Becoming a Computer Technology Teacher
Keep students on the cutting edge by becoming a computer teacher.
It’s hard to imagine a time when we weren’t in an advanced Computer Age and having good technology skills has never been more important. If we want to succeed in school—and in life—we must master the basic skills that most companies now expect from job applicants.
Computer technology teachers share the knowledge, tools and techniques necessary for students to develop the technological literacy they need. Using math, science and technology principles, they teach students problem-based learning skills through computer laboratory activities that involve computers, servers and other technology.
Technology teachers work in elementary and secondary schools, where they conduct lessons in a classroom or laboratory setting. Here are some of the duties of a technology or computer teacher:
- Introducing basic computer, keyboard and Internet skills
- Teaching students how to use design applications, computer-aided drafting (CAD) or manufacturing to develop technological solutions to problems
- Assigning projects so that students learn to deal with real-world constraints, such as time and materials
- Allowing students to unravel technological problems using a hands-on, trial-and-error approach
- Encouraging creative thinking with challenging classroom projects
- Helping students connect math, science and technological principles to everyday life
Technology Teachers at Work
As a computer teacher, your daily tasks will depend mostly on the age and ability level of your students. Younger classrooms will focus on keyboarding and understanding basic word processing and other typical office programs, as well as Internet basics.
With older students, you might offer more advanced classes in software programming, hardware, web design and programming, data processing or more advanced office programs.
Laboratory experiments for technology education students can be more complex and might involve one or more of the following:
- automotive technology
- computer programming
- digital photography
- multimedia applications
Depending on the schools they teach in, technology or computer teachers might present class instruction or individualized exercises using a teacher presentation system linked to computer workstations.
Power Up With Education and Training
If you’ve ever wondered how to become a computer teacher, here you go: Colleges offer different computer bachelor’s degree tracks. Some give education majors the option to specialize in technology, while others make technology education available as a major. You will also find colleges that offer master’s degree programs in technology education studies.
Your technology teacher education will emphasize math, science, communication and teaching concepts as they relate to the grade level(s) you plan to teach. Specific course work may cover the following areas:
- general physics
- multimedia design
- writing and communication
- engineering math and design
- structures and mechanics
- manufacturing systems
- content and methods
- student teaching
Certification requirements for technology teachers will vary from state to state, so check with your state Department of Education to see what’s required in your area. The following three organizations work in concert to accredit academic programs that award technology teaching degrees:
- National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- International Technology Education Association (ITEA)
- Council on Technology Teacher Education (CTTE)
The NCATE indicates three phases of teacher preparation and development to assure public trust in teaching professionals:
- Attend a professionally accredited school of education
- Attain your state license, which typically involves passing a state exam and meeting education and experience requirements
- Earn advanced certification to demonstrate your dedication to continuous education and expertise in your field
As a technology teacher, you give each generation of students the edge they need to compete in an increasingly technological world. Through your passion and interest in this field, you will create a lasting interest among your students, who will soon be developing the future technology for the next generation of students.
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