Source: Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, v27 n1, p.30-36 ( Fall 2010).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
Prior research has indicated that all U.S. teacher preparation programs provide instruction on technology integration within coursework and related requirements.
This study aims to understand the differences that exist among programs of study and institutions of varying demographic characteristics in regards to teacher preparation in technology use. The study seeks to gain an understanding of the content included in these experiences and the rationale teacher educators have for selecting topics and methods for these experiences.
This study addresses two research questions:
1. What are the perceptions of technology experiences used to prepare teachers to use technology?
2. What are the perceptions of technology topics used to prepare teachers to use technology?
The researchers analyzed data obtained from an online questionnaire, interviews, and artifacts to understand the differences among programs in regard to technology experiences.
Eighty percent of respondents indicated all or some of their programs required a standalone educational technology course. Personal productivity and information presentation were the most commonly reported topics taught in all programs.
The Findings reveal that when asked to describe changes they would make in their programs, more than half of the educational technology faculty expressed a desire to have more systemic technology integration, particularly in field experiences and methods courses.
Providing the opportunity to practice with technology is important for preservice teachers, as teachers encounter barriers when they attempt to use technology in the classroom (Hew & Brush, 2007). If teachers can practice using technology in the classroom, they may be more likely to overcome those barriers when using technology in their own classrooms.
In addition, the authors highlight several reasons why it is essential that teacher preparation programs consider the extent to which they are providing future teachers with experiences in using technology to support students with special needs (Smith & Jones, 1999; Tech Act, 1988). Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA), schools are required to make certain that assistive technology devices are provided to each student with special needs if they are a requirement of the child’s special education.
As a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team members consider a student’s need for assistive technology, the student’s teachers need to be able to utilize these tools to help the student be successful in the classroom (Edyburn, 2000; IDEIA § 300.324).
Edyburn, D. L. (2000). Assistive technology and students with mild disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 32(9), 1–24.
Hew, K., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K–12 teaching and learning:
Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology
Research and Development, 55(3), 223–252.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Pub. L. 108–446, 300.
Smith, S. J., & Jones, E. D. (1999). The obligation to provide assistive technology: Enhancing general curriculum access. Journal of Law & Education, 28(2), 247–265.
Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, 29 U.S.C. § 2201 et seq.