Intime: Integrating Technology into Methods Courses
Few people would argue today that information technologies are having and will continue to have major impacts on how we in education view schooling, teaching, and learning. Some see technology as the impetus for quality education in the future, and, more specifically, as the way preservice teachers are prepared
to integrate technology into instruction in all content areas.
If technology is indeed a facilitator of quality education in content areas, how will it be used? How can developments in information technology facilitate an education appropriate for the 21st century while enhancing student achievement in core areas deemed important to our democratic society? How can preservice
teachers be prepared to integrate technology into content areas to optimize learning for all students?
One model that addresses these issues and provides answers to these questions is currently being developed at the University of Northern Iowa through an U. S. Department of Education grant, “Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3).” Entitled “Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education
(TFQE),” the model is established under the Intime project (Integrating New Technologies into the Methods of Education, https://intime.uni.edu/. This three-year project addresses deficiencies in teacher education programs in preparing
preservice teachers to use technology effectively in PreK-12 classrooms; provides resources for methods faculty to revise courses and model technology integration; and prepares preservice teachers for integrating technology and components of
quality education into lessons and units. A consortium of five participating Renaissance Group universities, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Northern Iowa, Eastern Michigan University, Emporia State University [Kansas], and Longwood College [Virginia], is working together to create learning resources and implement new standards for technology integration in preservice teacher preparation.
How will this project produce these changes in teacher education programs? First, the project has generated new web learning resources to support innovative teaching and learning processes in education methods courses. New learning resources include video scenarios of PreK-12 teachers effectively integrating technology, along with components (e.g., Principles of Learning) of quality education, in a variety of grade levels and content areas. These videos are nationally accessible online via the World Wide Web. Second, methods faculty in all content areas is revising courses to model technology integration using the video scenarios and online discussion forum – requiring students to apply technology as well as to implement the Preservice Teacher Technology Competencies as course exit criteria. Finally, methods faculty share strategies for integrating technology and course revisions with other faculty members involved in the grant through a variety of other activities (e.g., Intime Website Journal).
The Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE) model includes seven major dimensions organized in a circular fashion to demonstrate interconnections (see Figure 1):
Students at the center of their own learning (This is the core of the model.);
Principles of good learning;
Aspects of information processing;
Standards from content disciplines;
Tenets of effective citizenship in a democratic society;
Teacher knowledge and behavior; and
Technology, both of which are integrated throughout the entire model.
Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE)
The preceding seven dimensions of the TFQE provide a model for educators to view the integration of technology-related tools into the educational environment. The model identifies key points for implementing and evaluating technology to determine its impact on the educational process. It simultaneously allows for the integration of new research findings into the appropriate segments of the model while maintaining the structure necessary for evaluating the impact of technological tools on these findings as part of an ongoing evaluation process. In so doing, the model provides a way for a variety of users (preservice teachers, teachers,
administrators, and others) to view education and the use of technology and its effect on educational process.
Review of Literature
A review of the literature used to develop the essential elements of quality education for the TFQE model answers questions regarding the shift in educational activities toward technology as well as how the model can prepare preservice teachers for integrating technology effectively into instruction in all content areas.
Students at the Center of Their Own Learning
The TFQE model revolves around the central element of “student-centered learning (SCL)” which places the student/learner in the center of the learning process. In student-centered learning students are active rather than passive
participants in their learning. Students learn at their own pace and use their own strategies (Learning-Centered Classrooms, Problem Based Learning and the Construction of Understanding and Meaning, 1999).
Student-centered learning is differs from teacher-centered learning
(instruction which is characterized by the transmission of information from a teacher or knowledge expert to a relatively passive student/learner or consumer) (McCombs & Whisler, 1997). By putting students at the center of their own learning, various components are blended into a unique and individualized
According to Stiggins (1997), “The most valuable lesson we have learned in recent years from those studying cognitive processes is that rote memorization does not ensure understanding, and thus is not a powerful way to promote learning” (p.257). The construction of knowledge means the learner links new
information with existing and future knowledge in unique and meaningful ways (McCombs, 1997, p. 5). Although knowledge acquisition processes are needed to form the base, that knowledge is useful to the degree it can be applied or used to
create new knowledge (Marzano et al., 1988, p. 33). Learning and self-esteem are heightened when individuals are in respectful and caring relationships with teachers who see their potential, genuinely appreciate their unique talents, and accept them
as individuals (McCombs & Whisler, 1997).
