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MERN Abstract id=15
Source : MERN Forum 5, Concurrent Session 4A
Date: 3/4/2005
Author: Dr. John Anchan
Title : HELP! Gen-V Teaching Gen-Y
Text : The Internet has become an integral part of our lives and as institutions scramble to update their systems and employee skills, schools have recognized the need to provide their students with technology skills. Yet, current preliminary studies show that while most in-service teachers have the basic skills in information technology, many remain deficient in advanced technology skills. Few in-service teachers are ready to deal with the changing technology and the technically literate students (Baird, 2000; Coughlin, 1999; CRITO, 1998). A report from the Teaching Teleapprenticeship Project (TTa) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests, "Recent efforts to use computer networks in teacher education (Beals, 1991; Harris, Loyd, & Short, 1989) have illustrated the many barriers to implementation." (TTP, 1999). Increasingly, universities now require that students acquire technology skills before graduating. Students responding to casual intake surveys in the introductory courses in information technology in the Education program at the University of Winnipeg indicate "minimum" or "no" skills in computers or technology - especially in areas of presentation and web development . As schools become a part of the technology revolution, practising teachers have been provided with the necessary training along with new equipment and communication networks. Children in many kindergarten and elementary schools are being introduced to technology and the current B.Ed. students training to become teachers will be challenged to meet the needs of a technologically proficient generation. However, despite the in-service training for teachers, "the average student [in schools] knows more about technology than the average teacher" (Harper et al, 1999). The existence of www.Y generation (a group of youth with high proficiency in technology) further underscores the need for newly graduating teachers to become reasonably skilful in necessary technologies. Thus, between the hesitant practising teachers in schools and the young students in schools, the newly trained graduating teacher remains relatively less proficient in technologies. It is possible that the introduction of technology during early nineties did not cater to the development of technology skills among the current pre-service teachers, who now represent the Vulnerable Generation or the "Gen-V" who will have to teach techno-savvy students in schools. Unless we investigate and respond to this aspect of teacher training, this "technologically lost generation" of new teachers will be at a major disadvantage. This presentation will raise pertinent questions and explore possible strategies to address issues pertaining to the Gen-V and the relationship with Gen-Y.
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