A Multivariate Model of Factors Influencing Technology Use by Preservice Teachers during Practice Teaching
Liu, Shih-Hsiung, Educational Technology & Society
Technology use can improve student learning. Relevant studies concluded that using technology in educational settings benefits students (Gulbahar, 2007; Kim & Hannafin, 2011). Many governments worldwide have invested money in constructing environments that increase technology access in elementary and secondary school classrooms. Taiwan's government has also funded projects that promote innovative teaching with technology. However, many studies that include Taiwanese have indicated that technology integration in the classroom by teachers is insufficient (Chen, 2008; Gorder, 2008; Hermans, Tondeur, van Braak, & Valcke, 2008). This lack of technology integration is reflected in preservice teacher education. The importance of developing the ability of preservice teachers to integrate technology has been widely recognized.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) developed the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (2008) and Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium standards (2003) as teacher accreditation requirements. These standards require that teachers use technology in their classrooms, and design learning environments and experiences that support teaching, learning, and curricula. These standards have also led teacher education institutes to acknowledge shortcomings in teacher preparation for using technology as an effective instructional tool.
Teacher education institutes are natural places for training teachers in how to integrate technology into daily classroom learning. Although numerous institutes have allocated considerable effort to develop thoughtful technology-based programs, only a few studies have evaluated these programs (Kay, 2006). Additionally, empirical evidence indicates that teacher education programs have not taught new teachers how to use technology effectively (Maddux, & Cummings, 2004); that is, preservice teachers still lack the ability and knowledge needed to teach successfully with technology (Angeli, & Valanides, 2008).
Although teacher education courses related to technology integration were inadequate, a learning opportunity arising from school-based field practice for preservice teachers has been acknowledged. To attain sufficient experience in technology integration, preservice teachers can interact with mentors during a practicum. Nilsson and Driel (2010) indicated that teacher knowledge can be enhanced and developed via the interaction between preservice teachers and mentors during a practicum.
Moreover, teacher pedagogical beliefs are important when exploring technology integration. These beliefs play a critical role in successful technology integration (Ertmer, 2005; Hermans, et al., 2008; Tondeur, van Keer, van Braak, & Valcke, 2008). Beliefs about teaching can be called "preferred ways of teaching" (Teo, Chai, Hung, & Lee, 2008). Technology integration is the implementation of technology during teaching. Therefore, beliefs of preservice teachers about technology integration potentially influence their teaching methods when using technology.
Actual technology use by preservice teachers during a practicum may be related to their training, school-based field experiences with mentors (EWMs), and beliefs about technology integration because preparation courses and participating in field practice foster professional abilities and shape pedagogical beliefs of preservice teachers. Many studies have explored teacher education programs (e.g., Sandholtz & Reilly, 2004), preservice teacher beliefs (e.g., Ertmer, 2005), technology access (e.g., Dexter & Reidel, 2003), and self-efficacy (e.g., Chen, 2010), while few studies documented the combined effects of two major teacher education processes, teacher education courses and school-based field practice courses, which further shape teacher beliefs about integrating technology and teaching, even though these processes are necessary to equip preservice teachers with the required professional skills. This study investigates the significance of, and relationships between, process factors and their direct and indirect effects on technology integration. This study also tests a multivariate hypothesized model. Study results reveal correlation effects of process factors influencing technology use by preservice teachers during practice teaching.
Many factors consisting of internal and external aspects influence technology integration by preservice teachers during practice teaching. Determining the relationships between these factors as direct and indirect effects on technology integration contributes to the development of a multivariate hypothesized model.
Teacher education courses, beliefs, and technology integration
Many researchers have indicated that most teacher education courses worldwide did not provide meaningful contexts for applying technology to improve teaching and learning. Additionally, these courses did not prepare preservice teachers to use technology in instructional settings, even though over half of these countries acknowledged that technology has become compulsory when training teachers as primary or secondary school educators (Balcon, 2003; Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999). A few countries have addressed the pedagogical application of technology for teaching and learning during teacher training (Usun, 2009).
The teaching philosophy of administrators at teacher education institutes regarding technology integration has been identified as an obstacle preventing successful implementation of technology in classrooms (Dexter et al., 2003; Doering, Hughes, & Huffman, 2003). Leu and Kinzer (2000) argued that many teacher education programs did not prepare teachers for integrating technology into instruction because the teacher education courses were isolated courses worth only two or three credits. Isolated courses have difficulty generating students as masters of the technical skills needed for meaningful application of these skills for student learning. According to Singer and Maher (2007), preservice teachers felt that many experiences and resources in courses in teacher education programs were not helpful for technology integration. Brown and Warschauer (2006) advocated that technology should be integrated into method courses to give preservice teachers effective strategies for integrating technology into classroom instruction, rather than focusing predominantly on technical skills or knowledge.
However, some studies noted that information literacy courses in teacher education programs altered the information-seeking behaviors of these students (Branch, 2003), and increased their confidence in using technology, while course training did not generate actual teaching practice (Branch, 2003; Swain, 2006).
Although these studies identified insufficient outcomes of teacher education courses, these courses remain critical for equipping preservice teachers with the ability to use technology in their teaching careers (Chen & Ferneding, 2003; Franklin, 2007). Empirical evidence indicates that preservice teachers have been equipped with technology skills, not the ability to integrate technology (Maddux & Cummings, 2004; Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999; Selinger, 2001).
Moreover, teacher pedagogical beliefs likely influence teaching practices (Kane, Sandretto, & Heath, 2002; Pajares, 1992). Many researchers have …
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Publication information: Article title: A Multivariate Model of Factors Influencing Technology Use by Preservice Teachers during Practice Teaching. Contributors: Liu, Shih-Hsiung - Author. Journal title: Educational Technology & Society. Volume: 15. Issue: 4 Publication date: October 2012. Page number: 137+. © 2009 International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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