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Leading Future Teachers Into Technological Competency
07.31.14 |
That college students should master the ins and outs of personal technology is a given these days, but the skill has perhaps the most far-reaching impact when the students are future educators—those who will be responsible for introducing their own students to all the capabilities at their fingertips.

Dr. Andrew Darian, assistant professor of education, teaches Educational Technology and Instructional Media to education majors with an eye toward fostering a deep technological competency among his students that they in turn can pass on to future generations.

“We’re educating teachers to be teachers of young children, who can make clear academic and social choices when using technology,” Darian says. “I teach technology because the students are being asked to choose, use, and monitor it as a day-to-day tool in the classroom.”

Darian teaches his students to be fluent in both Microsoft and Apple operating systems, as well as each system’s most relevant applications. “They need to know what they can do in software programs such as Microsoft Word,” he says. “They need to know what PowerPoint is capable of, how to insert movies and clips into their presentations, and why it is essential for Smart Board presentations. Excel is very useful because teachers can keep track of their students’ work and assessments. They can also set up a blog or an online newsletter to better communicate with the parents of their students.”

Darian’s goal is to move his students past the superficial proficiency that they pick up on their own by writing college papers and surfing the Internet. He wants them to develop an informed technological expertise in a broad range of hardware and software. “Students need to understand and know their technology because, from Kindergarten on, teachers are required to teach technology to their students,” he says. “They come in knowing how to use their phone or computer to do social media. But in the classroom, they will need to make informed choices about time spent on technology, age-appropriate programming, and its academic value. My job is to make sure they not only understand their technology on a deeper level, but also its social and academic implications.”

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