Do university faculty who prepare teachers model technology

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Reference no: EM131097327

COVERPAGE & ABSTRACT INFORMATION

Title Do University Faculty Model Technology Integration?
Terry Fakeperson

Abstract

The integration of technology into the classroom through instructor-modeled and learner-centered means is recommended best practice for teacher preparation. Using a self-report survey, this study investigated technology use by faculty in a university school of education program to determine (a) if university faculty model technology use within the learning environment, and (b) if student's employ technology within educator preparation courses. Both were found to be dependent on the type of technology available. Overall results indicated (a) faculty do not model most technology integration types, and (b) a discrepancy exists between faculty modeling of technology integration and required student demonstration of technology integration. University faculty model less technology use than is expected of those enrolled in a teacher preparation program.


BEGIN BODY OF TEXT

University professors are are encouraged to model technology use within their instruction. (Insert reference #1 here) To create effective learning environments, certain essential conditions must be met: (a) the use of technology for traditional teaching, (b) the facilitation of content learning, and (c) technology use in the learning environment both in coursework and field experiences (Insert reference #2 here)
Teacher preparation must address competencies required for technology use by PreK-12 teachers (Insert reference #3 here). The Ed Tech teacher endorses the integration of instructional technology into teacher preparation coursework within six categories that are relevant to both groups. The categories include: Technology Operations and Concepts; Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences; Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum; Assessment and Evaluation; Productivity and Professional Practice; and, Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues (Insert reference #4 here).

In a discussion of technology in teacher preparation, Farnsworth (Insert reference #5 here) present four possible approaches: single course; technology infusion; student performance; and case-based. The first two approaches relate directly to faculty expertise in technology and the modeling of its use. Although the single course approach is taught by faculty experts and is easiest on implementation and record-keeping, negatives include poor integration of technology in content areas, lack of attention to individual technology knowledge differences, and a relatively short time frame for learning and technology use to occur. A single course usually presents only a functional view of technology with no focus on how to use it in a classroom. The technology infusion approach includes the integration of technology use in each course of a teacher preparation program. This approach offers opportunities for long-term technology use and the modeling of technology use in content area courses (repeat reference to #5 here). However, the technology infusion approach may result in inconsistent modeling of technology use by faculty.

Features prominently delineated by research results as deficient include: (a) faculty do not model technology use; do not facilitate implementation in coursework; often do not have the expertise to develop technology-mediated instruction; lack the skills for troubleshooting technical problems; (b) research in the area of making informed programming decisions is lacking; systematic training procedures to assist faculty and students in using new technologies have yet to be developed; and, (c) technology competencies are usually add-ons, rather than integrated into coursework; future special educators are more likely to use technology competently if it has been embedded in coursework and field experiences (Repeat reference #2 here). Therefore, it is appropriate for Teacher preparation programs to gather information related to the degree of technology integration within teacher candidates' university coursework.
face-to-face learning environments.

Many times, communications that occur in face-to-face learning environments, can be enhanced through instructional technology elements. Synchronous interactive activities (e.g., chat sessions, video conferences and white boards) are easily incorporated into a face-to-face environment to enhance the learning environment and to model the integration of synchronous interactive activities. For this reason, interactive activities should be considered when focusing upon the integration of technology within a face-to-face learning environment and may enhance the instructor's as well as the teacher candidates' use of instructional technologies within a learning environment.BEGIN

METHODS SECTIONMethod

This study used a self-report survey to determine (a) if university faculty modeled technology use within the learning environment, and (b) if faculty incorporated teacher candidates' technology use within educator preparation courses.

For the purpose of this study, the researchers addressed the questions: Do the university faculty who prepare teachers model technology use in the courses they teach? What types of technology use, if any, are demonstrated by teacher candidates in those courses.
A total of 26 full-time faculty members within the School of Education at a regional university completed the survey questionnaire. Student enrollment for the Fall semester previous to the administration of the survey was 1547 with 548 undergraduates and 999 graduate students. Enrollment in the Spring semester at the time of the administration of the survey was 1771 with 699 undergraduate students and 1074 graduate students.

This study utilized the Technology Integration Survey for Faculty (High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium, 2001). Items were designed to obtain information related to the degree of technology integration of the faculty members, as well as the faculty requirements of the educators in training within the faculty member's classroom learning environment. The responses to the survey questionnaire are evaluated on a 4-point Likert-type scale and include the following designations: (1) strongly disagree; (2) somewhat disagree; (3) somewhat agree; and, (4) strongly agree.

