Future teachers understand—and share with others—the role of technology in teaching and learning

 North Carolina Technology in Education Society conference attendees
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This spring, 13 students from Pfeiffer’s Division of Education participated as presenters at the 2017 North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) annual conference. For their session, which outlined utilization of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPaCK) to guide technology in lesson planning, the teacher candidates used tools designed specifically to support teaching methods and stimulate higher-order thinking through engaging content.

 “We’ve known for a long time that expert teachers are able to combine knowledge of subject matter with deep understanding of what is good for learning,” said Dr. Laura Lowder, associate professor of education, who created the tools used in the presentation for her dissertation. “With innovative technologies providing new ways to access and process knowledge in every field, today’s teachers must also understand how information and communication technology can support and maximize learning.”

Presenting to educators and technology leaders from across the state, participating students, whose majors range from elementary to secondary education across subject areas, shared an experience that they believe is sure to have a positive effect on their development as teachers. Moreover, they were impressed by the experienced educators and administrators in attendance who demonstrated their willingness to continue learning about their profession.

“I came away with resources and apps for almost every subject,” said Katie Wilson, an elementary education major. “The most valuable lesson I learned is that teachers are more than lesson planners; we have to be intentional educational designers who incorporate 21st-century skills and information. Thanks to this experience, I know how to do this.” 

“The NCTIES conference introduced me to a number of resources that I can implement in my future classroom,” said Kylie Spencer, also studying elementary education. “I’m inspired to find new and modern ways to education children—and help them discover how to become not only problem solvers but problem finders, the real innovators in today’s world.”

Dr. Lowder and the students appreciated the feedback of those in the audience for the presentation.

“Pfeiffer’s students did an outstanding job,” said Angela Szakasits, instructional technology facilitator, Brunswick County Schools. “It’s exciting to know future teachers are so passionate about delivering quality instruction with technology; thank you for including this as part of their undergraduate program.” 

Photo caption: Students participating in the 2017 NCTIES conference were Evan Fosha, Kylie Spencer, Duncan Hillery, Katie Wilson, Rachel Freeze, Lauren Cranford, Courtney Earnhardt, Jessica Little, Kylie Lode, Kara Adcock, Grayson Harris, Jordan Coley and Ma'Kira Settle.