For student-centered learning to occur, high quality classroom management is needed. Woolfolk (2001) cited three reasons for the importance of such a management system: to allocate more time for learning, to give more access to learning, and to help students develop their own self-management.
Principles of Learning
The second essential element in the Technology as a Facilitator of Quality Education model includes aspects of what we know about learning. Current research in cognitive science has suggested that big differences exist between knowledge based on recall and deeper forms of understanding. Ewell (1997) described seven insights about learning:
Active Involvement – The learner is not a “receptacle” of knowledge, but rather creates learning actively and uniquely.
Patterns & Connections – Learning is about each individual learner establishing and reworking patterns, relationships, and connections.
Informal Learning – Every student learns both in formal education
and in informal learning situations out of direct interactions with complex environments and a range of “cues” from peers and mentors.
Direct Experience – Direct experience decisively shapes individual understanding which certainly lends credence to educators’ efforts to create active student engagement in any teaching situation.
Compelling Situation – Maximum learning tends to occur when people are confronted with specific, identifiable problems that they want solved and that are within their power to solve.
Reflection – Building lasting cognitive connections require sizeable periods of reflective activity - - meaning that effective learning situations need to include thinking and processing time.
Enjoyable Setting – Effective learning, which is social and interactive, occurs most effectively in cultural contexts that provide pleasant interactions and substantial personal support.
Aspects of Information Processing
Developing the dispositions and skills necessary for information
processing has become a necessary component of education in an information age. Switzer, Callahan, and Quinn (1999) suggested using The Pathways to Knowledge model (Pappas & Tepe, 1997) which allows users to view the contemporary technology influences that the individual parts of their model showcase as well as presenting an opportunity for viewing the parts as a coherent element of the TFQE model.
The component parts of the process include:
Appreciation – Of literature, arts, nature, and other information through varied multiple formats (stories, films, paintings, natural settings, music, books, periodicals, the Web, videos, etc.).
Presearch – Making connections between a topic, question, or information need and the searcher’s prior knowledge.
Search – Identifying appropriate information providers, resources and tools; planning and implementing a search strategy.
Interpretation – Assessing the usefulness and quality of information to develop personal meaning.
Communication – Organizing, applying, and presenting new knowledge relevant to research; choosing a format that reflects the new knowledge; plus, planning and creating the product.
Evaluation – Evaluating at each stage of this information process model (Pappas & Tepe, 1997).
Standards from Content Disciplines
In recent years, content standards have been developed for most
discipline areas, either by teams from the disciplines themselves or by agencies in various states (Switzer, Callahan, & Quinn, 1999). Content standards serve as a third dimension of effective learning and integration of technology using the TFQE model. Content standards in the model represent the arts, foreign language/ESL,
health/physical education, language arts, math, social studies, science, vocational education, as well as other areas.
Tenets of Effective Citizenship in a Democratic Society
Research on the tenets of democracy in a robust learning environment show great similarity between what we know about good classrooms and what we know about democracy. At the heart of our educational system is the preparation of students for leading productive lives consistent with the basic tenets of a democratic society. Unfortunately, most schools and classrooms are not organized to consciously promote democratic disposition and skills. The basic tenets of democratic schools and classrooms include the following - - which serve as the fourth component of the TFQE model:
Tolerance – the capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others (The American Heritage Dictionary, 1982).
Critical Thinking and Decision Making – People who think critically proceed on the basis of careful evaluation of the premises and evidence, and then come to conclusions as objectively as possible by considering all pertinent factors and using valid logical procedures (Good, 1973). To think critically, individuals must gather necessary information using inquiry skills (observe, describe, compare, identify,
etc.) and avoiding common problems in logic (for instance, getting personal; making false comparisons; saying things everyone will like; arguing in circles; etc.) (Callahan, 1998). Then citizens must decide on the reliability of the information that they use as evidence to support positions on complex social problems.
