Enhancing Preservice Science Teachers’ Use of Text Through E-Readers

September, 2017

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 569-589. (2017)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study aimed to explore preservice science teachers’ views about the uses of e-readers and e-text prior to their science methods course and their views of their use of this technology when they are required to incorporate them as a resource in their lesson planning.

The participants were 14 preservice secondary education science methods teachers at a midsized regional public university in the southeastern U.S.
The authors adapted the secondary science teacher education methods class to integrate digital textbooks into coursework. The participants were taught how to use e-readers and e-text prior to their science methods course. They were also taught how to modify text for use in their science curriculum. The authors administered pre- and post-instructional surveys to examine how the participants viewed the potential use of e-readers and e-text in their future classrooms.

The findings reveal that participants highlighted the potential of e-text as adaptable and more responsive to student interest and need. These findings suggest that with professional development, preservice teachers report being more receptive to using e-text and e-readers to adapt text for use in their classrooms.

The authors also found that if preservice secondary education science methods teachers already owned an e-reader device, they reported being more comfortable with their own platform and preferred reading on paper.
The authors argue that because of this lack of experience, the participants had not experimented with e-text and e-readers on their own. They suggest that creating activities for preservice teachers that require them to explore and understand this technology is important.

The authors also found that the use of e-text and e-readers forced preservice teachers to consider thoughtfully not only the content of the background information, but also the reading level and length of the reading material. At the end of the science methods course, all the participants selected relevant text or modified text for varying reading levels.

The authors conclude that they have a greater understanding of preservice secondary education science methods teachers’ preferences toward the technology and their need for technical skill development when creating instructional experiences in the science methods courses.
They suggest that this study helps demonstrate how a professional development model for preservice teachers might aid in the gap in knowledge surrounding the adaptation of this technology. 

Updated: Aug. 08, 2018