Reexamining the Practicum Placement: How to Leverage Technology to Prepare Preservice Teachers for the Demands of the 21st Century

Summer 2007

Source: Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, Volume 23, Number 4, Summer 2007.

Publisher: Department of curriculum and Instruction Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching.


Author's Website: Rachel Karchmer-Klein

While many factors are taken into account when identifying appropriate practicum placements, effective technology use by the classroom teacher is rarely considered. This is disconcerting given the recent emphasis on teacher technology preparation. The research described in this article studies 30 preservice teachers’ participation in a six-week virtual practicum.

The practicum took place completely over the Internet and allowed the preservice teachers to interact with and observe experienced classroom teachers as they implemented high-quality technology-supported literacy instruction.

Using constant-comparative methods, field notes, e-mail correspondences, and survey responses were analyzed in relation to the three research questions: (1) How does a virtual practicum create opportunities to learn ways to manage technology integration in the classroom? (2) How does a virtual practicum create opportunities to learn ways to integrate technology into literacy instruction? and (3) How does a shared practicum experience allow preservice teachers to engage in class discussions and problem-solve issues confronted in their host classrooms?

Updated: Apr. 27, 2008