American Educational Research Association > SIG151 > TACTL History
TACTL History
History of the TACTL SIG

By Rhonda Christensen, University of North Texas

The U.S. Department of Education’s Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) Program brought university education faculty together working on common goals across the U.S. Between 1999 and 2001, the DOE awarded 466 grants totaling $399 million. The PT3 projects held “Collaborative Exchanges” in which project directors and staff visited other university PT3 projects, learning from each other. During these visits, many of the faculty began to realize there were common problems as well as common research findings among the projects. However, there was no means to share and build on the research on these outcomes. At a meeting of PT3 evaluators and project directors, the idea of an AERA SIG devoted to PT3 issues emerged informally. The discussion continued beyond the meeting and was expanded to the PT3 listserv. It became clear that many felt such a SIG would promote the continuation of the ideals and practices embodied in the PT3 program. There was general agreement that the PT3 program was having a significant impact on reform in teaching and teacher education. It was clear from the discussion that many felt the PT3 program focused on reform in teacher education, as well as subsequent reform in higher education and K-12 environments. After receiving endorsement from Acting PT3 Director Lavona Grow to create the SIG, Rhonda Christensen, Gerald Knezek, and Peggy Roblyer created the TACTL charter and bylaws. During AERA 2002 in New Orleans, Gerald Knezek and Walt Heineke organized a group of about 25 PT3 project directors to discuss the proposed organization over lunch and begin a membership drive to form the SIG. An ad-hoc Executive Committee was formed: Heineke as Interim President, Roblyer as vice president, Knezek as Program Coordinator, Christensen as Web Administrator, Pete Adamy as Secretary/Treasurer, and Meg Ropp as Member at Large. These individuals collected the required signatures and checks to pay founding dues. AERA formally chartered TACTL the following year, and the SIG sponsored its first sessions at AERA 2003 Conference in Chicago.