Campus: CSU San Marcos -- October 21, 2002
Cal State San Marcos Project Encourages Meaningful
Use of Technology in the Classroom
A recently awarded grant to the College of Education at California State
University San Marcos will help teachers improve use of technology in
their teaching, and may encourage some of them to seek National Board
"The Digital Edge" pilot project is underway at four campuses
across the nation, and is funded by Apple Computer, The AT&T Foundation,
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and
the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Funded
campuses are Cal State San Marcos, George Mason University (VA), Morgan
State University (MD) and Louisiana Tech University. The campuses were
selected because of their different approaches to teacher education.
At Cal State San Marcos, the project is headed by Dr. Robin Marion,
assistant professor of education.
Digital Edge exhibits address technology's role in the classroom and
the role of accomplished teachers as models for pre-service and practicing
teachers. The project involves design of digital exhibits by National
Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) who film, edit and construct examples
of their teaching practice to be used in coursework and by teachers
considering diverse means of connecting curriculum to technology.
Apple has created a web site (http://ali.apple.com)
that offers teachers exhibits of best practices integrating technology
into teaching. Each exhibit includes video clips of accomplished teachers
explaining the needs of their students, using technology to enhance
student learning, and reflecting on how lessons progress. Along with
the video are links to lesson plans, student work samples, assessment
tools, resources, related research and teacher and student reflection.
Each exhibit is correlated to national NBPTS and ISTE standards.
Marion explains that Cal State San Marcos has received $37,000 for a
pilot program to use the Digital Edge materials in teaching and learning
courses in three ways.
- The materials will be used as a part of the foundation courses
of the College's Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program. Faculty
will use the exhibits as common experiences of classroom practice
to generate richer discussions about teaching and learning.
- The materials will factor into the fieldwork experience of student
teachers. University supervisors will use the exhibits in conversations
with Master and Student teachers as part of the mentoring process
and to deepen conversation with student teachers about their practice.
- Digital Edge will be included in instruction at the Master's degree
level. The exhibits will allow a focus on technology infusion that
will encourage practicing teachers to connect their curricula to technology
in ways that impact student learning.
"We hope to break down some of the barriers such as 'I can't
infuse technology because...lack of sophisticated equipment, lack of
sophisticated software or lack of training,'" said Marion. "The
classroom situations in the exhibits are authentic, and incorporate
technology in a diverse array of subtle and explicit applications under
classroom conditions and in contexts similar to those Cal State San
Marcos pre-service and in-service teachers face. After seeing how other
teachers overcome barriers, our teachers say 'Hey, I can do that!'"
The project hopes to see teachers include technology and ideas from
the exhibits in their lesson plans and through observation of practice.
Marion and her colleagues in the project will look for patterns of use
that indicate a transfer of ideas in the exhibits to the classrooms
taught by participating student teachers and veteran teachers in Masters
"We want to impact student learning by preparing their teachers
using examples of accomplished teaching. We want the teachers to develop
a commitment to technology infusion and ongoing efforts to improve their
teaching using examples of accomplished teaching," Marion added.
Working with Marion on the project are Kimberley Woo and Candy Singh,
COE faculty, and Holly Stipe, NBCT, College of Education Masters student,
and student assistant on the Digital Edge pilot.
The pilot project is one of several ways in which the National Board
for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is focused on improving
student learning. NBPTS believes that the single most important action
the nation can take to improve schools and student learning is to strengthen
It has established standards for National Board Certification and has
encouraged teachers to undergo the rigorous process to gain certification.
More than 16,000 teachers have done so nation-wide, including approximately
183 of the 25,000 teachers in San Diego County.
Teachers who have participated in National Board Certification often
report that it is the most powerful professional development experience
of their careers. They say the experience changes them as professionals
and that through the process they deepen their content knowledge and
develop, master, and reflect on new approaches to teaching through careful
analysis of their practice and student learning.
Application fees for Board certification are $2,300, a portion of which
can be paid through scholarships from some school districts and the
state of CA. Certification is good for 10 years, and can be renewed.
Teachers become certified in one of about thirty areas specific to the
age of children they teach and in some cases in particular content areas.
Information on the process is available at www.nbpts.org
Dr. Marion can be reached at 760-750-8537 or firstname.lastname@example.org