Preparing Pre-Service Teachers to Integrate Technology Into Physical Education Instruction
Few people would argue today that information technologies are having and will continue to have major impacts on education. In higher education, there is a continual challenge to develop and integrate technology into the classroom. University students are not only expected, but also required to use technology in classes. Technology has the potential to be a driving force for all that will be good about education in the future. With appropriate instruction, pre-service teachers can be prepared to integrate technology into instruction in the physical education classroom. On the other hand, there are individuals that may see information technology as something less than positive, that has the potential to destroy education and be the driving force toward all the negative aspects of consumerism.
Like most complicated technological developments and their associated social changes, the truth is somewhere between these two extreme positions. However, those who fear the consequences of information technology developments may do so because of the possibilities these technologies present for a fundamental shift in how we think about schooling, teaching, and learning. Unfortunately, people who advocate this shift and support technology have failed to show how technology can actually promote the core values of American education
If technology is indeed a facilitator of quality education in all areas and in particular the field of physical education, it becomes necessary to provide examples of how it will be used. Examples need to be offered that challenge the pre-service teacher in their quest to provide quality education. The examples need to prepare them to integrate this technology into physical education instruction to optimize learning for all students in their classrooms.
One model that addresses the issues and provides answers to the questions is being developed at the University of Northern Iowa through a U.S. Department of Education grant, Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3). Called Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE), the model is established under the InTime project (Integrating New Technologies into the Methods of Education, www.intime.uni.edu). This three-year project addresses deficiencies in teacher education programs in preparing pre-service teachers to use technology effectively in the PreK-12 classroom. The purpose of InTime is to provide the necessary resources for methods faculty to revise their courses, model technology integration, and require pre-service teachers to integrate technology and components of quality education in their lessons and units. A consortium of five participating Renaissance Group universities has been working together in this project to create new learning resources and implement new standards for technology integration in pre-service teacher preparation.
This project is intended to produce change in teacher education programs in three ways. First, it has generated new learning resources on the web to support new teaching and learning processes in education methods courses. New learning resources include video scenarios of PreK-12 teachers effectively integrating technology, along with components of quality education, in a variety of grade levels and content areas. The videos are accessible online nation-wide. Second, methods faculty in physical education and other content areas are revising their courses to model technology integration using the video scenarios and online discussion forum, requiring students to apply technology, and implementing the Pre-service Teacher Technology Competencies as exit criteria for their courses. Finally, methods faculty will share strategies for integrating technology and course revisions with other faculty involved in the grant through a variety of activities.
The Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE) model includes seven major dimensions organized in a circular fashion to show their interconnections:
1. Students at the center of their own learning;
2. Principles of good learning;
3. Aspects of information processing;
4. Standards from content disciplines; and
5. Tenets of effective citizenship in a democratic society.
6. Teacher knowledge and behavior, and
(see Figure 1)
The seven dimensions of the TFQE model provide a way for educators to view the integration of technology related tools into a robust educational environment. The model identifies key points at which technology should be implemented and evaluated to determine its impact. It simultaneously allows for the integration of new research findings into the appropriate segments of the model while maintaining the structure to evaluate the impact of technology tools on these new findings as part of an ongoing evaluation process. In so doing, it allows a variety of users (pre-service teachers, teachers, administrators, and others) to see the complex process that is education and how technology is affecting that process.
Review of the Literature
A review of the literature used to develop the essential elements of quality education for the TFQE model answers questions regarding a support for the shift in our educational activities toward technology and how the model can prepare pre-service teachers to integrate technology effectively into health and physical education instruction. This review is broken into the following sections: Students at the center of their own learning, principles of learning, aspects of information processing, standards from content disciplines, tenets of effective citizenship in a democratic society, teacher knowledge and behavior, and technology components.
Students at the Center of Their Own Learning
The TFQE model revolves around the central element of “student-centered learning (SCL), and in this manner places the student (learner) in the center of the learning process. In student-centered learning, students are active participants in their learning rather than passive recipients; students learn at their own pace and use their own strategies…” (Learner-Centered Classrooms, Problem Based Learning and the Construction of Understanding and Meaning, 1999).
Student-centered learning is distinguished from teacher-centered learning or instruction that is characterized by the transmission of information from a knowledge expert (teacher) to a relatively passive recipient (student/learner) or consumer (McCombs & Whisler, 1997). By putting students at the center of their own learning, we blend these various components into a unique learning system, a system that allows us to view the complicated process that is learning and its individual parts.
