Teacher Technology Competence Base

Teacher Technology Competence Base

Lazarus Ndiku Makewa (Lukenya University, Kenya)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5915-3.ch014

Abstract

This chapter looks at the teacher and his/her technology competence base. It will attempt to determine what technology competencies the teacher should have before engaging in the use of any educational technology in the teaching and learning process. The content will argue that schools need to support teachers in accessing needed technology and in learning how to use it effectively. Institutions responsible for pre-service and in-service professional development for educators should focus explicitly on ensuring all educators are capable of selecting, evaluating, and using appropriate technologies and resources to create experiences that advance student engagement and learning. Teachers should be expected to model how to leverage available tools to engage content with curiosity and a mindset bent on problem solving and how to be co-creators of knowledge. In short, teachers should be the students they hope to inspire in their classrooms. Six concepts will guide this chapter; these are technological, instructional, methodological, evaluative, communication, and attitude.
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Introduction

Research confirms that teachers must utilize technology competently in their classrooms, both as vehicles of pedagogically sound instruction as well as for classroom management. Effective integration of technology is the result of many factors, but the most important factor is the teachers' competence and ability to lead and shape instructional technology activities to meet students' needs in their learning process.

Teachers must have knowledge of hardware and software applications (Hardy, 1998; McNamara & Pedigo, 1995; Siegel, 1995; Walters, 1992). However, Rosenthal (1999) cites a survey done by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES 2000–003) finding that only 20 percent of the nation’s 2.5 million public school teachers feel comfortable using technology in their classrooms. Another NCES brief (2000–090) elaborates that 13 percent of all public school teachers with access to technology or the Internet at school feel not at all prepared to use technology, 53 percent feel somewhat prepared, 23 percent feel well prepared, and 10 percent feel very well prepared. These findings imitate other research (Siegel, 1995; Schrum, 1999; Strudler & Wetzel, 1999, Lin, Zhao, Tondeur, Chai & Chin-Chung, 2013) which indicates that even if teachers hold positive attitudes toward technology, the lack of time, access, and support needed for them to feel competent using technology in instruction may distance teachers from becoming comfortable with technology in the process of teaching and learning. Teachers focus on teaching students first-level technology skills, which include how to work with the technology, but many teachers ignore the second level skills of knowledge integration and a deeper understanding of analyzing information (Fulton, 1997, Howard, 2013). These studies indicate that teachers model technology fluency by using technology in the classroom, applying technology across the curriculum, and integrating technology to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among students. Fulton also discusses integration and evaluation of technology in the classroom. Ertmer, Conklin, Lewandowski, Osika, Selo, and Wignall (2003) and Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, (2010) suggest that beginning teachers wanted to use technology and have adequate technical skills, but teachers lacked knowledge on how to integrate technology in teaching and learning. Teachers need to know why, when and how to use technology in meaningful ways in the learning process for technology integration to work.

By contrast, Saul Rockman, as quoted in Electronic School, believes that teachers should learn only enough about technology to get their work accomplished (National School Boards Association, 2000). He indicates that students would play a leading role in using technology if teachers would move aside (but keep an eye on their attempts) and give them permission to do so. The technology gap that exists between students and teachers indicates “students may know more about how to use the technology than adults” (Watson, 1998, p. 1035). Dockstader (1999) and Hsu, (2011) indicated that integrating technology in the classroom is a complex process that includes (a) learning the technology, (b) using technology in the teaching and learning process, and (c) integrating technology to enhance student learning (d) evaluating technology systems using technology.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Attitude: The way you think and feel about someone or something, a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior.

Instructional Technology: Is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

Integration: Combining one or more parts to create a whole. As used in this chapter it means including technology in the teaching and learning processes.

Communication: The ways of sending information to people by using technology.

Methodological: Has to do with teaching and learning activities and methods of delivery of the activities.

Teacher Education: Encompasses teaching skills, sound pedagogical theory, and professional skills. Teacher education also refers to the process by which a person attains education or training in an institution of learning in order to become a teacher.

Evaluative: To be evaluative is to consider or judge something carefully.

Technological: Related to solving problems using technology.

Instructional: The act or practice of instructing or teaching; education.

Competence: Adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity to do something.

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