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EXPERT PERSPECTIVES: Education Leaders Weigh-In on How to Prepare Teachers in the Digital Age

As schools, classrooms, and districts move toward more sophisticated instructional technologies to successfully implement higher college- and career-ready standards, educator-preparation programs must equip future educators with the necessary skills to use technology effectively to personalize instruction and increase student engagement.

A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Center for Digital Learning, Expert Perspectives: Future of Teacher Preparation in the Digital Age, shares views from experienced educators and national education leaders about the challenges and opportunities of teacher-preparation programs in the digital age. The report provides advice for prospective teachers who are transitioning to learner-centered instructional models, recommendations on state certification requirements, and a call to action to recruit qualified teachers to support English language learners.

“As the U.S. education system embraces digital learning, the teaching profession needs to change the way the nation’s teachers are prepared,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Who better to ask how to make this change than people in schools and classrooms who see the need every day?”

Some questions the expert panel considered include:

  • Should teacher-preparation programs be different for “traditional” and “alternative” routes to certification?”
  • What legislation and certification measures can state policymakers enact to improve teacher-preparation programs and their connection to the needs of districts?
  • How can the K–12 and higher education systems collaborate to ensure that teacher candidates can transition seamlessly from higher education institutions into a learner-centered classroom where personalized learning for each student includes rigorous content delivered through technology in a collaborative environment?
  • What concrete steps can be taken now to enable colleges and universities to assume leadership in creating innovative teaching practices?
  • How can advances in teacher preparation and technology integration address the urgent need for qualified teachers to support English language learners?

The report contains perspectives from seven leaders in education: Barnett Berry, president and chief executive officer for the Center for Teaching Quality; Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future; Charlie Coble, cofounder and partner of Teacher Preparation Analytics; Sharon Robinson, president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Lynne Schrum, dean of West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services; Ronald Thorpe, president and chief executive officer of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and Mary Ann Wolf, president of WolfEd.

Expert Perspectives: Future of Teacher Preparation in the Digital Age is a featured resource in the Center for Digital Learning’s Project 24: Plan for Progress initiative and is available at

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