According to Stiggins (1997), “The most valuable lesson we have learned in recent years form those studying cognitive processes is that rote memorization does not ensure understanding, and thus is not a powerful way to promote learning” (p.257). Student centered learning is not a new concept for health and physical education teachers. Those who teach health and physical education have known for years that traditional methods have not been an effective means for promoting learning.
The construction of knowledge means that the learner links new information with existing and future-oriented 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 others 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 self-management.
Principles of Learning
This second essential element in the Technology as a Facilitator of Quality Education model includes aspects of what we now 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 his or her learning actively and uniquely.
Patterns & Connections – Learning is about each individual learner making meaning by establishing and reworking patterns, relationships, and connections.
Informal Learning – Every student learns all the time 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 that 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 to solve and that are within their power to solve.
Reflection – Building lasting cognitive connections requires sizeable periods of reflective activity, meaning that effective learning situations need to include thinking time.
Enjoyable Setting – Effective learning, which is social and interactive, occurs best in a cultural context that provides enjoyable interactions and substantial personal support.
Aspects of Information Processing
Developing the dispositions and skills necessary for informed 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 see how contemporary technology influences the individual parts of their model and to view the parts as a coherent element of the TFQE model.
The component parts of the process include:
Appreciation – Of literature, arts, nature, and information through varied multiple formats (stories, film, paintings, natural settings, music, books, periodicals, the Web, video, 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 their information gathered and reflecting to develop personal meaning.
Communication – Organizing, applying, and presenting new knowledge relevant to the searcher’s research. Choosing a format that reflects the new knowledge; plan and create the product.
Evaluation – Evaluating by both self and peers at each stage of this nonlinear information process model (Pappas & Tepe, 1997).
Standards From Content Disciplines
In recent years, content standards have been developed for almost all of the discipline areas, including health and physical education, either by teams from the disciplines themselves or by agencies in various states (Switzer, Callahan, & Quinn, 1999). The content standards serve as a third dimension of effective learning and integration of technology using the TFQE model. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) appointed a committee to answer the question “What should students know and be able to do?” The information produced by the committee provided a definition of the physically educated person. The definition and complete information on the National Standards for Physical Education may be found in the NASPE’s (1995) publication, Moving into the Future: National Physical Education Standards: A Guide to Content and Assessment.
The National Health Education Standards were developed by The American Association for Health Education (AAHE). National Health Education Standards were developed to improve student learning across the nation by providing a foundation for curriculum development, instruction and assessment of student performance. The standards are published in a book, AAHE (1995), National Health Education Standards.
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 education system is the preparation of students to lead 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 come to conclusions as objectively as possible by considering all pertinent factors and using valid logical procedures (Good, 1973). To think critically, citizens 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 their 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 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 starts with 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, 2000, 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 the mutual tasks for the orderliness and welfare of the group and for personal independence (Good, 1973). Hollingshead (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; 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, teachers’ 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 styles, 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: their immediate environment, their own emotionality, their sociological preferences, their physiological characteristics, and their processing inclination. Accommodating instruction to these styles is much easier with the rich resources available through various technologies.
Practitioners throughout the United States have reported statistically higher test scores or grade point averages for students who changed from traditional teaching to learning-style teaching at all levels – elementary, secondary, and college (Brunner & Majewski, 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 understand subject matter deeply and flexibly 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 their students in seeing these connections. This kind of understanding provides a foundation for pedagogical content knowledge that enables teachers to make ideas accessible to others (Shulman, 1987, 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 focuses on content management, conduct management and covenant management.
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, including health and physical education. Effective teachers display skills at creating 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 in health and physical education employ a range of instructional strategies and resources to match the variety of student skills. They observe and assess students in the context of ongoing classroom life. They understand and respect diversity in students’ cultures, values, languages, and family backgrounds (National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, 1998).
Technology is the set of the powerful tools that the teacher and learner can use to facilitate his/her own 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 that technology is used to facilitate 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 Pre-service Teacher Technology Competencies, performance-based competencies modeled on several national standards documents, developed by the UNI Teacher Education faculty. These technology competencies include: Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts, Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy, and Technology Resources and Tools for the Individual Content Areas.
Design and Instrumentation
The content standards served as one of the dimensions of effective learning and integration of technology using the TFQE model. The content standards were used as the primary element of the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education (TFQE) model for the health and physical education classes. Students were to learn the standards for the discipline, and be able to demonstrate them in their lesson and unit plan development. The INTIMEonline video vignettes chosen were used as a demonstration for the students to provide an example and explanation of how content standards are used in the development of technology in classroom projects, lessons, and units. The specific video vignettes chosen were: Sportsfolio for grades 7-8 and Becoming Aware: Cancer for grade 12.
