Instructional technology theory alignment with practical application during student teaching
Carole Suzanne Robinson, University of Montana, United States
University of Montana . Awarded
This naturalistic case study investigated what student teachers learn about practical classroom instructional technology applications during elementary field placement. Underlying influences on student teachers implementing instructional technologies are described along with their cooperating teachers' accounts of factors in the school that either promote or inhibit professional technological growth. Analysis of these experiences and influences was directed toward finding approaches to how schools of education can successfully merge instructional technology theory with classroom practice.
Student teacher/cooperating teacher participants were placed into the following “buddy system” configuration: (1) Pair One: Novice instructional technology literate preservice teacher with a nearing proficient cooperating teacher. (2) Pair Two: Nearing proficient instructional technology literate preservice teacher with a proficient or advanced cooperating teacher. (3) Pair Three : Proficient instructional technology literate preservice teacher with a proficient or advanced cooperating teacher.
Technology experience acquired beyond educational coursework requirements added to the student teachers' fundamental technology ability and often reflected positively on their desire for self-directed learning. Daily cooperating teacher modeling and collaboration combined with proactive problem solving in classroom context became determining factors in each student teacher's capacity to approach technology implementation during his or her field experience. Student teachers with the strongest self-directed learning characteristics grew much more adept at synthesizing academic technology theory into practical technology curriculum classroom authentic learning experiences. The degree of synthesis was directly related to whether they moved toward technology integration approaches that motivates and challenges students in critical, creative, and constructive thinking and learning experiences.
Three themes heavily supported by data emerged: (a) collaboration and rapport; (b) self-directed learning; and (c) equipment: time and availability. Key barriers were: high classroom student-to-computer ratio, student computer skills, equipment availability, and confident knowledge in setting up equipment. Overall, time's relationship to effort often outweighed student teachers' decisions to integrate technology.
Robinson, C.S. Instructional technology theory alignment with practical application during student teaching. Ph.D. thesis, University of Montana.
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