For Release August 5, 1998

Future Teachers Learn to Use Technology to Prepare Lessons

PIERRE—College students who plan to be teachers must be able to use technology if they want to teach in South Dakota’s public school classrooms. That is the message from Governor Bill Janklow, the South Dakota Board of Regents, and the colleges of education at the state’s public universities. The Regents issued a report this week documenting the technology activities of teacher education students during the 1997-98 academic year.

In fall 1997 Governor Janklow set a goal for every junior and senior teacher education student to complete 60 hours of experience integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. The universities responded by requiring that the students record participation in recommended categories of activities ranging from designing web pages to using software in teaching units.

"Our students averaged 209 hours per student, nearly 3.5 times the goal," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "That is a significant amount of time in one school year devoted to acquiring the skills to use technology in their classrooms. Clearly we are producing new teachers who will be technology leaders for the public schools."

A total of 701 junior and senior students enrolled in the teacher education colleges at Black Hills State University, Northern State University, Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota documented 146,703 hours working with technology in the curriculum. Ninety-five percent of the total group recorded at least 60 hours of technology experience, said Dr. Lesta Turchen, Senior Administrator with the Board of Regents. "We are very pleased with the results. Technology provides South Dakota’s local public schools with resources unimaginable only a few years ago. It is essential that we ensure future teachers possess the skills to tap into those resources. Next year 100 percent of our students will meet the challenge," Turchen said. She added that the colleges of education plan to provide retraining for currently practicing teachers as technology changes.

Most students reported hours of experience in activities that promoted professional teaching performance. These included using software such as spreadsheets and desktop publishing. They also learned to design lesson plans that integrate resources found on the Internet. In addition, they reported activities to improve personal learning skills such as e-mail and list serves.

A summary of the report may be found on the South Dakota Board of Regents web site at


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