Key areas for strategic planning

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At our meeting on 1.29.08, we crafted a series of key areas around which we can solicit input/feedback and develop the planning team report. This is a rough draft. Your assistance is needed I terms of wordsmithing and more clearly articulating the areas/goals.

As you read through these points, also consider that the question of where the science of learning fits into our work was raised more than once. Should we craft another area, such as building a program of study, or articulate a mechanism for integrating the expertise of learning sciences faculty across the areas identified below (particularly assessment)?

Area 1 – Become a national leader in the application of technology for educating effective school professionals (e.g., teachers, administrators, counselors) for 21st century learning environments.
We acknowledge that the College of Education is well on its way to achieving this goal. Faculty in Mathematics and Science Education have been nationally recognized for their efforts to enhance subject matter learning using cutting edge applications of technology. Secondary English and Elementary Education are implementing the EDUCATE initiative in Fall 2008, which is aimed at integrating powerful tools for ubiquitous computing into teacher preparation settings. Central to this work is the development of electronic teaching portfolios and video analysis of teaching practices. Mention other groups within the College here… Clearly the College is well positioned to meet the goal of becoming a national leader in this area. Success hinges on our ability to make progress in the areas identified below and to access the necessary resources.

Area 2 - Build capacity among faculty, including field supervisors, to use technology in support of research, teaching, and learning.
While ETC provides a number of technical services for faculty, staff and students, we are proposing an IDEA Studio in which faculty can come together around pedagogical and/or research problems to receive support in the form of professional development, access to specialized tools, etc. The Studio would be staffed by a director and project team, including a designer and/or programmer, who are skilled at communicating and responding to the needs of faculty. The Studio could be housed in 201 Chambers, and create a comfortable, lounge-like atmosphere in which faculty would be welcome to stop in and sample cutting edge tools or speak with a project consultant. The IDEA Studio would expand current efforts associated with the EDUCATE initiative to engage faculty in professional development opportunities designed to connect them with technology tools that support their work.

Area 3 - Leverage powerful technologies for facilitating communication among colleagues around both research-based and pedagogical problems of practice.
There is an increasing need to be able to engage colleagues from around the state, the country, and the world in face-to-face, real time communication about research and instructional experiences. External grants applications are often enhanced by inter-institutional research and teaching collaborations. Great potential is recognized in the ability to connect preservice teachers working in urban settings with those in suburban and rural contexts. Also, more robust interactions with teachers and university faculty from countries, such as England and Sweden, where some of our teacher education students complete their student teaching are desirable. The emergence of tools, such as Adobe Connect, iChat AV, Polycom and Skype, have provided ways to connect colleagues across great distances and diverse settings to engage in meaningful conversations and inquiries. This area/goal is aimed at developing expertise within the College about how best to use these tools to facilitate communication among geographically dispersed groups. Maybe we should add something specific about the Penn State system here…

Area 4 – Develop expertise in using technology to engage in meaningful assessment of learners, courses, and programs.

Realizing even a modest level of success in any/all of the aforementioned areas relies heavily on having access to the necessary resources, space, and expertise. If we are to achieve the goal of becoming a national leader in using technology to prepare the next generation of highly qualified school professionals, then our classroom spaces must be transformed to reflect key aspects of 21st Century learning environments. This will require an infusion of technology tools, such as projection devices, real-time data collection devices, and SmartBoards, as well as upgrades to wireless access and internet connection rates throughout the College of Education. Likewise, the success of the capacity-building goal hinges on acquiring appropriate personnel, space, and tools. College connections with ITS and vendors could assist in leveraging tools and expertise to enhance this area.

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This page contains a single entry by CARLA ZEMBAL-SAUL published on January 29, 2008 11:13 AM.

Documents to review was the previous entry in this blog.

Area 1 - National Leadership is the next entry in this blog.

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