CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Technology Integration and Pre-service Teacher Training: The Effectiveness of Embedding Technology Use in Three Pre-Methods Courses

Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Getrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

George K. Fornshell

Abstract

Graduates of teacher education programs are expected to have acquired the skills necessary to implement technologically integrated curricula into the classroom. Many colleges of education require pre-service teachers to either enroll in an introductory computer course to acquire fundamental computer skills or a separate educational technology course that integrates the computer skill training with classroom integration skills. This requirement is gradually evolving into integrating technology into some of the required education coursework. The approach needs to go beyond minimal exposure to skills acquired in introductory computer sciences courses and modeling of instruction within education courses. Pre-service teachers need to experience integrated technology as students as one step in gaining a perspective on how to design integrated technology lessons that they will be expected to implement as part of state education standards. A constructivist approach to the integrated technology experience allows pre-service teachers to develop knowledge, skill, and insight into how technology can be effectively utilized in the classroom. This research was designed to identify specific skills and define constructivist methods for inclusion of technology into the pre-methods education curriculum that would help prepare pre-service teachers to effectively infuse technology into their lesson plans.

Research indicates that anxiety levels decrease and self-efficacy levels increase in pre-service teachers who experience integrated technology skill training during methods and student teaching semesters. Recommendations indicated that these skills should be introduced into education course work earlier in the undergraduate program. This study measured and compared the self-efficacy and confidence levels of pre-service teachers who had participated in an introductory computer course to those who had participated in pre-methods education courses with constructivist-based technology integration approaches. This was accomplished by surveying education majors enrolled in the required introductory computer science course and students in each of the three required core education courses. No significant difference was noted in most areas of understanding how technological tools can enhance teaching between pre-service teachers who acquired and/or practiced technological skills as part of a discovery learning approach in education classes to those who experienced only computer skills training.

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