Preparing Preservice Teachers to Become Self-Reflective of Their Technology Integration Practices

Preparing Preservice Teachers to Become Self-Reflective of Their Technology Integration Practices

Julie M. Amador (University of Idaho, USA), Royce Kimmons (University of Idaho, USA), Brant G. Miller (University of Idaho, USA), Christopher David Desjardins (Science Institute-University of Iceland, Iceland) and Cassidy Hall (University of Idaho, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8403-4.ch004
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to further understand how preservice teachers critically think about technology and their competence in technology integration. A mixed methods research design was employed to gather survey and performance task reflection data from preservice teachers. Data were analyzed using a categorization process based on preservice teachers' conceptualizations of technology as replacement, amplification, and transformation. Results revealed a significant overall effect of the selection of performance task upon whether it was applied in a transformative manner, but that no such overall effect existed for amplification and replacement. Descriptive analyses indicate preservice teachers were self-reflective about the extent to which technology influences students' learning. Conclusions indicate that teacher education programs should consider how they support preservice teachers to become self-reflective consumers of technology.
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Background

The influx of technology in the educational system has brought about changes in instructional methods as technology is integrated across content areas and grade levels. Technology integration is described as a sustainable change in the social structure of the K-12 educational system resulting from the adoption of technology as a means to assist students with constructing knowledge (Belland, 2009). Proponents of technology integration argue that a defining characteristic is a student-centered classroom where students operate and manipulate technology (Hammonds, Matherson, Wilson, & Wright, 2013; Lowther, Inan, Strahl, & Ross, 2008).

Lowther et al. (2008) studied the use of computers to increase learning and impact student achievement as well as teachers’ abilities and perceptions toward technology integration. Findings indicated that students in classrooms where teachers had received professional development on technology integration were more engaged in student-centered activities and independent inquiry and used technology as a meaningful learning tool. Likewise, teachers participating in the professional development experience reported increased positive attitudes toward technology integration and were more confident in incorporating computer tasks in their teaching. Additionally, teachers improved their skills with technology and were better equipped to integrate technology to help students learn standards, thus supporting the notion of multiple increased benefits and outcomes for the effective implementation of professional development focused on technology integration.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student: A learner in grades kindergarten through twelve.

TPACK: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge is a type of knowledge necessary for understanding and having the ability to go beyond simple use of technology for effective instructional implementation; this includes knowledge of how to integrate the technology in meaningful ways to promote learning.

Self-Assessment: Consideration and evaluation of one’s own former and/or current practices as measured against norms or criteria.

Teacher Educator: A person tasked with educating future or practicing teachers.

Integration: Intertwining technology with content disciplines.

Self-Reflection: Consideration and evaluation of one’s own former and/or current practices for the purpose of using past performance to influence future decisions.

RAT: A framework for a model for technology integration proposing that when technologies are introduced to a teaching or learning context they have one of three effects; they will either (R)eplace existing practices with new practices that do not fundamentally change or improve any aspects of the experience, (A)mplify the learning process by helping teachers and students to be more effective in conveying and learning traditional knowledge and skills, or (T)ransform the learning experience to allow new possibilities both in terms of the content being taught and the pedagogical methods employed.

Suites of Technology: Related tools or programs of technology with a similar purpose.

Preservice Teacher: A student in a teacher education program who is preparing to become a teacher, but does not yet teach independently in his or her own classroom.

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