Decision-making in democracies is a process of reaching agreement in-group situations through dialogue, discussion, debate, and analysis (Callahan, 1998).
Thinking Together and Making Meaning – Citizens must decide how to deal wit with complex social problems: how to define the problem, what values should be pursued, what public policies should be supported, what candidates should be elected to office, what actions should be taken with respect to social concerns (Engle & Ochoa, 1988, p. 61). Steiner (as cited in Lipset, 1995) argued that in a
democratic society as many people as possible should be involved in making decisions to help sharpen the issues and check the soundness of the arguments. The discipline of team learning involves dialogue and the capacity of team members to suspend assumptions and enter into genuine “thinking together’ (Senge, 1990).
Power Sharing and Empowerment – Empowerment is “the opportunity and means to effectively participate and share authority” (Bastian, Fruchter, Gittell, Greer, & Haskins, as cited in Simon, 1987, p. 374). Empowerment can lead to rapid intellectual growth (Hill, 200, p. 61) and the ability to deal with complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity.
Individual Responsibility and Civil Involvement with Others – These traits will grow with the opportunities in a democracy to share mutual tasks for the orderliness and welfare of the group and for personal independence (Good, 1973). Hollinshead (1941) noted that democracy is not solely a political organization but rather a social relationship, a conscious striving on the part of each member for the
advancement of the common welfare and a shared responsibility with individual accountability (pp. 17-18).
Teacher Knowledge and Behavior
This essential element of the TFQE model describes the following components of an effective teacher in any subject area: knowledge of student characteristics, in-depth content knowledge, classroom management, and pedagogy.
Teacher Knowledge: Student Characteristics - Research has revealed the importance of adjusting learning activities to the learner. The closer the match between students’ learning styles and their teachers’ teaching style, the higher the grade point average (Dunn, R., Griggs, Olson, Gorman, & Beasley, 1995). A Learning Style Model (R. Dunn & Griggs, 1995) revealed that students are affected by five main factors: immediate environment, emotionality, sociological preferences, physiological characteristics, and processing inclinations. Accommodating instruction to these styles is much easier with the resources available through various technologies. Practitioners throughout the United States have reported statistically higher test scores and grade point averages for students who changed from traditional teaching to learning-style teaching at all
levels: elementary, secondary, and college (Brunner & Majewshi, as cited in Shaughnessy, 1998; Alberg, Cook, Fiore, Friend, & Sano, 1992).
Teacher Knowledge: Teachers’ In-Depth Content Knowledge - To teach all students according to today’s standards, teachers need to deeply understand subject
matter so they can help students create useful cognitive maps, relate one idea to another, and address misconceptions. Teachers need to see how ideas
connect across fields and to everyday life and then assist students in relating these connections. This kind of understanding provides a foundation for pedagogical content knowledge that enables teachers to make ideas accessible to others (Shulman, 19817, 1986). “If beginning teachers are to be successful, they must wrestle simultaneously with issues of pedagogical content (or knowledge) as well as general pedagogy (or generic teaching principles)” (Grossman, as cited in
Ornstein, Thomas, & Lasley, 2000, p. 508).
Teacher Behavior: Classroom Management – School and classroom management aims to encourage and establish student self-control by promoting positive student achievement and behavior. Thus academic achievement, teacher efficacy, and teacher and student behavior are directly linked with the concept of school and classroom management (Froyen & Iverson, 1999). Classroom
management involves not only content management but conduct management and covenant management as well.
Teacher Behavior: Pedagogy – The professional teaching standards represent the teaching profession’s consensus on the critical aspects of the art and science of teaching (pedagogy) that characterize accomplished teachers in various fields. Effective teachers display skills of creating a curriculum designed to build on students’ present knowledge and understanding and move them to more
sophisticated and in-depth abilities, knowledge, concepts, and performances. Teachers employ a range of instructional strategies and resources to match the variety of student skills. Teachers observe and assess students in the context of ongoing classroom life. In addition, teachers understand and respect diversity in students’ cultures, values, languages, and family backgrounds (National Board of
Professional Teaching Standards, 1998).
