Making Sure What You See is What You Get: Digital Video Technology and the Preparation of Teachers of Elementary Science

From Section:
ICT & Teaching
Sep. 01, 2010

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10(3), 275-293, 2010.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges and discuss the opportunities of incorporating digital video technology (DVT) into the research on preservice science teacher education.
The goal is to provide researchers and preservice teacher instructors with practical considerations and technical guidelines so they may avoid commonly encountered difficulties and to ensure that emerging digital technologies are appropriately applied to achieve the most accurate results.

Digital Video Technology in Teacher Preparation and Research

Studies suggest that video use can significantly facilitate reforms in science education by enabling preservice teachers to sharpen their skills of observation and reflect on important contextual factors that influence the teaching and learning process (Wang & Hartley, 2003).

When incorporated into teacher preparation, the digital video library offers a readily accessible archive of exemplary classroom practices that can be identified, analyzed, and critiqued by preservice trainees and their faculty instructors. Similar practices have been incorporated into research investigating teachers’ interpretation of classroom interactions.

Observational learning for novice teachers is enhanced with various instructional examples that include immediate feedback and repetition, demonstrations of best practices, highlights of effective techniques, examples of theory in action, modeling efficacy, and attending to often overlooked but important elements of instruction (e.g., Bulgar, 2007; Dymond & Bentz, 2006; Yerrick et al., 2005).
Furthermore, access to specific exemplars that represent the most research-supported models of science teaching creates a common ground for collaboration between research and practice that leads to state-of-the-art preservice teacher education.

Conclusions and Implications

The authors conclude that the incorporation of digital video technology and coding software packages into research focused on improving the quality of science teacher education provides a number of methodological advantages for researchers and numerous benefits for preservice education faculty and students.
These methodologies facilitate the transformation of teacher beliefs about science teaching and aid in the acquisition of accurate science content knowledge.

However, the use of digital video research methods can pose serious threats to the validity of any investigation.
Issues of hardware and software compatibility also must be considered.
Many of these challenges can be addressed through advance planning, training of research personnel, and prerequisite technical information gathering. Also, thorough understanding of digital format options is critical to avoid future problems associated with for storage and transfer, external components, and overall quality.

Finally, care should be taken to recognize that the presence of a camera and video recording in classroom environments can cause distractions that lead to reactivity effects , influencing the behaviors and responses of the students and teachers.

Bulgar, S. (2007). Using supported video exemplars for the professional development of preservice elementary school teachers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 7(2), 28-41.

Dymond, S. K., & Bentz, J. L. (2006). Using digital videos to enhance teacher preparation. Teacher Education and Special Education, 29(2),98-112.

Wang, J., & Hartley, K. (2003). Video technology as a support for teacher education reform. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 11(1), 105-138.

Yerrick, R., Ross, D., & Molebash, P. (2005). Too close for comfort: Real-time science teaching reflections via digital video editing. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 16, 351-375.

Updated: Dec. 01, 2019
Educational research | Educational technology | Preservice teacher education | Research methodology | Science instruction | Science teachers | Teaching methods | Video technology