The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted education, forcing teachers and teacher educators into emergency, remote instruction. While there were noted challenges, there also were global success stories of innovation in preparing current and future teachers. This AACE and SITE -published, open access eBook contains 133 chapters with over 850 pages documenting best practices, strategies, and efforts by teacher educators, professional developers, researchers, and practitioners. It is divided into seven sections that address pedagogy, collaboration, field experiences, preservice education methods, professional development, digital tools, and equity issues. Chapters are presented as innovations with supporting materials that could be easily replicated or studied.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought frightening headlines. Each day dawned with news highlighting the number of cases (and deaths), the contagiousness of the disease, the lack of a cure or vaccine, and the scarcity of personal protective equipment for our healthcare and other frontline workers. One of the few positives was the speed at which many global partners joined to battle the disease. Academic researchers and even academic journals joined in the fight. For instance, in addition to giving open access to articles, many medical journals switched to a speedier review to be able to quickly publish promising results. So, as researchers were making early discoveries, they had a way to bypass a traditionally lon-ger review and publication process to give hope, share building blocks, and encourage collaboration.
At the beginning of April (2020) we began a conversation with editors of journals including TechTrends (Chuck Hodges) and the Journal of Computing in Higher Education (Stephanie Moore). We knew three things. First, we knew that many education and technology journals would probably invite and publish special issues of articles in 9-24 months. These articles would be retrospectives detailing what happened, what was implemented, and what worked (or did not work). Second, we knew that COVID-19 would probably last a while, and that although future journal articles would be tremendously helpful, we needed to publish work that would immediately impact people. Although ‘emergency instruction’ was getting people through their spring classes, there was a very high likelihood that they were going to need support and advice in the summer and into the fall (and perhaps beyond). Thus, in addition to support in the next 24 months, they needed help right away.
Third, we knew that there were a lot of success stories happening in teacher education around the world. We each personally heard and saw stories of success in responding to the pandemic and emergency online instruction at the pre-service teacher education and the in-service teacher professional development levels. However, these ‘stories’ were not your typical research narratives. In other words, these were not stories that began with a theoretical idea, developed into a research plan, received human subjects research approval, resulted in collected and analyzed data, and then were going to be turned into 30-page academic papers. Rather, these were stories of heroes using technology to respond to desperate situations. We needed to share these stories as a way of providing hope, support, and ideas for others while maintaining the rigor of the academic review process.
In addition to the original reviews we received from members of the editorial board and ad-hoc reviewers, we began the process of re-reviewing the remaining articles as editors. We identified 156 submissions that we believed had promise to both enlighten and guide preservice teacher educators and those who lead in-service teacher professional development. We invited those authors to revise their submissions, using a new chapter template to ensure consistency. We provided authors one week to revise and resubmit their work. Resubmitted papers were reviewed again editorially and 133 papers of the initial 266 submissions were accepted for publication in this book.
Our academic publication process of peer reviewing manuscripts is a good example of a tried-and-true practice that is common in academic traditions. As academics, we strongly believe in and continue to promote full peer review, just like we did in this book. However, through the special issue and this book, we adopted a fast ‘medical model’ of going from a ‘request for papers’ to publication of a special issue in about six weeks and to a book in about eight weeks. This was truly an experiment for us as editors and for many in the field who were writing for us, reviewing for us, or just watching what we were doing. We believe that this accelerated model has merit and should be considered for future publications. This would be particularly true during events that require immediate response (e.g., a pandemic).
In conclusion, we are pleased to be able to bring you this book on technology and teacher education during (and after) a pandemic. In these pages, you will find thoughtful and well-written chapters that can be used to improve practice, to inform current and future research, and to drive important policy questions.