Results

Results of the survey indicated that technology use by university faculty as well as by university students is dependent on the type of technology integration. In summary, results indicate that (a) faculty do not model most technology integration types, and (b) a discrepancy exists between faculty modeling of technology integration and demonstration of technology integration by students in the courses. University faculty model substantially less technology use than is expected of the university students enrolled in the educator preparation program.
Some faculty (a) are incorporating software packages into subject-specific courses; (b) are using scanners, digital cameras, video cameras, and voice recognition programs to develop and deliver subject-specific instructional units in their teaching areas; (c) are using video conferencing; and, (d) are using the Internet to gather resources for teaching in their subject areas of expertise. However, faculty report that they do not use a computer with projection devices to develop and deliver instructional materials in their subject areas.

When the faculty participants responded as to whether they used a variety of software packages to teach in their subject area, 62.5% of the participants stated that they do use software packages while only 46.2% of the surveyed faculty stated that they use spreadsheet applications when teaching. When asked about the implementation of a scanner to develop and deliver instruction, 76% of the participants answered as not utilizing scanners. Additionally, 84.6% stated that they do not use digital cameras to enhance their teaching.
When asked about their use of projection devices, word processing, and use of multimedia, 53.8%, 88.5%, and 69.2% of the participants, respectively, confirmed that they did incorporate these elements into their teaching. Similarly, 88.4% of the participants positively noted that they used the Internet in an informed manner and 69.3% agreed that they used lesson plans and other resources published on the World Wide Web in their subject-specific learning environments.

INSERT FORMATTED TABLE 1 NEAR HERE

Faculty Modeling of Technology Use

 

 

Technology Tools

Frequency

Percent

Software Packages

16

61.5

Scanner

6

24

Digital Camera

4

15.4

Video Camera

2

7.7

Projection Devices

14

53.8

Word Processing

23

88.5

Spreadsheet

12

46.2

Multimedia Software

18

69.2

Recommend Software

14

53.8

Distance Education

24

53.8

Critique Internet

23

88.5

Published on the Web

18

69.2

Multimedia

8

30.8

Create a Web Page

5

19.2


Eighty-eight percent of the participants do not integrate elements of a Web-enhanced learning environment to support the learners. Concerning the learner-developed digital product expectation, 57.7% of participants do not have this expectation within their courses. Participants report that 53.8% do not focus upon technological enhancements of diverse learning environments when focused upon the teacher candidate's integration. Lastly, 53.8% of participants do not integrate learner-centered group work into the learning environments. However, the participants report positive strides towards the learner-focused integration of technologies. The participants report that 61.5% focus upon software use by the teacher candidates. As well, 53.8% of the participants incorporate higher order thinking skills through the integration of technology into the teacher candidate's learning environment. Perhaps the most significant self-report response by the participants was that 88.5% of the participants report the integration of learner-centered Internet use within their course instructional design. (See Figure 1.)

INSERT FORMATTED FIGURE 1 NEAR HERE - name the figure Technology Tools

1832_Untitled.png

The appropriate and successful integration of technology into the course objectives and expectations within the teacher candidate's university coursework portrays the suggestion that technology infusion is occurring within a learner-centered focus. Nonetheless, convenience sample, sample size and the use of self-report data limit the findings of this study. The appropriate and successful integration of instructional technology within a learner-centered instructional format may slowly become a consideration within the instructional design of the teacher candidate's course of study.

Discussion

This study addressed two questions:

(a) Do the university faculty who prepare teachers model technology use in the courses they teach?

(b) What types of technology use, if any, are demonstrated by teacher candidates in those courses. Although both were found to be dependent on the type of technology integration, overall results indicated (a) faculty do not model most technology integration types, and (b) a discrepancy exists between faculty modeling of technology integration and required demonstration of technology integration. University faculty model substantially less technology use than is expected of those enrolled in an educator preparation program.

Conclusions

The field of instructional technology is slowly permeating a wider expanse of coursework within teacher education units. However, the permeation of instructional technology may be focused within a learner-centered model of instruction. Technology integration towards a supportive learning environment that focuses upon the individualized needs of the learners and with the inclusion of concerns towards the achievement of learners with disabilities can begin to model the appropriate and successful integration of technology into the learning environment. University faculty focusing their efforts upon preparing teacher candidates for the real-world learning environment must focus their attention upon the learner-centered integration of technology and the modeling of technological tools to meet learning objectives.

Reference no: EM131097327

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