A Texas Plan for Improved Educator Preparation and Development

The Texas Long Range Plan for Technology (2006-2020), has been developed to prepare today's learner to thrive in a 21st Century society. Improvements in Education Preparation and Development (EP), one of the four key areas of the plan, will ensure that Texas teachers provide every learner with a quality 21st Century education. Beginning and veteran teachers will be expected to develop learning environments that utilize current technology as a flexible instructional tool for collaborative and interactive learning. Statewide and local data from STaR show that progress in EP is not being made. Surprisingly, the number of schools rated high in EP progress is decreasing. This means the number of teachers not participating in technology integration training is increasing. National data from NSDC shows that although more than 60% of teachers surveyed received training on computer use for instruction, 80% of those teachers received merely two days or less of training. Additionally, a NCES report states that teachers most commonly used computers to accomplish administrative tasks, prepare lessons, and deliver instruction. Today, that trend is shifting. Effective teachers are proving how learner-centered technology integration is empowering and equipping students with the critical thinking and digital literacy skills required in a 21st Century workforce. Recommendations for improvements in EP include higher accountability for school districts requiring on-going, job-embedded, and learner-centered technology integration training for all PK-12 teachers and requiring technology training/coursework for state certification/recertification of all teachers and administrators. Through awareness, commitment, and relentless advocacy, Texas teachers will be prepared and equipped to give today's learners the education they need.

Texas Education Agency. Statewide Summary Data 2002-2003 and 2007-2008.

Wei, R.C., Darling-Hammond, L., Andree, A., Richardson, N., Orphanos, S. Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad. Dallas, Texas (2009) National Staff Development Council.

Smerdon, B., Cronen, S., Lanahan, L., Anderson, J., Iannotti, N., Angeles, J. Teachers' Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers' Use of Technology. Washington, DC (2000) U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

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