Mixed methods technology analysis


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Mixed methods technology analysis

  1. 1. Jl. of Technology and Teacher Education (2011) 19(1), 5-21 A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions of the Integration of Technology into Their Courses and Student Feedback on Technology Proficiency BERHANE TECLEHAIMANOT, GALE MENTZER, AND TOREY HICKMAN University of Toledo, USA berhane.teclehaimanot@utoledo.edu gale.mentzer@utoledo.edu torey.hickman@utoledo.edu Results from previous studies on pre-service teacher technol- ogy integration and faculty perceptions of technology integra- tion within the teacher education program at a medium-sized, Midwestern university are compared to account for the self- reported lack of confidence pre-service teachers have inte- grating technology into their teaching. Also considered were College of Education requirements and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education standards with regard to technology integration within teacher preparation programs. It was determined that the policies of the College as dis- played through faculty perceptions and actions were produc- ing students who were competent in the use of technology, but who were not then integrating technology during their student teaching at the level expected by the College. A lack of confidence in integrating technology and a lack of under- standing of the benefits of technology integration to student learning were found to be contributing to the discrepancy. Refocusing the technology portion of the teacher education program on training and practice in appropriately integrating technology to enhance learning was recommended.
  2. 2. 6 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman Introduction From preschools to universities, technology has become an integral tool in the teaching and learning process. Over the past decade, teacher educa- tion programs have sought ways to prepare pre-service teachers to effec- tively integrate technology into the classroom. Rather than rallying the sup- port of the entire teacher education faculty, many programs have focused their efforts on a few faculty members with technology experience or a single technology course to address this need (Teclehaimanot and Mentzer, 2008a). According to a survey of K-12 teachers conducted by Center for Ed- ucational Statistics (2002), only 22% felt well qualified or were comfortable with technology as a tool for engaging learners in the classrooms. More- over, many teacher education students feel inadequately prepared for their role in today’s classroom (Teclehaimanot and Mentzer, 2008b). According to Carlson and Gooden (1999), teacher educators campus-wide must model technology use in order to prepare prospective teachers to integrate technol- ogy into their own instruction. In spite of the tremendous growth of technol- ogy in our nation’s schools and the belief by a majority of educators that all students must have access to technology to be truly successful in today’s world, there is evidence that many teachers still do not use technology at all in their teaching (Edwards, 1998). A report from the CEO Forum on Educa- tion and Technology (2000) found 80% of schools in the United States have access to technology, but few teachers are ready to use the power of technol- ogy in their classroom activities. A Department of Education Survey learned that only about 33% of teachers believed that they could use technology in their classrooms (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2002). Fur- thermore, a national survey by Becker (1999) supported the finding that as many as 70% of teachers are not using the technologies available to them. Today, the use of educational technology is recommended in most of the nations’ teacher education policy reports (e.g., AAAS, 1993; Rutherford & Ahlgren, 1989; NRC, 1996). These reports aim to develop and articulate a vision of the role of technology in school improvement, the inclusion of technology across the curriculum, and implementation of technology infra- structure (ISTE, 2001). As a result, many states have adopted technology requirements for pre- service teachers that stress the use of technology in their teaching and are based on the International Society for Technology in Education National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (ISTE NETS-T; see ISTE, 2008). These standards include the implementation and integration of in- structional technology to facilitate the teaching/learning process with a spe-
  3. 3. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 7 cial emphasis on enhancing student learning. Accordingly, most educators today believe that public schools must ensure the effective use of technol- ogy in the classroom in order to prepare our children for the 21st century learning environment (CEO Forum, 2000). In 2000, the National Center for Educational Statistics found that nearly all public school teachers reported having computers available for teachers somewhere in their schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). However, the increasing presence of tech- nology in our nation’s schools does not ensure its implementation. