Faculty in education college receive award for use of technology

Jacqui Becker

Students in ISU’s College of Education are now a part of the most advanced technological institutions in the nation, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) has recognized the college’s efforts.

The AACTE presented its 2000 Best Practices Award for Innovative Use of Technology to the ISU College of Education in Chicago Tuesday morning. Each year, the AACTE looks at the teacher-education programs across the nation in terms of a program’s progress.

The AACTE also cited the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching for its progress as part of the honor.

“There was no real competition,” said Jerry Willis, director of the Center for Technology in Learning and Technology. “Iowa State was so above and beyond the other nominees that there was no question who would get the award.”

Walter Gmelch, dean of the College of Education, said he was ecstatic about winning the award.

“For [the faculty] to receive national recognition was tremendous,” he said. “It really impacts the entire college.”

The College of Education has risen to become a national role model for technology in the classroom, said Cathy Curtis, college relations coordinator for the College of Education.

The award recognizes the college’s technological efforts that impact the students, school children, teachers and educational programs across the nation.

Some of the college’s technological advances include interactive CD-ROMs, Web-based instruction, interactive, competitive structures and classrooms linked across the nation, Curtis said.

“Iowa State is recognized as a national powerhouse as an education technology,” she said. She said the University of Virginia has a program of a similar caliber.

Iowa State and the University of Virginia have been working together on classroom work over the Internet.

“We’re meeting about technology,” said Ann Thompson, professor and chairwoman of curriculum and instruction. “Technology has enabled this close interaction to happen.”

Thompson has been involved with the College of Education for the last 24 years. In that time, technology has expanded and is now being used as a tool, she said.

Thompson said she hopes to integrate the technology into many aspects of the teaching curriculum and install the knowledge of technology in tomorrow’s teachers.

“What we’re wanting is that our students will teach the way they’re taught,” she said.

Willis said he thinks Iowa State may have the strongest teachers in the world. “We have a powerful group of teacher educators here who specialize in technology and technology education,” he said.

He added that the award is confirmation that the College of Education is doing something right.

“It’s one thing for us to think we’re good,” Willis said. “It’s pleasing because we’ve worked hard and believed enough in what we’re doing to apply.”