Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, v. 32 no. 4 (November 2009), p. 337-350.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this article, the authors describe a systematic effort by a department of special education to integrate technology into teaching through a one-to-one laptop initiative and to examine preservice teachers' perceptions concerning their experiences with the initiative.
The purpose of the study was threefold:
(a) to examine preservice teachers' self-perceptions of proficiency with technology for teaching,
(b) to examine preservice teachers' attitudes toward the use of technology for teaching, and
(c) to evaluate the effectiveness of faculty instruction related to the integration of technology across three semesters.
13 undergraduate special education majors participated in this study. The students were part of the College of Education's laptop initiative and made up the department's first "laptop" cohort.
Of the 13 participants, 11 were female and 2 were male. Eleven were White and two were Hispanic. All were native English speakers. They ranged in age from 19 to 27 with the 85% of them ranging from 20 to 25 years of age.
Data collection consisted of both quantitative and qualitative methods.
The authors used pre- and post-surveys with both Likert-type questions and open-ended questions.
In this study, preservice teachers' perceptions of their abilities to integrate the use of technology in their teaching increased. Their attitudes toward integrating technology in teaching remained consistently high across program semesters. Moreover, preservice teachers believed that faculty effectively integrated and modeled the use of technology in their instruction.
In terms of enhancing professional development for preservice teachers, the results of the study suggest that preservice teachers can benefit from the systematic integration of instructional technology in their teacher preparation programs. In particular, the preservice teachers in this study believed that they increased in their instructional technology abilities.