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) also recognizes the important role that technology use plays in improving student learning and the need for teacher candidates to be prepared to use technology as an instructional tool. NCATE expects that accredited teacher education institutions meet certain standards with regard to the use of tech- nology within their programs. Their aim is to develop teachers who inte- grate technology in order to improve teaching effectiveness (NCATE, 2008). Working within these standards, teacher preparation program faculty should be integrating technology throughout their teaching and continually devel- oping their technological skills, modeling this behavior for their teacher candidates. Teacher candidates should be able to integrate technology into their own teaching for the purposes of improving student learning. To that end, candidates must have ample opportunities to integrate technology to support learning within their coursework and also within their field and clinical experiences. Furthermore, NCATE’s standards stress the necessity of assessing candidates’ abilities, including their abilities to integrate tech- nology. NCATE has also adopted standards specific to individual program areas (e.g., math education, science education,), which are developed by special- ized professional associations. These associations have standards for teacher preparation respective to their specialized subject area. For example, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has standards for the preparation of mathematics teachers which include specific standards and indicators addressing candidates’ abilities to use technology (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2003). These standards include rec- ognizing technology as essential for teaching mathematics, selecting ap- propriate math-related technologies (e.g., graphing calculators, spreadsheet software), and developing lesson plans that make use of technology to im- prove learning. Similarly, the National Science Teachers Association has de- veloped standards for preparing science teachers (National Science Teachers Association, 2003), which include references to the use of technology for enhancing learning—though less specific than those of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  4. 4. 8 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman Despite the state standards and the NCATE standards for accreditation regarding the abilities of teachers to incorporate technology, the lack of for- mal training in the use of technology as an instructional tool remains the most common barrier to the integration of technology in teaching (Zhao, 2007). A pre-service teacher’s interest in the use of technology as well as practical experience using technology in the classroom have been found to correlate positively with the degree to which that pre-service teacher eventu- ally integrates technology into instruction as a professional (Zhao, 2007). Basic factors that influence teacher perceptions about technology use in- clude support from the working community for the use of technology, a vision of how technology can support required curriculum, environmental support or the availability of technology, teacher interest and experience with the use of technology as a teaching tool, and a personal belief in the value of technology (Zhao, 2007). Aligned with NCATE accreditation standards, the use of educational technology within teacher preparation programs holds promise for help- ing teacher educators meet the diverse learning needs of teacher candidates across the professional continuum. Indeed, many colleges of education are incorporating technology into their teacher preparation programs—for example, exploring various on-line and distance learning formats (Larre- amendy-Joerns & Leinhardt, 2006). At a medium-sized, Midwestern uni- versity, the focus of this study, integrating technology to optimize learning was made one of five strategic directions of the College of Education (The University of Toledo, 2004). The plan called for faculty to develop techno- logically rich learning environments by integrating technology throughout academic programs in order to enhance student learning including students developing their technology skills with familiar and unfamiliar technology tools and developing an understanding of how these can facilitate learning. Based upon the College’s strategic plan, it appeared that the machinery was in place to produce tech-savvy teachers and yet findings from student self- reported technology use when teaching proved it was not operating as effi- ciently as designed. To determine where the breakdown might be occurring, this study compared results from education faculty members with those of pre-service teachers. METHOD Previously, Teclehaimanot and Mentzer (2008a) investigated math and science pre-service teachers’ competency with technology, comfort with
  5. 5. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 9 technology, and their use of technology during student teaching using a mixed methodology to provide multiple perspectives (subsequently referred to as STUDENT). The three methods of investigation included examining grades from Technology & Multimedia in Educational Environments, a re- quired course providing formal training in instructional technology and em- phasizing the development of computing skills for educational purposes (n = 180). Grades were examined using the university’s student records and in- cluded all sections of the course offered during the 2007-08 academic year. Grades of B and higher indicated mastery of technology tools as they apply to teaching. Student teaching portfolios were examined for evidence of tech- nology integration into lesson planning and use in the classroom (randomly selected, n = 10). A rubric designed by the authors included identification of the use of technology in the lesson plans and materials, a description as to how the technology was integrated or used in teaching, and whether the use of technology enhanced inquiry-oriented learning. Data