being receptive to new approaches, and collaborating closely with schools and districts.
Most importantly, we need to listen to new teachers' firsthand experiences. Their perspectives directly contribute to transforming preparation programs to better build teacher skills to support student success in digital environments.
Please take a few minutes to share the ISTE survey with new colleagues or with new teacher coordinators. Together, we can transform teacher training to benefit generations of students to come.