Technology is the set of powerful tools that the teacher and learner use to facilitate the learning process. Technology resources can be used to provide opportunities for learning and create the “conditions that optimize learning” (Switzer, Callahan, & Quinn, 1999). To ensure the use of technology in facilitating quality education, the key elements of the TFQE model need to be matched with a set of standards for the appropriate uses of technology. The Intime project is using the “Preserve Teacher Technology Competencies,” performance-based competencies modeled on several national standards’ documents developed by the UNI Teacher Education faculty. These technological competencies include Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts; Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy; and Technology Resources and Tools for Content Areas.
Fifty-two preservice teachers (35 females, 17 males) enrolled in the methods course, Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child, participated in the study. These students are secondary education majors or are in the alternative education program. This course is to assist in preparing preservice teachers to meet the diverse educational needs of the exceptional learner. In addition, this course is a requirement for obtaining a teaching certificate in the state of Missouri.
The study was implemented in a computer lab for one fifty-minute session and for two fifty-minute sessions in the classroom each week for sixteen weeks. At each lab session, the preservice teachers completed Intime or technology activities (i.e., viewing videos, learning styles, using TFQE model of best practices) or student-selected activities that involved technology (i.e., viewing software, finding lesson plans, writing a lesson plan). Due to the number of computers, students worked in pairs.
Materials and Equipment
The following materials and equipment were incorporated into the methods’ course. Intime materials were used throughout the study: video vignettes (60 videos) of PK-12 teachers demonstrating the use of technology in the classroom, checklists of observable behaviors for elements of the TFQE model (i.e., Democracy,
Teacher Knowledge, and Behavior), Technology Integration Action Plan, Learning Activity Template, lesson plans from video vignettes, and the Intime Survey of Technology skills as the pre- and post-survey. The course syllabus was revised incorporating technology skills and Intime materials and activities.
The computer lab contained the equipment required for the preservice teachers to access the Intime resources (i.e., view video vignettes). The Intime minimum systems requirements for a PC Platform are 120 MHz Intel Pentium processor, Windows 95, 6 MB RAM, 6-bit sound card and speakers, 65,000-color video display card, 28.8Kbps modem, Internet connection and web browser, and Real Player 8.0
Since this methods’ course is to assist in preparing preservice teachers to meet the diverse educational needs of the exceptional learner, the following elements of the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE) Model and technology competencies were selected and incorporated in the course revision.
Four elements of the TFQE Model were incorporated into the computer lab activities utilizing instructor-selected (Amdor and Sybert videos) and student-selected videos (related to major areas of interest): 1) Tenets of Democracy (Tolerance); 2) Teacher Knowledge (Knowledge of the characteristics of
children that influence decisions about how and what to teach); 3) Teacher Behavior (Knowledge of classroom management practices that enhance learning); and Technology.
The Intime Survey lists 20 technology competencies for preservice teachers. Only two competencies were incorporated in the revised course syllabus.
The technological skills selected are: (7) demonstrate awareness of resources for adaptive assistive devices for students with special needs, and (20) use instructional
software to support student learning and professional review sources to match software to the needs of learners in the special education or regular classroom.
The study was conducted in four phases. There was (a) pre-test, (b) Intime activities, (c) additional technology activities, and (d) post-test. Pre- and post- surveys and reflections were collected from each of the students that completed the course. The pretest was administered to the students during the first week of the
semester, prior to interacting with any of the Intime resources and other technological activities. The post-test was administered the last week of the semester so students could self-assess their level of technology competencies. This survey was designed to make preservice teachers aware of the technology competencies needed
as an educator and to self-assess level of competency for each standard. Fifty-two students completed all the requirements for inclusion in the study.
All 52 subjects received computer instruction at a computer lab for 50 minutes a week for 16 weeks. These participants were assigned tasks which involved such tasks as typing, writing, using mouse and keyboard, doing research, writing lesson plans, and self-assessment.
Design and Instrumentation
To document how the Technology as a Facilitator of Quality Education model prepares preservice teachers for integrating technology into various areas of instruction, the researcher used the UNI Preservice Teacher Technology Competencies Survey (See Table 1). These technological competencies identify areas of proficiency required by preservice teachers to effectively use technological resources to provide learning opportunities and to create the conditions that optimize learning. Using the various competency levels, teachers discover strengths and weaknesses to those areas needing improvement can be strengthened.