Sportsfolio allows the student to choose an activity they would participate in for lifelong physical fitness and wellness. They use a variety of technology resources such as a computer, scanner, digital camera, heart-rate monitors, Digi-Walkers, and software called “Dine-Healthy.” Becoming Aware: Cancer allows students to be the center of their own learning by involving them in every step of the process. As they work in groups to gather information they gain insight into the types and causes of cancer as well as many other components of the disease. The information gathered by each group is shared in a presentation to the rest of the class. Both video vignettes were very effective in providing appropriate information for the pre-service teachers to incorporate the use of technology into their future lesson plans based on content standards.
To document how the Technology as a Facilitator of Quality Education model prepares pre-service teachers to integrate technology into health and physical education instruction, the UNI Pre-service Teacher Technology Competencies were used (www.INTIME.uni.edu/model/technology/comps1.html).
The Preservice Teacher Technology Competencies listed in Table 1 identify the areas of proficiency required by pre-service teachers to effectively use technology resources to provide learning opportunities and create the conditions that optimize learning. Using the various competency levels, teachers find out their strengths and weaknesses so they may then address the weakness areas.
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).
Table 1. Preservice Teacher Technology Competencies
I. Basic Technology Equipment Operations and Concepts
1. Operate a multimedia computer system, including installing software, accessing programs or files
in other drives (such as CD-ROM in drive d:/), saving and deleting files, organizing folders and
maintaining backups within the context of Macintosh, Windows, and networked systems.
2. Use terminology related to computers and technology appropriately in written and oral
3. Describe and implement basic trouble-shooting techniques for multimedia computer systems with
related peripheral devices.
4. Operate basic and discipline-specific equipment (e.g. LCD display projectors; scan converters;
laserdisc players; VCRs; graphing calculators in math; MIDI keyboards in music; and scanners
and still, digital, or video cameras in the visual arts) 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
6. Demonstrate knowledge of equity, ethics, legal, and human issues concerning use of computers
7. Demonstrate awareness of resources for adaptive assertive devices for students with special needs.
II. Technology Resources and Tools for Information Literacy
IIa. Tools to Access Information
8. Use World Wide Web sources to access information and analyze the authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
Use electronic informational and reference sources (e.g., CD-ROMs or laserdiscs about oceans, art, Shakespeare, or Africa; or a periodical index; or a multimedia encyclopedia) to access information and analyze the authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
10. Use audio/visual resources (audiotapes, videos or slides) to access information and analyze the authority, accuracy, currency, and relevance.
IIb. 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 (audiotape, video or slides) to produce artistic or informational audio/visual projects.
IIc. Software Applications
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.
III. Technology Resources and Tools for Content Areas
21. Use CAD and other instructional software for instruction in technology education.
22. Use physical education instructional software, equipment, and simulations for physical education instruction.
23. Use audio/visual technology to provide feedback for skill development/performance enhancement in communication or physical education instruction.
24. Use instructional software and CAD technology for theatre instruction, design, or direction.
25. Use instructional software and MIDI technology for music composition or instruction.
26. Use digital imaging programs as a tool for artistic expression or creation.
27. Use instructional software appropriate for reading, viewing, writing, listening, speaking, and performance instruction.
28. Use foreign language instructional technologies and associated documentation for foreign language instruction.
29. Use appropriate calculators (four function, fraction, scientific, or graphing) and extensions to enhance mathematics instruction.
30. Use appropriate software (e.g., LOGO, spreadsheets, CAS, Geometer's Sketchpad) to enhance mathematics instruction.
31. Use computer and video systems (e.g., computers, videodisc players, VCR’s, DVD’s, and cameras) for science instruction and inquiry.
32. Use computer and calculator applications to collect, display, and analyze physical data for science instruction and inquiry.
33. Use instructional software for role-playing, simulations, or research in the social sciences.
Teachers’ in-depth knowledge of technology resources will greatly enhance their ability to provide instruction that is relevant for today and tomorrow’s classrooms (Switzer, Callahan, & Quinn, 1999). In keeping with the goals of the INTIME grant, each methods faculty member from the cooperating universities involved revised their course for pre-service teachers based on the TFQE model. The course revised for this project was the secondary methods class in physical education. Using new learning resources on the INTIME web site (video scenarios demonstrating effective integration of technology with components of quality education), the researcher incorporated these and the pre-service teacher technology standards into the revised physical education course. The revised course outline may be seen in Table 2.
