Navigating Necessary Change

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School districts and universities around the nation were forced to increase use of technology to meet the educational needs of their students and community with the onset of COVID-19. With varying levels of expertise and resources in using technology as an educational tool, many districts and teachers struggled through this transition. This article explores the success of a midwestern urban school district in the United States and the cooperative engagement with a neighboring small public university. The school district capitalized on the leadership of a courageous administrator’s gift in building efficacious collaborative cultures in a K–12 setting and created a successful program implemented through the 2020–2021 academic year. Keeping the e-learning in-house resulted in substantial savings. When teacher candidates from the neighboring small public university began student teaching in the district’s Virtual Academy, the university’s education faculty quickly realized that a stronger partnership with the district could help faculty better prepare teacher candidates to meet the changing educational technology fluency needs. The district’s academic success and the university’s theoretical knowledge provided opportunities for discussion and training. The education faculty collaborated with field practitioners to better understand the needs of this new “normal.” As a result, some university education faculty gained more technical knowledge and embedded Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPACK) and the (S) Substitution, (A) Augmentation, (M) Modification, and (R) Redefinition (SAMR) model recommendations within courses. From this, pivotal shifts grew using the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), SAMR, and TPACK foundations in the Education Preparation Programs (EPPs).