Each competency is written in a rubric format for student assessment with five defined levels of proficiency: 1) Pre-Novice (no experience), 2) Novice/Awareness (minimal experience), 3) Apprentice/Professional Skill (experience doing something
on a personal level), 4) Practitioner/Curricular Integration (experience using these resources to create learning opportunities), and 5) Expert (reflection upon the use of these resources to create learning opportunities).
List of Skills on UNI Pre-service Teacher Technology Competencies Survey.
Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts
1. Operate a multimedia computer system, including installing software, accessing programs or files in other drives, saving and deleting files, organizing folders and maintaining backups within the context of Windows and networked systems.
2. Use Terminology related to computers and technology appropriately in written and oral communications.
3. Describe and implement basic trouble-shooting techniques for multimedia computer systems with related peripheral devices.
4. Operate basic and discipline-specific equipment and use it to support instruction and inquiry specific to the content area.
5. Demonstrate awareness of uses of computers and computing technology in business, industry, and society.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of equity, ethics, legal and human issues concerning use of computers and technology.
7. Demonstrate awareness of resources for adaptive assistive devices for students with special needs.
II. Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy
Tools to Access Information
8. Use World Wide Web sources to access information and analyze the authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
9. Use electronic informational and reference sources to access information and analyze the authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
10. Use audio/visual resources to access information and analyze the authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
Tools to Use Information
11. Use Internet and e-mail to communicate with others.
12. Use video conferencing such as the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) to communicate with others.
13. Use multimedia software to create multimedia reports or presentations.
14. Use World Wide Web authoring software or HTML code to create an educational Website.
15. Use audio/visual technology to produce artistic or informational audio/visual projects.
16. Use word processing and print layout design applications to compose, revise, and produce materials, documents, newsletters, or brochures.
17. Use databases to collect, organize and analyze data and produce meaningful reports to aid in problem-solving.
18. Use spreadsheets to calculate and display information and produce meaningful reports to aid in problem-solving.
19. Use graphic organizer software to display information graphically for brainstorming or decision-making sessions.
20. Use instructional software to support student learning and professional review sources to match software to the needs of learners in the special education or regular classroom.
Teachers’ in-depth knowledge of technological resources will greatly enhance their ability to provide instruction that is relevant for present and future classrooms (Switzer, Callahan, & Quinn, 1999). In keeping with the goals of the Intime grant, the researcher revised the secondary education methods’ course based on the TFQE model. Using new learning resources on the Intime website (video scenarios demonstrating effective integration of technology with components of quality education), the researcher incorporated these resources and two of the preservice teacher technology standards (Demonstrate awareness of resources for adaptive assistive devices for students with special needs (7.) and Use instructional software to support student learning and professional review sources to match software to the needs of learners in the special education or regular classroom (20).) into the revised methods course, Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child. This course assists in preparing preservice teachers to meet the diverse educational needs of the exceptional learner in Missouri. Given the current trend toward including students with disabilities in general education classrooms, all educators must be prepared to understand this special student population and be ready to provide appropriate educational programs.
The course syllabus was revised by the addition of the following two objectives: The student will exhibit the knowledge base and competencies/skills necessary to 1) describe educational technologies and types of software beneficial for the education
of exceptional children and 2) design lesson plans using technology as an instructional tool learned through a variety of on-line teaching modules provided through the Intime website from the University of Northern Iowa. As a result, student expectations reflected these objectives. The curriculum for the methods’ course was redesigned to incorporate resources from the project website, including the video vignettes and the online discussion forum and to develop additional activities that required preservice teacher candidates (secondary education majors and alternative education students) to increase proficiencies in the effective use of technology in teaching and learning.
Methods of Evaluation
Preservice secondary education and alternative education teachers evaluated the revised methods course to determine how the TFQE model using Preservice Technology Competencies has help them become better able to integrate technology to optimize learning. Students evaluated the course at the beginning of the semester
and at the end of the semester.
