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Chuck Carney
IU School of Education

Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Jacobs Teacher Educator Award to promote best teaching with technology

May 25, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. --The Indiana University School of Education is accepting applications for the Jacobs Teacher Educator Award, a new, privately funded program designed to recognize teachers who best use technology in the classroom to facilitate learning. The program is made possible by a $1 million gift from the late Barbara B. Jacobs, who established the Barbara B. Jacobs Chair in Education and Technology in 1998.

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A new awards program at IU's School of Education will recognize teachers using technology to best support innovative inquiry-based teaching and learning.

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The Jacobs Teacher Educator Award will honor up to three Indiana teachers and up to two from other parts of the country who are using technology to support innovative inquiry-based teaching and learning activities in their classrooms. Each teacher selected will receive a $1,500 stipend at the end of the one-year appointment and $1,000 toward purchasing technology resources to support his or her teaching, as well as funds to support travel to Indiana University for professional development events throughout the year.

The Jacobs Teacher Educator Award is the latest program at the IU School of Education designed to promote excellence in teaching and spread the use of best practices in teaching methods.

"We are proud to announce this latest Barbara B. Jacobs program designed to support the state and country's best teachers, and allow us to apply their knowledge to the preparation of the next generation of education leaders," said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the Indiana University School of Education. "We are particularly grateful for the vision and generosity of the late Barbara Jacobs whose support made possible the creation and continued development of this innovative and exciting public-private partnership."

The award will promote continuing discovery by these outstanding teachers as well as expose IU students and others preparing for teaching to the best methods in using the latest technologies.

"We will recognize them for their accomplishments, but use that as an opportunity to partner with them in terms of using their expertise to help our pre-service teachers think differently about how to use technology in their future classrooms," said Tom Brush, the current Barbara B. Jacobs Chair in Education and Technology. "We'll capture their expertise in the form of video cases of how they're using technology that we can use in both our pre-service teacher education classes as well as in professional development for other teachers. We'll put those online so that any teacher educator or other teachers can access them for models of good uses of technology in the classroom."

Any current teacher with at least five years' experience is eligible to apply before the deadline of July 15. The selection committee will name the Jacobs Teacher Educators in August. The IU School of Education will honor the awardees in the "Call to Teach" ceremony -- the annual fall event to recognize new teacher education students.

Brush, an instructional systems technology professor, researches issues related to integrating technology into teaching. He said that the speed of change in technology makes the best use of available tools difficult and that the program should help spread best practices, both for current and future teachers.

"We can't just think that we're doing a good job preparing teachers by saying, 'Well as long as they know how to use Microsoft Office and check their email, what else do they really need to do?'" Brush said. "We really need to think about and work with teachers to be able to be thoughtful about how technology can be used to support all kinds of teaching and learning in the classroom."

The Jacobs Educator program also provides the opportunity to benchmark technology-related teacher preparation efforts against the methods of exceptional K-12 teachers working in the field. Brush noted that bringing in the best from the field allows faculty at the School of Education to make sure they are learning about best practices.

"Teachers are probably going to be the first trailblazers in how to use these new tools in their classrooms," he said. "Through this program we now have the ability to capture and analyze those best practices so that we are able to share them with others and improve our own methodologies over time."

The application for the Jacobs Teacher Educator Award is online at