Customized Consultation to Enhance Teacher Educators' Techno-Pedagogical Skills

Customized Consultation to Enhance Teacher Educators' Techno-Pedagogical Skills

Tami Seifert (Kibutzim College of Education, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8476-6.ch006

Abstract

Educational technology is an indispensable element of higher education teaching. Teacher educators need knowledge and skills to design and successfully implement technology-enhanced learning. However, research reveals that professional development programs have only a low impact on teacher educators' teaching practice. An evaluation framework evaluating professional development training programs was implemented. The model evaluates training impact over four levels: participant's satisfaction, learning, and application of what was learned and connection of the training results to organizational outcomes. Consultation meetings varying in length, offered by the ICT unit, assisted teacher educators to integrate technology according to their content, style, and needs. They could also participate in courses designed and implemented by colleagues, group meetings, workshops, and online synchronous and asynchronous consultation meetings. The college's educational vision and integration of the PD program into the teacher educator's teaching practice were important factors for success.
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Introduction

Educational technology is an integral and indispensable element of modern teacher education programs. It is therefore crucial that Teacher Educators (Hereinafter: TEs) have the knowledge and skills to design technology-enhanced teaching and provide experiences that have the potential to shape the knowledge and beliefs of Pre-Service Teachers (Hereinafter: PSTs) regarding teaching and learning with Information and Communications Technology (Hereinafter: ICT), in order to impact on their future teaching practice (Bakir, 2015; Haydn, 2014; Tondeur et al., 2012). The quantity and quality of PSTs’ technology experiences included in their teacher education programs are crucial factors influencing new teachers’ adoption of technology (Tondeur et al., 2012). To assist TEs to improve their techno-pedagogical skills, they need to engage in life-long learning, continually updating their knowledge as rapid changes occur in this field. This would enable them to innovate and integrate different kinds of knowledge to create successful technology-enhanced teaching-learning activities to equip PSTs with ICT competencies and facilitate PSTs' transition from college education to actual professional practice in the ever-changing education field (Tondeur, Pareja Roblin, van Braak, Voogt, Prestridge, 2017; Seifert, 2017).

Research findings reveal that TEs acting as role models proved to be important motivators for PSTs' future technology integration in the classroom (Tondeur et al., 2017). To have the expected positive impact on the teaching and learning processes, it is helpful to reexamine and adapt TEs' professional development to meet their various needs and preferences (Seifert, 2018a). Various factors influence the effectiveness of ICT integration, especially the teachers’ motivation to integrate ICT, their personal knowledge and experience of working with ICTs, the level of their confidence in using ICT, their access to ICT resources and training, the extent to which the teachers are prepared for this strategy and whether and to what extent they have technical and pedagogical support (Cabanatan, 2002; Seifert, 2017). To effectively integrate technology into their classes, teachers need appropriate training and support so that they can successfully put into practice the knowledge and skills they have learned (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010; Kay, 2006). Even though there are abundant learning opportunities available to enrich TEs' knowledge concerning technology, most report that they have difficulty in transferring the skills learned during such workshops or courses to their teaching practices (Chuang, Thompson, & Schmidt, 2003; Kay, 2006; Koehler & Mishra, 2005). It appears from previous research that the most common method for instructing teachers regarding the integration of IT in their teaching is a combination of workshops together with personal mentoring (Brush et al., 2003; Polly, Mims, Shepherd, & Inan, 2010). Most teacher training in this field aims to develop technological and pedagogical knowledge relevant to the teaching context in higher education (Herring, Meacham, & Mourlam, 2016). One-on-one mentoring could relate to difficulties involved in the application of content knowledge and the interplay between technology, content, and pedagogy (Herring et al., 2016; Mishra & Koehler, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Techno-Pedagogical Skills: Techno-pedagogical skills are those skills needed to use technology for pedagogical reasons and the competence to integrate technology into teaching. In the present study, techno-pedagogical skills includes sub-skills such as: basic technological skills, technology usage skills for knowledge acquisition and personal development, technology usage skills for planning and preparing lesson plans.

ICT (Information and Communications Technology): Extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of technology to handle telecommunications in order to enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.

Customized Consultation: As an educational vision and philosophy of the institution, offers various types of customized consultation meetings regarding pedagogical-technological aspects that are modified according to the TEs' content, style and needs including personal meetings varying in length, group meetings, synchronous, and asynchronous workshops.

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