Teacher Preparation Programs and Learner-Centered, Technology-Integrated Instruction

Teacher Preparation Programs and Learner-Centered, Technology-Integrated Instruction

Judi Simmons Estes (Park University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0892-2.ch005
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Abstract

Integrating technology with instruction using a learner-centered pedagogy, enhances student engagement with learning. Effective technology-integrated instruction involves providing high-quality lesson design, with opportunities for inquiry-based learning, while building a community of learners within a technology-rich classroom (e-MINTS, 2016). For first-year teachers to enter a PK-12 classroom with the knowledge, skills, experiences, and resulting self-efficacy to implement technology-integrated instruction, they must have experienced modeling from teacher preparation faculty and a course of study with relevant experiences (Zhao, 2007). This chapter examines four components of effective technology-integrated, learner-centered instruction as well as the influential role of teacher preparation programs in providing a model and experiences for teacher candidates.
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Background

There is a significant difference between technology use in education and technology-integrated instruction. The definition of technology in education is narrow because it isolates technology from pedagogical processes. According to Lever-Duffy, McDonald, and Mizell (2005) “educational technology might include media, models, projected and non-projected visuals, as well as audio, video and digital media” (p. 4); furthermore these authors suggest that some “educators may take a narrower view” and are likely to “confine educational technology primarily to computers, computer peripherals and related software used for teaching and learning” (p. 5). Technology-integration incorporates technology hardware and software with technological skills and the ability to use pedagogical knowledge as a base for integrating technology into teaching and learning. Technology-integrated instruction connects instructional technology with standards, learning objectives, instructional strategies, learning activities, assessment strategies, and instructional follow-up procedures. Technology-integrated instruction is inherently learner-centered.

Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (e-MINTS) is a model of learner-centered and technology-integrated instruction for PK-12 programs as well as higher education. The four components of the instructional model include:

  • 1.

    High-quality lessons and assessment designed to meet the needs of diverse learners and valuing self-directed learning

  • 2.

    Authentic learning based on standards where questioning promotes critical thinking and inquiry, as well as complex thinking and knowledge construction

  • 3.

    Community of learners, including the teacher, who work in teams, take risks, respect and push each other while taking turns being leaders and becoming life-long learners

  • 4.

    Seamless technology integration into the classroom as a fundamental tool for learning, with students becoming media literate digital citizens (see https://sites.google.com/a/emints.org/eim/page2).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Motivation: Motivation pertains to the general desire or willingness of a student to engage with peers, teacher, and content while enrolled in a course of study.

ISTE: The International Society for Technology in Education is a not-for –profit organization that provides standards and criteria for what teachers need to teach and what students need to learn, as well as what content needs to be provided by a professional development program in relation to educational technology.

e-MINTS: Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Network Teaching Strategies; a professional development model that that supports high quality lesson design, promotes inquiry-based learning, creates a technology-rich learning environment and builds community among students and teachers.

Technology Literacy: Technology literacy is the ability to effectively use technology to access, evaluate, integrate, create and communicate information to enhance the learning process through problem-solving and critical thinking.

Collaborative Learning: Collaborative learning, also known as cooperative learning, is an instructional strategy that arranges small groups of students to work together to complete an academic assignment and through sharing and learning from one another accomplish a learning goal.

Engagement: Student engagement involves active participation, critical thinking, synthesis, and application of content to real-life experiences. Highly engaged students tend to feel a connection to the process of learning, to their peers, and to the institutions of higher education in which they are enrolled.

Pedagogy: A term used to encompass a set of beliefs that guide the actual function of the process of teaching; pedagogy guides what the behaviors of teachers as they implementing their craft to guide student learning.

Technology Tools: Chalk, posters, and overhead projectors were once “technology;” today we think of technology only as computer related tools, yet technology includes all teaching tools that enhance the delivery of instruction and these tools have changed and will change over time.

Technology Integration: Technology integration refers to a process of intentionally choosing technology tools that enhance specific instructional strategies during the teaching and learning process.

NETS-T (National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers): Developed by ISTE, the NETS-T standards guide teachers in use and application of technology within the instructional process.

Self-Efficacy: A person’s belief about their ability and competency; a teacher’s belief in their knowledge, skills, and ability to integrate their pedagogy into instruction.

Constructivism: A pedagogy that underlies an approach to teaching and learning based on the belief that students learn in a social environment with and from one another and that the role of the teacher is to facilitate the learning process while embracing the roles of both teacher as facilitator and as a fellow member of the learning community.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Pedagogical content knowledge is a synthesis of how teachers related what they know and belief about teaching (pedagogy) with the subject matter, or content that they are teaching.

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