1. Preparing for the Fall Semester: What Do You Want to Share?
  2. Instructional and Assessment Technology to Prepare for Your Fall Semester
Six adults sitting at the table and engaging in a conversation (e.g., preparing for the fall semester)

Preparing for the Fall Semester: What Do You Want to Share?

Authors: Ling Zhang; Samantha Goldman; Nicholas Hoekstra; info@ciddl.org

Summer is the time to recharge, reflect, and reconnect for the next semester. After an exhausting semester, we need time to recharge ourselves cognitively, emotionally, and physically. Summer also gives us time to reflect on successes and challenges of the past to better design courses and learning experiences for students. As a center committed to promoting the effective use of technologies and innovations, we provide a place where teacher educators and educators can reconnect, share experiences, and get ready for a new adventure. In a new blog series, we will discuss several ideas about educator preparation standards, accessible syllabi, and strategies that you may consider while preparing for the fall semester. In this blog, we begin with educator preparation standards.

Educator Preparation Standards

Educator preparation standards at the state or national level outline expectations for desired knowledge, skills, and depositions that educators need to have when entering the profession. These standards, usually developed and updated by Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) across disciplines, can provide guidelines on curriculum programming and course design in teacher education programs. For example, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) defines the specialized expertise of special educators, early interventionists/early childhood special educators (EI/ECSE), and gifted educators through three sets of preparation standards. 

There are other standards that can guide the design of preparation programs. Programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) may want to familiarize themselves with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards. These are a comprehensive set of educator preparation standards that cut across all subject areas and that articulate teaching skills all teachers share. Currently, CAEP adopts InTASC standards for programs to refer to when preparing candidates for critical concepts and principles of their discipline through courses and clinical experiences with diverse pK-12 students.

Standards Related to Technology Use

No matter what standards your programs adopt, most of them incorporate components related to technology use and integration as desired teaching skills. For instance, CEC and EI/ECSE standards highlight the importance of candidates using technology to assess, analyze, interpret, and communicate students’ progress with stakeholders (e.g., colleagues, families).   

Technology-related standards, such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards (although they focus on technology use in K-12 classrooms) and National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL), are other useful resources when considering preparing candidates for using technology to create innovative and equitable learning experiences for all learners. The NSQOL standards focus on improving online teaching and learning, recognizing that this environment is uniquely different from the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. Additionally, ISTE is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Education to support and encourage educator preparation programs to share a common vision for better building teacher skills for digital equity and transformation

Share Your Experiences

When looking for resources and strategies for the fall semester, how do you evaluate their alignment to standards? Some online resources, such as the IRIS learning module about Assistive Technology, were specifically aligned to multiple preparation standards (which are listed on the webpage). When designing or redesigning courses, do you align your course content to standards? How do you integrate technology into students’ learning experiences to improve their skills aligned to preparation standards? We will start rolling out more blogs discussing standards and other topics that help you prepare for the fall semester next week, so STAY TUNED. Join our Community to share strategies and tips as well as learn from and grow with other teacher educators.