A revolutionary approach to training teachers is under way at California State University, Bakersfield thanks to a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Teaching with New Technologies project, or TNT as it is known, is designed to train teachers to use technology in their classrooms.
"Our project is how to prepare teachers to be technologically proficient," said David Georgi, program coordinator and a professor in CSUB's School of Education. "California has adopted new technological standards for teachers ... and we're addressing this technological revolution."
Sheryl Santos, dean of CSUB's School of Education, said the program's goal was to improve the quality of education students receive.
"This grant is to infuse technology into teacher education," she said. "We want to train our students how to incorporate new technologies in the classroom to improve teaching and learning.
"It's a novel design in that we are creating learning communities comprised of professors, students, teachers, and technology mentors from the school districts. They will be working together to develop web sites with information on teaching with technologies."
The grant is just the first of what is expected to be a three-year program, Georgi said. "This first year is a capacity-building grant, in which we'll build our technological capacity. Grants in the second and third year will implement the training process."
Georgi said the federal government estimates the United States will need 2 million new teachers in the next decade and that it's imperative that the teachers be able to use technology in the classroom.
"There's a revolution going on in education with technology, and it's changing how learning takes place," Georgi said. "We're training teachers to use technology."
Training new teachers to use technology to improve teaching and learning is critical for Kern County's future, Georgi said.
"Ironically, many districts are outfitted with technology, but many teachers aren't trained to use it," he said. "In addition, new technology standards mandated by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing must be implemented by January 2002. Our strategy is to teach existing teachers and future teachers how to use technology to better educate their students."
An instructional level of proficiency is required of new teachers before they get their credentials, he said.
The TNT program has a three-pronged strategy:
"The TNT model will transform how teachers are trained at CSUB," Santos said.
For more information on the TNT program, please call Georgi at 661/664-3152, or the CSUB School of Education at 661/664-2210.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News