Preparing Pre-Service Teachers to Integrate Technology
Into Elementary Physical Education Instruction
University teacher education programs must realize that technology-based education is here and is rapidly changing each day. We must meet the challenges of recent trends in education suggesting that the demand for information technology-based teaching will grow in the next decade and this technology will change teaching and learning profoundly. It has become imperative that our teacher education programs incorporate technological strategies currently being endorsed in public and private schools. We must begin utilizing educational technologies in innovative ways for teacher excellence, and improving the delivery of our teacher education system to a wider professional audience.
The INTIME Project
A personal opportunity to meet this technological challenge came as a result of an invitation from the University of Northern Iowa to faculty of other Renaisance Group universities to submit grant applications for consideration in becoming a participant in a project called, INTIME (Integrating New Technologies into the Methods of Education,www.INTIME.uni.edu). This project was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3). The basis for this project was a model, Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE) which incorporated seven major dimensions in an interconnecting relationship. These seven dimensions are: (1) students at the center of their own learning, (2) principles of good learning, (3) aspects of information processing, (4) standards from content disciplines, (5) tenets of effective citizenship in a democratic society, (6) teacher knowledge and behavior, and (7) technology. The three-year project addressed technology deficiencies of pre-service teaching majors in university teacher education programs. Through a comprehensive website of teaching videos, online forum discussions, and an on-site orientation on the project’s goals and technologies, university teacher education faculty were given the opportunity to revise and implement various forms of technology into their existing method courses.
The course selected for revising and implementing technological applications utilizing the TFQE model was PE 480 Elementary School Physical Education Curriculum. This is a core course in our K-12 Physical Education Certification Program. It is intended for junior and senior majors with emphasis placed upon on-site involvement with pre-school through grade 8 students in community and public school settings. This emphasis requires both the instructor and student to be away from campus in various learning environments for the duration of the semester. The use of technology became a necessity in communicating with fellow classmates, developing lesson plans, and accessing resource materials as well as the use of practicum and location sites grew. The TFQE model’s seven dimensions guided and helped the clarification and implementation of the course’s goals. The model not only reinforces the student “teacher” as the center of the learning process in our pedagogy class but reminds the student “teacher” of their goal for their students to be the center of the learning setting. Many issues which will come up in those pre-service teaching practicums were addressed in the components of the teacher knowledge and behavior and the principles of learning dimensions. To many pre-service majors, such things a content standards and terms of democracy are not addressed until as a teacher it becomes apparent lessons and assessments must be interpreted in these frameworks. The model helps to show the inter-relationships of these dimensions in the teaching situation.
The INTIME website (www.uni.INTIME.edu) was the focal point of integrating technology into PE 480 methods class. The resources and applications of this website helped to make the transition to a more accomodating practicum setting. Initially, a class website for announcements and assignments was developed. This class website would allow linkage to many of the resources (including video clips, pedagogy materials, and forum discussions opportunities) the INTIME site had to offer. Most valuable source utilized in our class was the video component. The health/physical education video used for observation and analysis was Sportfolio. This video, involving middle school students in the computer laboratory and the gymnasium , showed not only the application of computers/internet surfing, it also displayed actual use of the technological instruments in an physically active setting. Pre-service majors could see the connection between the learning environments, the principles of learning, the technology in use, and the teacher’s role in the class. The most beneficial components of the video site for the pre-service major were the teacher’s interview and discussion of the various types of learning taking place in her class. These references made by the teacher, Patty Bounous, coincided with many of the conversations they had had with their supervising teachers in their practicums. A custom PE 480 course website template (Web Course in a Box) was developed to house specific class information, forum discussions, announcements and links to internet informational sources patterned after various INTIMEsite elements. Use of the website gave students another technological approach to facilitating the dissemination of class materials, communication between teacher and students alike, and an awareness of internet resources for lesson planning and class management.
From a professional perspective, three of our Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation faculty who were given grants in the INTIME project have submitted a proposal to our state professional organization, Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, for its state-wide 2002 conference. It is our intent to present the INTIMEproject, its goals and how its approach might be implemented into the K-12 educational setting by those teachers attending the session.
The INTIME project enabled me to bring needed changes to my courses to reflect the emerging of technology not only in the K-12 educational setting but its potential uses in our professional careers. It is hoped that the video selections in the area of health/physical education will be increased, as well as, include more diversity in grade levels and cultural settings. In addition, these video selections should be integrated with other subject matter areas to show how teachers from different disciplines are working together on various themes and concepts.