Preservice teachers also used the Preservice Teacher Technology Competencies to evaluate their own skill acquired to use technology effectively in their lesson plans. Again, they conducted the evaluation at the beginning of the semester and the end of the semester.
The researcher used the student self-assessment of specific technology competencies survey to address two research questions. After integrating the Intime resources and other technological activities:
- Will preservice teachers increase their awareness of resources for adaptive devices for students with special needs?
- Are the preservice teachers more aware of instructional software and software applications to support student learning and professional review sources to match software to the needs of learners in the special education or regular classroom?
Results are presented for the percentage of preservice teachers at each level of technological proficiency (Pre-Novice (PN), Novice (N), Apprentice (A), Practitioner (P), and Expert (E)) for each technology competency on the pre- and post- test.
The preservice teachers responses to the first research question (i.e., Will preservice teachers increase their awareness of resources for adaptive devices for students with special needs?) indicated a perception of improvement in their awareness of resources for adaptive devices. The most frequent improvement was from Novice to Apprentice level of proficiency (see Figure 2).
According to the survey results addressing the second research question (i.e., Are the preservice teachers more aware of instructional software and software applications to support student learning and professional review sources to match software to match software to the needs of learners in the special education or
regular classroom?), the preservice teachers believed they improved in their knowledge of instructional software and its applications for learners in the special education or regular classroom. The data reveals an increase in the number of
students at the Novice and Apprentice levels (see Figure 3).
Results indicated significant gains in the students’ perceived level of competency for the seven skills listed as “Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts.” At the end of the semester 61% of the students’ perceived themselves to be at the apprentice level (see Figure 4).
In addition, survey results concerning “Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy” indicated a perception of improvement in (a) tools to access information (see Figure 5), (b) tools to use information (See Figure 6), and (c) software application (see Figure 7).
Figure 2. Pre-Post Test Scores of Technology Skill 7
I. Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts
7. Demonstrate awareness of resources for adaptive assistive devices for students with special needs.
Figure 3. Pre-Post Test Scores for Technology Skill 20
II. Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy – Software Application
20. Use instructional software to support student learning and professional review sources to match software to the needs of learners in the special education or regular education classroom.
Figure 4. Summary of Pre-Post Test Scores for Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts Skills (Skills 1-7)
Figure 5. Summary of Pre-Post Test Scores for Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy – Tools to Access Information (Skills 8-10)
Figure 6. Summary of Pre-Post Test Scores for Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy – Tools to Use Information (Skills 11-15)
Figure 7. Summary of Pre-Post Test Scores for Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy – Software Applications (Skills 16-20)
It was also noted that 13 out of the 20 items on the test (65%) received the highest frequency of scores that point out ‘positive change.’ In other words, there is a difference between the pre-and post-test scores for the specific technology competencies to which these items refer to. These 13 items that show a positive change in technology skills levels are as follows:
2. Use terminology related to computers and technology
appropriately in written and oral communications.
3. Describe and implement basic trouble-shooting techniques for
multimedia computer systems with related peripheral devices.
4. Operate basic and discipline-specific equipment and use it to
support instruction and inquiry specific to the content area.
7. Demonstrate awareness of resources for adaptive assistive
devices for student with special needs.
9. Use electronic informational and reference sources to access
information and analyze authority, accuracy, currency, and
10. Use audio-visual resources to access information and analyze
authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
12. Use video conferencing such as the Iowa Communications
Network (ICN) to communicate with others.
13. Use multimedia software to create multimedia reports or
15. Use audio/visual technology to produce artistic or information
16. Use word processing and print layout design applications to
compose, revise, and produce materials, documents,
newsletters, or brochures.
17. Use database to collect, organize, and analyze data and
produce meaningful reports to aid in problem solving.
19. Use graphic organizer software to display information
graphically for brainstorming or decision-making session.
20. Use instructional software to support student learning and
professional review sources to match software to the needs of
learners in the special or regular education classes.
Analyzing the 13 competencies in which there is positive change, the most frequent improvement starts off at level 1 (Novice) and shows an increase to level 2 (Apprentice) in terms of student self-assessment of specific technology competencies.
To summarize, survey results indicated that preservice teachers felt that they became more skilled at using technology to facilitate instruction for students with special needs.