collected from this examination was qualitative in nature and descriptions of the evidence and use of technology was documented to enhance findings from the stu- dent grades and the third method of data collection—the student teaching technology survey. This annual survey completed by graduating students (both undergraduate and license alternative masters students) provided data as to student reported use and level of confidence using specific instruction- al technology tools. The survey was mailed to all graduating students and included a stamped, addressed envelope for return (n = 47, 16% response rate). In this survey, respondents were asked to indicate whether they felt comfortable using specific instructional technology tools, whether the use of these tools was modeled by university faculty, whether they had access to these tools during student teaching, and whether they in fact made use of the tools during student teaching. The specific tools included software (such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), concept mapping programs (e.g., In- spiration), SmartBoard, digital cameras, camcorders, and editing software, and webpage development. Findings from this study (see Results below for findings) were compared with a study that examined faculty perceptions and attitudes. An exploratory study (Teclehaimanot & Mentzer, 2008b) investigated where College of Education faculty members felt technology integration was being taught in the pre-service teacher program, how they themselves contributed to the modeling of technology as an instructional tool, the types of technology with which they felt their students should be competent, and their level of understanding or awareness of the ISTE NETS-T (subsequent- ly referred to as FACULTY). The faculty sample, selected purposefully,
  6. 6. 10 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman consisted of those who taught Teaching Methods in the Department of Cur- riculum and Instruction. Eight faculty members were interviewed. Teach- er Education programs included both middle and high school and several content areas: mathematics, science, English/language arts, social studies and foreign languages. In addition, two college administrators were inter- viewed—one department chair and the Dean of Undergraduate Education. The interview protocol was based upon ISTE NETS standards for teachers in an effort to determine the degree to which they were aware of and in- corporated those standards into their university-level teaching. Questions in- cluded: 1. Why do you believe NCATE requires technology be included in pre-service teacher preparation? 2. What do you believe is the goal of using (or requiring the use of) technology in teaching? 3. What is your understanding of the advantages or disadvantages of using technology when teaching? 4. How did your attitude towards technology use in teaching develop? 5. Where and when do you believe (or know) that technology is introduced to JHCOE students as an instructional tool? 6. How do you introduce technology to pre-service teachers? (modeling, explaining, etc) Example? 7. How might pre-service teachers use technology in your subject area to facilitate inquiry-based instruction? 8. Is there a requirement that students use technology during stu- dent teaching? If so, how is that documented? 9. Do you have the resources (including training) to accomplish what you’d like to do as far as teaching your students about technology integration? What else do you need? 10. How do we move from where we are now to the next level? Interviews were recorded, transcribed and then explored for common themes. Once data was collected and analyzed it was arranged under the common themes of why technology is taught to pre-service teachers; what type of technology is taught; where it is taught; when is it taught; and how is it taught (see Results below for findings). This present study compared results from the two above mentioned studies. In addition, the College’s re- quirements for technology use by the faculty and pre-service teachers were investigated to determine how they contributed to each group’s performance or perceptions. The main focus of this study was to determine how the be-
  7. 7. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 11 liefs and actions of the College’s faculty as well as the College’s technology requirements might affect the technology integration of student teachers. Once the data from the various sources were gathered, we set about uncov- ering how the data combine to explain the previously reported levels of pre- service teacher technology integration (Teclehaimanot and Mentzer, 2008a RESULTS Pre-Service Teachers’ Technology Competence, Confidence, and Use The data reported in STUDENT provided an interesting mix of positive and negative cues regarding students’ technology integration. On the posi- tive side, grades for the required course in educational technology were high overall, indicating that students were competent in the use of technology; the average grade was 3.56 on a 4.0 scale. Also, a moderately high percent- age of students self-reported utilizing technology in teaching at least one unit during their student teaching experience (75%), as did those who re- ported planning at least one unit during which their students would use tech- nology (67%). This data indicated that students were competent and a large proportion of them were integrating technology. Despite this positive data, there were also some negatives. First, al- though students generally received high grades in the required educational technology course, their self-reported confidence in using general technol- ogy tools for educational purposes was not overly high (see Table 1). This low confidence in technology integration was contrary to the high compe- tency level of students as seen in the grades from the educational technol- ogy course. Table 1 Percentage of Students Confident with Integrating General Technologies for Educational Purposes (n = 47) Technology Number Percent Scanner 23 48 Digital Camera 29 61 Digital Camcorder 35 75 Web Browser 35 75 CD/DVD Rewrite 24 52 Web Page Design 6 13
