Microsoft TEI at SITE 2012

I spent Sunday at the SITE – Microsoft Teacher Education Initiative meeting. It was a very full day, beginning with breakfast at 7:30 am and concluding with dinner at 7:00 pm. We arrived back our hotel after that around 9:00 pm.

The formal program began after breakfast, at 8:30 am, with a short introduction from Mike Searson (SITE President) and Jim Ptaszynski (Microsoft Senior Director, World Wide Higher Education). That was followed by an introduction to Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) provided by Punya Mishra and a sample teaching case with video clips being developed for teacher educators by Mark Hofer.

Those presentations were followed by a sequence of three parallel sessions presenting ideas for workshops in specific areas – Social Studies Education (Cheryl Bolick & John Lee) and English Education (Melanie Shoffner & Marshall George), Mathematics Education (Joe Garofalo & Robin Angotti) and Science Education (Janice Anderson & David Slykhuis), Games & Simulations (David Gibson & Robin Angotti) and World Languages (Yan Zu, Gregory Shepherd & Mike Searson). I landed in the A series – Social Studies, Mathematics, and Games & Simulations. Each session ran for 90 minutes and included varying degrees of audience participation. Each was condensed from a fuller version and had sufficient content to make a full day workshop with material that highlighted the possibilities for making ICT integral to learning in the relevant area.

As incoming Editor of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education I was a member of a panel of journal editors moderated by Gerald Knezek. Discussion focused on the research objectives and approaches that might be appropriate for evaluating the TEI and how the work should be disseminated. In addition to JTATE the panel included representation for ETR&D, TechTrends, JDLTE, Computers in the Schools, and CITE.

Following a wrap up by Jim Ptaszynski and Mike Searson the day ended with social interaction and dinner.

This was the first trial of the proposed package for the TEI workshops. It is to be trialled again at University of North Carolina in May and then launched at ISTE in June. The package appears to have real potential and might be a good follow on from the Teaching Teachers for the Future project in the Australian context. I’ve suggested that possibility to Jim Ptaszynski and will contact him with information about the TTF so that he can brief Microsoft representatives in Australia.