Intime is an online resource that helps preservice teachers integrate technology into lesson plans in a variety of ways. There is an array of resources covering elementary and secondary levels of education. Video vignettes of teachers using technology in the classroom are available and are organized across grade levels,
under content such as special education, inclusion, assistive technology, social studies, art, music, math, communication arts, and physical education.
This study provides support for using the Intime resources to aide preservice teachers in using technology as a teaching tool in their classrooms. Results were consistent with previous research, underscoring the need and value of using video vignettes and other information to improve the teaching skills of preservice teachers.
Based on the results of this study that preservice teachers can benefit from these resources, and that participants view these instructional tools as helpful, practitioners may wish to consider incorporating parts of the resources into the educational curriculum for their programs. Participants were able to create a situation via the Intime program which enhanced their understanding of how to
become more aware of and able to meet and use technology goals as identified in the literature and by the National technology group. Preservice preparation courses may use the program to convert technology into meaningful activities of interest and relevance to children by integrating technology into a variety of curriculum content, including daily activities, various content areas, and emergent literacy.
Teacher preparation programs can address these uses in a variety of ways:
Provide course content and hands-on experience with computers, adaptive devices, and other forms of new technology.
Provide training in operating a computer system, selecting and integrating developmentally appropriate software and websites into the curriculum, using new and unfamiliar technology, and arranging and managing the classroom environment to facilitate the use of technology.
Include instructional and assistive technology competencies in courses.
Use videos to model and use technology within the context of methods courses and involve students in creative uses of technology.
Assist preservice teachers to build skills, gain confidence, enhance dispositions and to learn strategies to integrate technology into the curriculum.
There is evidence in the research that indicates that computer-assisted instruction has helped children to develop skills in problem solving. This success is attributed to technology assisted instructional programs for students to provide practice, instruction, simulation, and creative production. The course in which Intime was incorporated is used to assist in preparing Missouri educators
To meet the diverse educational needs of the exceptional learner. Given the current trend toward including students with disabilities in general education classrooms, all educators must be prepared to understand this special student population and be ready to collaborate to provide appropriate educational programs. The Intime program is able to meet these needs. The video vignettes,
which exemplify multiple elements of quality learning, seemed to be especially helpful. They not only provided excellent demonstrations of the uses of technology, but they also included the seven dimensions of the Technology as Facilitator of
Quality Education (TFQE) model. In the course using the Intime program for this study, it was found that the Tenets of Effective Citizenship in a Democratic Society dimension was especially valuable for teachers of exceptional learners.
In regard to student self-assessment of specific technology competencies, analysis of the data provide support for the initiation of the Intime resources as helpful for participants in achieving the purpose/objectives of this project. However, the absence of follow-up data on usage during the student teaching experience and as first and second year teachers reduces the confidence in the overall strength of the project. The participants in the study identified a need for more technology training as well as more time to obtain knowledge, skills, and information about various types of technology. Few preservice teachers have been trained to maximize technology use in the classroom. This lack of training creates a major barrier for integrating and using technology during teaching field experiences. It was found that many preservice teachers were unaware that they could use the search engine for things other than games, horoscopes, etc. They were completely unfamiliar with the vast amounts of information available to them on the Internet. Their concerns about additional training and technical assistance suggest that many of them are unprepared to use technology extensively and that basic, as well as ongoing, training in this area is imperative. Preservice teachers should have access to demonstration try-out centers and loaner equipment to try technology applications in time frames and environments that permit informed choices and skills practice.
Success in using these resources may be due to the fact that it was constructed in a manner consistent with recommendations of using “best practices.” However, further research is needed to determine if other best practices may be integrated via the Intime project for preparing preservice teachers. It is also recommended that each preservice teacher’s supervisor use a “mastery checklist” so that the evaluation is somewhat more objective than it is when only a self-report instrument is completed. A larger subject population (N) would also be desirable when doing future research. Follow-up studies are a necessity when evaluating the true success of the teaching program. The follow-up studies would also benefit the student and first and second year teachers in encouraging them to use the aids provided by the Intime program. Ongoing training and support could be incorporated into the follow-up studies as well.