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College of Education, Microsoft partner to better prepare teachers

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 23, 2010

The College of Education at Texas State University-San Marcos has partnered with Microsoft to develop a pilot program to better prepare public school teachers for the changing 21st century classrooms.

The collaboration was announced April 23 by representatives of Microsoft and the College of Education.

"We are excited to partner with Texas State on this incredible opportunity. Together, we are pursuing the same goal: empowering new teachers with the technology-based tools and methods needed to engage their students right from day one," said Jon Perera, general manager of education for Microsoft. “Their students are using technology throughout the rest of their lives and this will help them connect that digital life back into their school life and, fundamentally, help teachers and their students truly realize their potential.”

Many current teachers are ill-prepared to use technology to advance learning outcomes and engage their students, who use technology in every other part of their lives. The Microsoft-Texas State pilot program will create coursework to help preservice teachers learn how to use technology to support better teaching and learning for their future students. The pilot is reliant on both in-person and online content and will show students and faculty ways that technology can both engage and enhance the learning experience for students.

Texas State was selected for this pilot because the College of Education has adopted innovative student-focused approaches to teacher education and exhibit an openness to use of technology in learning.

The course module focuses on using technology to build collaboration – a skill that is most needed by today’s students. This is a core part of how colleges of education are changing to better equip students to be ready for college and careers. Particularly in classrooms of “digital natives,” technology empowers teachers, resulting in more engaged students.

For more information, contact Liz Stephens in the College of Education at (512) 245-3102.