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Chapter 8: Midwestern Independence and Educational Technology Use: Evaluation Strategies of the Nebraska Catalyst Project, co-authored by Neal Grandgenett, UNO faculty member.

This chapter discusses the efforts of the Nebraska Catalyst Project and its collaborative evaluation process for monitoring progress of the integration of educational technology use into pre-service teacher education in the state. Nebraska is a very independent operational environment for educational institutions, which includes 535 K12 school districts, and 17 institutions of higher education accrediting Nebraska teachers. Such institutional independence meant that the higher education institutions and K12 school districts, although individually quite excellent, had limited experience in working together on educational technology related goals. The Nebraska Catalyst Project was a bold step toward shared institutional strategic planning, decision-making, and faculty training related to educational technology. The evaluation mechanism used by the project was an important component of this successful project, and used four key strategies to help successfully monitor progress. These strategies included 1) developing a well-organized reporting system, 2) encouraging joint work on institutional assessments, 3) establishing an online format for evaluation information, and 4) systematically returning feedback to the individual institutions. This article describes the evaluation component of the Nebraska Catalyst Project and how it operated in the context of these four evaluation strategies, and within the very independent educational environment existing within the state.

Hundreds of teacher education programs throughout the United States are currently working to determine how to best prepare teachers so they can effectively harness the potential of technology for learning. Hundreds of school districts and institutions of higher education throughout the nation are working to maximize the return on their investment in technology. The over 400 consortia of the Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to use Technology (PT3) program have redesigned undergraduate and graduate curricula, addressed issues of digital equity, and established innovative ways of transforming teacher education through the power of technology.

The two volumes of this book document significant insights of PT3 projects around the country. Volume I is available in paperback from ISTE and includes 20 chapters filled with a wealth of ideas and approaches for integrating technology in teacher preparation. The chapters in this second volume of the book further document implemented and tested strategies that represent geographically broad and economically diverse contexts.

Publication Date



International Society For Technology In Education


Eugene, Oregon


Teacher Education


Volume II.

Grandgenett, N.F., Jones, J. (2005). Midwestern Independence and Educational Technology Use: Evaluation of the Nebraska Catalyst Project. Rhine, Steve, and Mark Bailey, eds. Integrated Technologies, Innovative Learning: Insights from the PT3 Program (Vol. II). ISTE, 2005. Copyright © Steve Rhine and Mark Bailey, 2005. Used by permission.

<i>Integrated Technologies, Innovative Learning (Vol. II)</i>