Table 2. Course Revision
Tentative Reading/Lecture Schedule
SE 321 – Techniques of Teaching Physical Education
Assignment &Text or Source
First class meeting, Introduction to course
Introduction to Mo-STEP Portfolio
Discuss Placement for Field Experience
Chap. 1 & 2
The Role of Education and the Physical Educator
INTIME Pre-test on-line
The Role of Technology in Teaching
Understanding the learner & learning
UNI Chat Line
Assigning placements for Field Experience
Chap. 3 & 4
Planning the instructional program
UNI Chat Line
Unit and Lesson Plans Due 2/12/01
UNI Chat Line
Pre-assessment strategies & objectives assignment due 2/19/01
Chap. 13 & 14
Oct 15 Through Dec 3
On-Line Assignments: Unit & Lesson Plans (25 points each – 50 points total)
Pre-Assessment Strategy (25 points)
Performance Objectives Assignment (25 points)
Technology Assignments: On-line Curriculum Development (25 points)
Personal Trainer (50 points)
Making a Grade Book with Excel (25 points)
Basis for Student Evaluation: Midterm Examination 100
On-Line Assignments 100
Technology Assignments 100
Teaching Assignment 100
Peer Teaching Evaluations 90
Total Points = 500
Pre-service physical education teachers (i.e. students in the techniques class) evaluated the revised methods course to determine how the TFQE model using Preservice Teacher Technology Competencies has helped them become better able to integrate technology to optimize learning. Two separate evaluations were conducted at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester. One evaluation was conducted on-line through the INTIME web site regarding the use and knowledge of technology and a second evaluation was compiled of questions regarding the applicability of technology to teaching in the discipline. The procedure for the applicability evaluation was done by having the students fill out a simple yes/no questionnaire. The questions used to identify what students opinions were on using technology to optimize learning may be seen in Table 3.
Table 3. Technology Class Student Evaluation on Applicability
Circle either Y or N (yes or no) to indicate your current belief about each of the following questions. Your answer will not affect your grade in this class.
Y N 1. Do you have any plans to use technology in the classroom setting once you
start teaching physical education?
Y N 2. Do you know how technology can be used in a high school physical education
Y N 3. Is it necessary to have knowledge of the various uses of technology in a
physical education setting to be an affective teacher?
Y N 4. Do you know how your students might benefit from the use of technology in
a physical education class?
Y N 5. Would you like to know more about the use of technology for teaching
Y N 6. Do you believe you and your students could benefit from using technology in
Y N 7. Do you know any affective way to use technology in physical education
classes including individuals with disabilities?
Y N 8. Would you like to know some uses of technology for adapted physical
Y N 9. Do you know how students with disabilities might benefit in physical
education by the use of technology?
Place any comments you may have in the following space:
Recommendations and Conclusions
Results from the applicability questionnaire filled out prior to and following the techniques class indicated a skepticism prior to the use of the TFQE Model. Not only did the students indicate a disinterest in using technology in the classroom, but they also did not see a benefit for the students they would be teaching. Table 4 contains the results from the applicability questionnaire.
Table 4. Technology Evaluation on Applicability Pre-test Results
The pre-test results can then be compared to the post-test results, which may be seen in Table 5. At least 50% of the pre-service teachers in the classroom have plans to use technology in their future lesson plans subsequent to using the TFQE Model, whereas only 8% were going to at the beginning of the semester. Additionally, 100% of the pre-service teachers reported knowing how technology can be used, know how their students will benefit, desire to learn more about technology, know how to use it with student s with disabilities, like to know more uses for technology in adapted physical education classes, and know how students with disabilities may benefit subsequent to using the TFQE Model (questions 2,4,5,6,7,8,and 9). There were 75% of the pre-service teachers reporting the need for technology subsequent to the use of the TFQE Model, as compared to only 8% prior to the use of the Model.
Table 5. Classroom Technology Evaluation Post-test Results
Subsequent to using the TFQE Model, students were able to use technology and were able to become aware of a need for technology in the classroom even though they were unable to realize the need for technology in the classroom prior to using the TFQE Model supported by the INTIME web site through the University of Northern Iowa. Many students informally suggested an eagerness for the opportunity to use some of the technology skills for future lessons and to include them in their lesson and unit plans. It is strongly recommended that some form of technology be used in techniques classes, and the INTIME web site using the TFQE Model is more than adequate to prepare pre-service teachers to include technology in future lesson and unit plans. It continues to be a challenge to keep up with continued changes with technology, and the INTIME web site is diversified and able to change with the necessity to update and change with the changing times.
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