Videoconferencing technology is transforming teacher education programs at Cal Lutheran University. Most students already have college teaching degrees but are taking courses for additional certifications or master’s degrees.

All courses at Cal Lutheran have integrated technology. The concept is to make sure technology is not an aside, but an integral part of each student’s activity. Graduates of the class of 2001 say they have become proficient with a variety of electronic classroom management software they test in their student-teaching assignments. They also make extensive use of eMail to communicate with their colleagues and professors as they get accustomed to real-world teaching.

Teaching students also are required to keep electronic portfolios, which contain examples of their lesson plans, favored educational links, and other information.

Soon, Cal Lutheran will begin a videoconferencing program with another university in the state that will give its students even greater access to information and professional development. Also, the video system will be linked with a local high school, so that teacher-students can interact with students. The videoconferencing center will be included in a new $6 million education and technology center to be built next year.