Feb 27th, 2003 @ 3:40 pm | Author:
Valley City State University announces a new initiative to advance technology skills in prospective and practicing K-12 teachers. With support of an Innovative Teachers Program grant from Microsoft Corporation and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Valley City State University’s Division of Education, Psychology and Technology now will be able to strengthen their collaboration with area schools to improve learning through effective use of technology in the classroom.

The Division of Education, Psychology, and Technology is currently collaborating with Valley City Public Schools, Saint Catherine’s Elementary School, Valley City; and Madison Elementary School, Fargo through the U.S. Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to use Technology (PT3) grant program. The grant provides $430,000 of a $1,000,000 effort to prepare future teachers to improve education with the power of new technologies for learning. The Innovative Teachers Program aims to build an online community of educators who work collaboratively to enhance teacher education and student learning through the use of technology. Together the two grants provide training for the teachers on the effective use of technology and VCSU student technology consultants to help implement the technology.

"Microsoft is pleased to support the ongoing efforts of Valley City State University to develop high-quality teachers for today and the future," said Greg Butler, K-12 and Higher Education Professional Development Manager at Microsoft. "Technology in the hands of well-trained faculty can take education to the next level: teachers can lecture less, spend more time one-on-one with students or small groups, and use more "learn by doing’ strategies."

Grant recipients are provided with a number of tools to help them design, implement, and foster their Innovative Teachers Program, including:
  • 250 Software licenses for all current Microsoft© desktop applications and operating systems worth half a million dollars
  • Access to professionally designed and tested online software-support materials
  • Online collaboration and community-building tools for designing and sharing best practice models

"According to the U.S. Department of Education, only one in five teachers feels prepared to teach using technology," said David G. Imig, president of AACTE. "The Innovative Teachers grant program is designed to address this need by supporting expanded professional development opportunities."

Grant funding will bridge the divide between pre- and in-service teachers to assist them in using technology in their classrooms with the goal of developing high-quality teachers now and in the future. The Division of Education, Psychology, and Technology will assist their partner school districts in using technology in their classrooms with the goal of developing high-quality, technology-rich lessons that can be shared through the Innovative Teachers Program online community.

Valley City State University is one among 56 other universities in the nation to receive this innovative technology grant.