On March 15/16 we held the final meeting of the TTF National Support Network in Sydney. The project uses the TPACK framework as a guide for thinking about the type of knowledge that pre-service teachers will need in order to teach using new technologies in the future. The creators of the framework, Punya Mishra and Matt Koehler from Michigan State University, attended the conference on both days (against my better judgement, there is a photo of myself with the guys below – not sure what we were laughing about). They gave an inspiring keynote on the first day and on the second day, they helped the participants to develop short and long term plans for moving the project forward. Unfortunately funding for the project is coming to an end very soon and so we will need to be creative if we are to continue to make progress in transforming our teacher education programs.
At the conference we also heard the results of the National pre and post surveys of pre-service teachers, conducted as part of the TTF project. Although there was only 5 months between the two surveys, there was a significant difference found in the confidence of the participants to use technology when teaching, however, no significant difference was found in the student perceptions of the usefulness of technology for teaching (possibly because they generally scored high on the usefulness items in the pre-survey). This was encouraging as it could mean that the changes to methods courses may have had the desired effect. We are waiting to get our individual uni results so that we can see if we followed the same pattern of improvement.
~ Kath Holmes