A Teaching With Technology certificate, granted by The Graduate School (for instructors who are enrolled in a graduate program) or the Office of Human Resources (for non-graduate instructors), provides evidence of effective and innovative use of technology for teaching.
Employers want and need to hire personnel who have strong technology skills and who can make decisions about appropriate use of technologies. Instructors who have technical skills not only can improve their teaching effectiveness and efficiency, but also will greatly sharpen their "edge" in the job market.
The certificate program is co-sponsored by Information Technology Service, the Graduate School and the Office of Human Resources. If you are an instructor who is enrolled in a graduate program, then the certificate is awarded by the Graduate School. If you are on the Penn State payroll and not a graduate student, then the certificate is awarded by the Office of Human Resources.
Ultimately, the goal is to create an online portfolio based on your examples of how technology was used in instruction. While some candidates may be able to immediately develop a portfolio, others may need to first learn about instructional technology options and use them in an instructional setting.
Once a portfolio is completed, it is reviewed and approved by a TWT coordinator within your department and the URL is sent to the TWT Coordinator who will arrange for a certificate to be issued.
There are two certificate options – A Graduate School TWT Certificate, co-sponsored by the Graduate School, for instructors enrolled in a graduate program at Penn State and an HR Instructor TWT Certificate, co-sponsored by the Office of Human Resources, for other instructors. Examples of candidates for each certificate are listed below
|Graduate TWT||HRDC Instructor TWT|
|Candidate must be enrolled in the Graduate School and provide examples of incorporating technology into an instructional setting.
This includes Graduate Assistants (GA) as well as other graduate candidates with instructional experience.
|Candidate must be on the Penn State payroll. Candidates can include
Generally speaking graduate instructors at Penn State should obtain the TWT Certificate from the Graduate School, regardless of their payroll status. Fortunately the registration process for this certificate is very straightforward.
You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a coordinator. You will be asked for the name of your department and department chair, and the TWT program will contact the department to make the arrangements on your behalf. You should not complete a portfolio without a coordinator. This could cause delays in the review of your portfolio.
Not simultaneously. Although some graduate students may be “on the payroll”, the HRDC Instructor version of the program is meant to serve instructors who are not enrolled in a graduate program.
In many cases no. Typically the same department coordinator evaluates portfolios in both programs, and most coordinators base their evaluation criteria on those listed on the Portfolio Rubric.
However, the coordinator may choose to modify the rubric to emphasize elements he or she feels is important for the discipline. It is recommended that you discuss portfolio requirements with your departmental coordinator so that you both reach a consensus of what is expected.
Specific deadlines are announced for fall, spring and summer sessions on the home page (upper left), although there is flexibility for completing and approving portfolios.
It is always recommended that you contact your coordinator at the beginning of a semester so that he or she knows your intentions. If your coordinator knows ahead of time that he or she will be away, you can arrange for an alternate deadline or your coordinator may be able to find a replacement to assist you. In emergency situations, deadlines can be extended.
There are a variety of options available including seminars from ITS Training, educational technology presentations and online tutorials. Updates on new training opportunities and presentations are posted on the news section of home page.
The TWT Certificate program is a flexible program which means there are lots of options to set your own timeline. Examples for the Teaching With Technology portfolio can be documented while you are using them, and the final portfolio developed later.
The main hurdle for many people is to stitch their examples together, but you can read the Portfolio section for information on how to craft a portfolio. Some candidates may choose to complete the portfolio in a semester with a light teaching load or a vacation. Others may work on it gradually over the course of several weeks.
If you are someone who needs a deadline, you may want to ask your TWT Coordinator or contact email@example.com to set up an appointment to review the portfolio.
Yes, so long as you are eligible for submission at a future point in time. For instance, if you take a semester off for research purposes, you can continue to work on the portfolio, and may even be able to submit it from a distance.
A complete list of requirements are posted on the Rubric page, but the requirements can be subdivided as follows:
A TWT philosophy is your personal statement about the benefits of effective use of technologies for teaching and how technology use fits into your future work and life. A teaching philosophy statement should answer how you define effective teaching and learning, your beliefs on best practices for teaching and why you have these beliefs. A teaching philosophy statement can also reflect on your personal history, especially in terms of why you chose the academic discipline that you have.
There is no minimum or maximum size or number of elements in a TWT portfolio. Your portfolio can be simple or flashy, depending on your skills and how you want to represent yourself. See the Portfolio requirements and rubric page to guide your decisions on what to include.
The portfolio rubric recommends including multimedia elements because images, video and audio can be powerful channels for getting a message across to students. This does not mean you need to become a professional videographer or artist though. There are many options available including:
You can also borrow images and video from other sources, as long as you have obtained rights for them. Many creators now make their products available for non-educational use, so there are more options to borrow than ever.
Relevant teaching with technology experience from outside of Penn State can be incorporated into your TWT Portfolio, but please inform your coordinator so that he or she is aware of outside examples.
In cases in which a portfolio is not approved upon the first submission, candidates may make revisions and additions and resubmit during a following semester. Technology projects are often an iterative process.
Yes, you can use a pre-existing portfolio to obtain an HRDC staff certificate, but please work with your coordinator so that he or she is aware of your situation.
Your Penn State Access ID and personal Web space will be available for 6 months after graduation. Prior to leaving Penn State, you may want to copy your portfolio to a CD or DVD so that you can easily reconstruct it at another location.