TC Media Center from the Office of External Affairs

Section Navigation

TC's Ellen Meier Tells State Commission that Teachers Need Professional Development to Use Education Technology

Speaking earlier this week at a symposium in Albany convened by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, TC faculty member Ellen Meier and one of her doctoral students, Rita Sanchez, called for teachers to receive professional development on the use of education technology.

Meier is Associate Professor of Practice, Computing, and Education and Director of TC's Center for Technology and School Change. She also  co-chairs the state's Regents' Council for Technology Policy and Practice. Her research examines how urban teachers use technology to promote student understanding through inquiry-based learning. 

As reported in the Albany Times Union, Meier and Sanchez spoke at the Governor's Smart Schools symposium. The Governor's Smart Schools Commission is charged with advising the State on how to best enhance teaching and learning through technology, and more specifically, how a proposed $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act should be used to fund education technology. 

"We are extremely fortunate to be at a moment in time when bright minds--young and old--have the tools to explore, share and ultimately learn in digitally exciting and dynamic ways," Meier said in her presentation. "All students need access to these tools, and our students need to learn to use them in classrooms where teachers have been prepared to take advantage of the creative opportunities that technology offers."

Cuomo proposed the Smart Schools initiative in his 2014 State of the State address as part of a broader goal to reimagine New York’s public schools for the 21st Century. If voters approve a $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, there will be state funds for improvements to high-speed Internet connections, classroom technology, security systems and pre-K construction.

In using those funds, Meier said, it would be important to avoid "digitizing the status quo."

"Without a bridge, what happens is that teachers use technology to reinforce old habits," she explained.

Meier and other speakers at the Symposium fielded questions by Auburn School District Superintendent Constance Evelyn; New York State Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot; and Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor Michael Laskawy. Evelyn is one of the three Smart Schools Commission members, in addition to Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman and Former CEO of Google, and Geoffrey Canada, President of Harlem Children’s Zone. The Commission's findings will be incorporated in a final report published later this year.previous page