Enhancing the Digital Competencies of Teacher Candidates

Testing out “Plickers” and other Student Response Systems to support classroom engagement

In the Faculty of Education, we have long recognized the importance of providing teacher candidates with opportunities to explore multi-modal resources from books to classroom manipulatives to online tools to be used in coursework and in their teaching practice. Last year, the Education Library created kits and collections of resources to support the development of digital competencies. In addition, with our Technology Integration Mentor, we have been able to provide just-in-time support for the integration of digital technologies for both instructors and teacher candidates.

This year began with ‘pre-boarding’ incoming teacher candidates through a self-evaluative survey of their perceived digital competencies (based on the Int’l Society for Technology in Education standards). From this survey, we built online resources and face-to-face workshops to provide candidates with hands-on access to digital technologies and approaches to teaching and learning that support the development of 21st century learning skills.

TCs learn the “code”’ to build computational thinking skills

UBC’s approach is one of explicit modeling combined with hands-on, minds-on opportunities to engage critically with digital technologies that might be found in K-12 classrooms. Our goal has been to help teacher candidates learn to seek, evaluate, select and implement technologies in their own contexts and against established, research-based criteria.

Highlights from the year so far:

  • Scarfe Digital Sandbox Blog: noon–hour drop-in sessions and resource blog (to connect TCs to digital resources and tutorials)
  • Gearing up for Practicum: an opportunity for TCs to connect with Education librarians and the Technology Integration Mentor as they plan for practicum
  • Designing Learning Blog: a resource blog to connect TCs to BC’s redesigned curriculum and templates to support short- and long-term planning
  • Pop-up Makerspace and Augmented Reality orientation to the Education Library
  • In-class hands-on stations to support various course objectives including:
    • Technologies to Support ALL learners (English Language Learner-focused)
    • Computational Thinking and Coding Across the Curriculum
    • Design Thinking and Challenges
    • Multimedia Creation stations
    • Student Response Systems for active engagement