sealPurdue News

July 1997

Computer endorsement a 'must' for new teachers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Computers are becoming as common in K-12 classrooms as the No. 2 pencil. That's why Purdue University's School of Education has developed a computer education endorsement that can be added to the teaching certificates of its graduates.

"Clearly, the national trend is that this is becoming a common skill expected of new teachers," says James Lehman, professor of educational computing and co-director of the school's Technology Resource Center.

The most recent figures available show that 18 states now require certification in computers and technology for their new teachers. Purdue's home state of Indiana is not one of them, but Lehman says it's just a matter of time.

"We're finding that more and more K-12 schools in Indiana won't even look at our people unless they have some sort of computer experience," he says.

Purdue's computer education endorsement includes 12 hours of undergraduate study in areas of computer literacy, fundamentals of computer languages, teaching with computers and computers in other disciplines. The endorsement is designed not only to help teachers better utilize computers in the classroom, but also to prepare them to serve as computer resource people for their schools.

Purdue students also are exposed to the fundamentals of distance education by tutoring K-12 pupils more than 100 miles away via e-mail, and by teaching lessons to students in another school system using two-way video equipment in Purdue's Ameritech Distance Education Classroom.

Lehman says technology will continue to transform education: "Not only do we know more about teaching and learning than ever before, but the means to apply that knowledge have changed dramatically. The tools at hand, particularly personal computers, are revolutionary in their potential. They are forcing us to rethink what we mean by education and schooling."
CONTACT: Lehman, (765) 494-5670; e-mail,; Web,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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