Inventing New Strategies for Integrating Technology into Education
Jere Confrey, Paul Resta, Anthony Petrosino, The University of Texas, United States ; Melissa Tothero, Project INSITE, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-44-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
The purpose of the PT3 grant Inventing New Strategies for Integrating Technology into Education (INSITE) is to develop a scalable model of a technology-infused educational program for the next generation of middle and high school teachers of mathematics and science. INSITE brings together key players from the core content courses, professional sequence courses, and field experiences; facilitates collaboration among these key players; and provides the technology-related expertise they need to model exemplary educational technology in science and mathematics. The graduates of the program have internalized a vision of mathematics and science education in which technology is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. They have seen the critical role technology can have in shaping all aspects of scientific and mathematical thinking: its conduct, methods, records, evidence, collaboration and dissemination. INSITE represents a commitment to systemic change, initiated by a consortium from the Colleges of Education and Natural Sciences of the University of Texas and the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Research shows that ew teachers will not be able to initiative or sustain the use of technologies in schools unless it is a critical and enduring part of their preparation (President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, 1997; Office of Technology Assessment, 1995). They will not develop critical capacities to evaluate effective and ineffective uses, nor to learn efficient techniques of integration, unless their university experience integrates in all aspects of their preparation. They will not understand the pernicious effects of the Digital Divide on access to technological careers, unless the witness effective programs to be the needs of the children of the working poor. To meet these challenges, INSITE has partnered with UTeach (http://www.uteach.utexas.edu), a highly successful secondary preparation program, to create a seamless teacher preparation program to span all four years of the students' undergraduate experience. It will include the implementation of a digital portfolio assessment and institution of an annual evaluation and planning cycle by a Technology Leadership Team. The UTeach program has been immensely successful. Currently there are 230 students in the UTeach Program, with an overall retention rate of 72.6%. In Fall 1999, 40 new students entered the UTeach Program. Of these new students, 80% continued on to the next courses in the program for Spring 2000. The first cohort of 28 students was selected for UTeach in the fall semester, 1997. By the spring of 2000, UTeach enrollment has grown to more than 200 with 40-60 new students being accepted into the program each semester. Retention rates for UTeach students have been far better than for their undergraduate peer group in the College of Natural Sciences. This success is due to aggressive recruitment of students at all levels, financial benefits, pervasive field experiences, one-on-one interactions with master and mentor teachers and a revised, enhanced sequence of education courses directed at math and science teaching. We expect UTeach to grow to 500 students by the 2002-2003 academic year. Although the UTeach program has experienced marked success, its integration of technology was not originally as effective or ubiquitous as desired. We have been hampered in finding school-based sites that reliably use a broad array of technologies in creative and resourceful ways. Faculty in the sciences still question technologies use in developing basic concepts with students and thus use it sporadically. While technology has been integrated in the initial pedagogical courses, growth in the program has threatened the continued and enhanced use of technology as it is embedded in curricular initiatives. Because these courses and student teaching depend on field components, prospective teachers must be given the opportunity to observe and to practice integrated technology in their field experience. These sites of practice must include contrasting types of schools to ensure that technological disparities do not continue among poorer children. To this end, INSITE has provided support for faculty in the colleges together with cooperating teachers to plan a technology-rich teacher preparation program. With the assistance of PT3, UTeach has become an exemplary model program of teacher preparation in science and mathematics. UTeach is now poised to have a major impact for the country. INSITE has four major goals to help facilitate technology infusion within an exemplary teachers development program: 1. To intensify, extend and enrich the use of technology as a modeling, visualization, data representation, symbol manipulation and collaborative tool in introductory courses for mathematics and science majors. 2. To institutionalize and fully implement the integration of technology in the three mathematics and science education professional development courses 3. To establish an expanding cadre of mentor teachers who can provide our students access and experience in multiple sites of best practice using exemplary technology, particularly with urban and rural populations 4. To establish an intensive collaborative Technology Leadership Learning Community among all teacher-educators in the UTeach program, to plan for technology infusion, establish an integrated program, and share expertise. Evaluation The evaluation plan for the INSITE project is based on the Goals and Objectives of the total scope of the project. A brief description of the Evaluation Design as it relates to each of the project goals. Full results will be presented at the Conference Meeting. Goal 1: To intensify, extend and enrich the use of technology as a modeling, visualization, data representation, symbol manipulation and collaborative tool in introductory courses for mathematics and science majors The course syllabi for every content and methods course in the teacher-preparation sequence will be examined as a means of documenting instructional and course activities and requirements for technology integration. Student products will also be examined to determine if students are learning to integrate technology with the teaching and learning process. Both completion of projects and types of technology featured in the projects will be monitored. Formative and summative course evaluations by students will provide additional data. Every preservice teacher candidate will have a Student Portfolio in digital format. These portfolios will examined to ensure each contains designated technology components. A panel of experts comprised of Methods and Content Instructors and Technology Integration Specialists from both UT and AISD will use a Delphi-voting process to reach consensus on the content of a performance-based student assessment drawing from the NETS, TEKS, and SBEC requirements for preservice Goal II: To institutionalize and fully implement the integration of technology in the three mathematics and science education professional development courses The influence of course instructors on their students will be measured by how well preservice teacher candidates perform on the Student Teacher Final Evaluation process on the section related to technology integration. Also, by the end of the Professional Development Sequence, preservice teachers will be required to complete technology-enhanced lesson plans. Completion of these and their descriptions will be documented in the Student Portfolios (digital format). Goal III: To establish an expanding cadre of mentor teachers who can provide our students access and experience in multiple sites of best practice using exemplary technology, particularly with urban and rural populations Focus groups of mentor teachers will be formed to aid in the development of a top-quality teacher preparation program in integration technology. School district records will also be kept and monitored to document the number of mentor teachers prepared and the number of teacher candidates being served. Evaluation data will be collected from semi-structured interviews with mentor teachers, UT faculty, student-teaching supervisor, and the students themselves. As a means of providing follow-up information about these teacher candidates and whether they continue to use technology integration in their teaching, an electronic survey will be conducted via the on-line conferencing system. The quality of the Units of Practice and the structure of the portfolio design and assessment will provide additional data. Goal IV: To establish an intensive collaborative Technology Leadership Learning Community among all teacher-educators in the UTeach program, to plan for technology infusion, establish an integrated program, and share expertise. Outside reviewers will examine samples of student portfolios blindly and compare their evaluations. A rubric, currently under development, will be utilized to incorporate aspects of content domain, educational technology and learning theory in order to provide needed feedback to the students. The portfolios will become objects of reflection and revision by the participating UTeach students as they receive feedback from UTeach faculty and staff. The portfolio will serve both a formative as well as summative assessment component. We will make the rubric available at our proposed website in order to assist other universities in assessing their own use of multimedia portfolios. Our intent is to present the results of project INSITE through the Fall 2001 semester. In addition to the four goals we will also present the results of extensive clinical interviews with our PT3 Fellows as they engage in their first full semester of incorporating technology into their existing practice.
Confrey, J., Resta, P., Petrosino, A. & Tothero, M. (2002). Inventing New Strategies for Integrating Technology into Education. In D. Willis, J. Price & N. Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2002--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1726-1727). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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