Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and is an essential part of the global work environment, methods of communication, and pedagogical instruction. In response to this, school districts are equipping classrooms with a variety of computer, multi-media, and interactive technologies. Today’s student must have the ability to comprehend information presented in multiple digital formats and today’s educator needs be able to understand how to effectively integrate these tools into instruction, create rich academic experiences for students and evaluate student-learning outcomes. As part of their professional development and collegial collaboration, educators should also understand and be able to use different digital communication and interactive formats.
The College at Brockport is dedicated to preparing Education and Human Development students with the knowledge and skills to understand the changes in how “digital natives” use their cognitive abilities and how to best evaluate and integrate technology into curriculum to meet the needs of these students.
The college offers EDI 581 Classroom Technology a fully online master level course for education students. In the course, students take part in a theoretical study of today's digital natives through readings, recorded video interviews from experts in the field, independent research and active discussions. They use this information to evaluate and create a variety of classroom activities, instructional models and professional collaboration projects using Web 2.0 tools. Web 2.0 tools provide opportunities for the class to openly develop and share projects. Understanding how to create effective technology enhanced curriculum with Cloud tools also provides students with transferrable skills that can be used when developing projects with software purchased by schools districts.
The course is in its second year of being offered at the college. At this time, the evidence is based upon the effectiveness the students show as they use the knowledge gained when teaching classes in the districts where they are presently employed.
In selecting to use Web 2.0 freely accessible software, the college has incurred no cost for any additional software purchases for the class. Students can also create materials in the course that can be used directly in their teaching, depending upon the Internet policies of districts where they are employed.
As stated, students in the course are equipped with transferrable skills that will allow them to develop technology rich instruction using a variety of tools that they will encounter when working in their own classrooms.
Knowledge and skills acquired in this course go beyond student satisfaction of those enrolled in the class. As they themselves are full-time teachers or seeking full-time employment as P-12 educators, their students will benefit from their theoretical knowledge of today’s digital generation and technical abilities to develop engaging instruction and assignments.
This course is offered fully online through the colleges learning management system. To take online course at The College at Brockport, students must have access a computer to complete their studies. (They also have access to a computer in any campus lab.) The course itself has no additional hardware or software requirement.
Jukes, I., McCain, T. & Crockett, L.  Understanding the Digital Generation: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press.
Tapscott, D.  Growing Up Digital The Rise of the Net Generation. NY, NY: McGraw-Hill.