Michael Searson: Pre-service teacher education

8 Dec 2005

Dr. Michael Searson is the Dean of the College of Education at Kean University in Union, NJ. We met last July in San Jose, CA at the ADE Summer Institute and I knew right away that Mike would be a thought-provoking podcast guest.

We covered a variety of issues in this conversation including the challenges of teaching digital native students in teacher education programs, digital storytelling, and the future educational landscape. I’ll bet Mike would be willing to interact with anyone who posts a comment, so don’t hesitate to put in your $0.02.

Download: STP-MichaelSearson (24.6 MB, 45:54)

podcast, kean, teacher education

7 responses to Michael Searson: Pre-service teacher education

  1. Michael, what are your perceptions of teacher preparation programs’ need and ability to prepare new teachers who can function in data-driven school environments? It seems to me that this should be a fairly high priority and yet I don’t see much action on this front by programs across the country. Thoughts / comments?


    Assistant Professor, Educational Policy and Administration
    Director, CASTLE
    University of Minnesota

  2. I really enjoyed listening to your interview. I have been involved with technology integration for at least 25 years. (Adjunct and full time public school educator)
    As an elementary and pre service educator, I can relate to every one of your thoughts. For the past seven years i have been teaching full time at Wright State in the Educational Technology area at both graduate and undergraduate.
    I always tell them my job is complete when I am no longer needed. Unfortunately, I will have a job for at least ten more years.
    One of our reserach projects (presented at SITE 2005) was on the perseptions of our undergraduate students. We actually found that our students valued technoogy in education less after they completed their degree. They were very positive after taking the introductory course. The syllabus is available on my homepage. (EDT 280). But, when they completed their student teaching, they felt tech was not important…. You are correct.
    I am going to require my graduate students to listen to this particular podcast and open a forun for diacussion next quarter.
    Maggie (:

  3. Do you have any sense for why your students valued technology less after their coursework? That’s an interesting result to say the least! I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast and hope it provokes all kinds of great discussion in your course.

  4. Mike Searson 11 Dec 2005 at 6:59 pm


    I would agree with you. Teacher education programs could be doing a better job of incorporating data driven approaches into their curriculum. I suppose some are so wary of where NCLB has taken us that they shy away from anything that may be perceived as “teaching to the tests,” which is a simplistic approach to data driven analyses. Also, there are some powerful ways in which technology could be used for data driven analyses, both at the surface- and deep-structure levels.

    I’d love to see some people play around with that stuff a bit more. For example, Tim’s recent comment in his blog about using a “search tool” to find a reference to “digital stories” in an audio interview is pretty powerful stuff. The potential to use technology for rich and meaningful data analyses, which could then drive engaging and responsive curriculum, could be very powerful.

    Mike Searson

  5. Mike Searson 11 Dec 2005 at 7:42 pm


    Sort of like being a dentist–(as they do with their attempt to eradicate tooth decay), we’re only successful if we put ourselves out of business?

    I’m wondering if it’s that your students “value technology less” or have a deeper expectation (and appreciation) that it be truly incorporated into the curriculum? For example, within the first 6 months of our PT3 grant, which lasted about four years, it became immediately clear that for faculty (and students) learning how to use PowerPoint would no longer cut it. Their expectations for technology integration had become more profound. So, I’m not sure if it’s that your students value technology less or expect more. In other words, they may view technology integration as “expected” and nothing truly special. A colleague of mine once told me a story (about five years ago) about going off to train some teachers how to use the Internet. That morning, at breakfast, when she told her kids what she was going to do that they, they responded, “Gee, mom, what’s next, will you teach them to use the telephone?” Surely her kids, who may someday be your students, may not be particularly astounded by technology integration. They may simply yawn, and say, “Big deal, I grew up with this stuff.” After all, is anybody particularly marveled anymore by students using MS Office products? I remember less than a decade ago that entire courses were devoted to teaching this software.

    In the end however, I agree with you, you’re at least ten years away from losing your job. There are just some many new technologies coming down the pike that will have a very meaningful role in people’s lives, that will profoundly affect the ways we communicate with each other, access information about our world, and how we present ourselves. After all, that other information technology of the last millennium—print—still has an important role in our world. And, I believe that people still teach reading.


  6. Kurt Johnson 15 Dec 2005 at 3:32 pm

    Fascinating discussion. I am starting my PH. D. in August and will be focusing on teacher education programs and technology.

    Question: You discussed the terminology of technology native, immigrant, and foreigner. Where would you recommend I read more related to this concept and, specifically, these terms?

    By the way, This podcast is a definite addition to my required listening in my spring Tech in Elementary Ed classes here at Utah State.

  7. Kurt, you’ll definitely want to read Marc Prensky’s work. You’ll find it at http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/default.asp

    Thanks for listening!