Strategies for Preparing Preservice Social Studies Teachers to Integrate Technology Effectively: Models and Practices

Mar. 28, 2009

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), p. 46-59. (2009).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This paper describes strategies used by the authors to assist preservice social studies teachers with understanding and applying models and practices for effectively integrating technology into their future classrooms—thus, strengthening the link between technology and pedagogy (or technological pedagogical content knowledge).

Promoting TPCK With Preservice Social Studies Teachers

The strategies employed to promote TPCK with their preservice teachers have been shaped by both successful strategies with in-service social studies teachers to promote pedagogical change  and strategies employed to integrate technology more fully into our preservice teacher education programs. Activities include

- Viewing, critiquing, and discussing authentic cases of social studies teachers utilizing various technology resources to implement inquiry-based learning activities in their classrooms.

- Providing preservice social studies teachers with opportunities to explore innovative, emerging technologies and to integrate those technologies into rich learning activities within the context of their teacher education programs.

- Providing preservice social studies teachers with opportunities to implement activities that effectively utilize technology in authentic classroom settings.

Analyzing Models of Effective Technology Use in Social Studies Classrooms

One case the authors have used successfully with preservice classes focuses on a teacher’s use of a specific teaching strategy known as an “interactive slide lecture.” With this strategy, the teacher provides students with a series of historical photographs and uses various interactive activities (e.g., role playing, think-alouds) to establish foundational knowledge of a historical topic and encourage historical thinking.

Modeling Specific Technology-Rich Activities

A second approach to providing TPCK to preservice teachers is to design activities in which preservice teachers serve as students and participate in technology-rich, content-based activities.

Modeling Technology Tools to Enhance Pedagogical Goals

In their teacher education courses, we model emerging technological tools available at little or no cost to teachers that facilitate powerful learning activities for students.

Supporting Exploration in Authentic Classrooms

Preservice teachers also need opportunities to examine the use of technology in authentic classroom settings and explore how they can use technology to support student learning.

To provide these experiences, the authors have designed specific activities that preservice teachers complete as part of their field-based practicum experiences. Emerging technological resources are integrated into these activities, and preservice teachers are encouraged to explore how more advanced technologies can enhance their own teaching.

Conclusion: Barriers to Integrating Technology and Pedagogy

This paper describes several strategies which have been designed potentially to increase preservice teachers’ TPCK by providing them with opportunities to explore innovative and emerging technology resources in authentic social studies learning and teaching situations.

However, providing preservice teachers with “authentic” experiences can expose other issues that can hinder their knowledge and skills with integrating technology and pedagogy. One major issue involves the types of models preservice teachers are exposed to in their field placement experiences. Even if mentor-teachers do have expertise in technology integration and time to mentor preservice teachers, they may not have the opportunity to model diverse teaching strategies in the limited amount of time a preservice teacher is present in their classroom, or they may lack of technology resources at a given placement school.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010