  8. 8. 12 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman Also of note was that investigation of student teaching portfolios pro- vided a lack of evidence of technology integration. Student teaching portfo- lios included five detailed lesson plans each. Ten portfolios were randomly selected and investigated, for a total of 50 lessons. The lack of technolo- gy integration was apparent and is depicted in Table 2—particularly in the area of student use of technology and technology integration within inquiry based lessons. The evidence found in the portfolios did not support the self- reported high level of lesson planning involving technology integration (e.g. the number of student teachers planning lessons in which students use tech- nology). Table 2 Integration of Technology in Lesson Plans from the Student Teaching Portfolio Portfolio Description of Use Inquiry-based 1 Music played as examples of poetry; Internet provided teacher with support materials No 2 None No 3 Images from the Internet printed as transparencies for use with overhead projector No 4 DVD with TV episodes shown; word processing Yes 5 PowerPoint delivered film clips No 6 Word processing; overhead projector No 7 Calculators for student calculations No 8 None No 9 Calculators for student calculations; overhead projector No 10 Movie clips; videos No Faculty Perceptions of Technology Integration in Teacher Preparation Programs In looking at faculty perceptions of technology integration in the teacher education program, Teclehaimanot and Mentzer (2008b) found that the most frequently provided reason for the integration of technology into
  9. 9. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 13 teacher education programs was for pre-service teachers to become more competent with technology tools. Half of the faculty interviewed (4) men- tioned that technology could enhance instruction, but only a minority (2) provided responses aligned with the ISTE NETS-T which state that pre-ser- vice teachers should be prepared “to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, col- leagues, and the community” (ISTE, 2008, p. 1). This view that pre-service teachers should be competent with technology rather than able to improve learning through technology integration would seem to be aligned with the data indicating that students are competent in using technology yet do not feel comfortable using technology as an instructional tool. The faculty also presented mixed views concerning where and when pre-service teachers receive training in the use of technology as an instruc- tional tool. Some faculty responded that this occurs within the required educational technology course. Others mentioned that at least some train- ing takes place in their Methods of Teaching course. Because of the lack of agreement as to when and where technology integration was being taught, it could be that some students are receiving minimal training in technology in- tegration as faculty members believe it is taking place in courses other than theirs in the teaching education program. Within the context of Methods of Teaching, a majority of faculty report- ed modeling technology integration by integrating technology into their own teaching, with many indicating that they make use of technology during every lesson. The most commonly cited examples were using a SMART- board or a course management system like WebCT. Despite the majority of instructors modeling technology integration, few seemed to train their stu- dents in the integration of technology to enhance learning. A majority re- ported talking about technology integration, but few provided their students with exercises or activities that offered students opportunities to develop skills in appropriately integrating technology: Yeah, we do have conversations about when it’s appropriate to do different things. One of the things that we actually talk about a lot is how to use the space that you have, like your board, or your, when you’re using a SMARTboard and how to help make things visual for students. So we, sometimes we’ll stop and talk about is this really the best way to do this or not. But we do that really broadly across a lot of things that we, not just in terms of technology. But, like when we’re using graphing software, we talk about where’s the appropriate place. You know, where does this go in the curriculum? You know, where does it fit, and when’s the best time to use it and how you might use it with one group of learners vs. another.
  10. 10. 14 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman “I don’t [model the integration of technology] because I don’t think of it as a thoughtful process. I’ve, I just think of it as, as a, just an opportunity, as just something you do. It’s not something you necessarily planned for.” Furthermore, the faculty generally did not report sharing with their students the benefits of integrating technology and how technology could enhance learning. Of the eight interviewed, four faculty provided examples that identified specific tools and situations where technology could be used. One professor cited a rather general situation and two others cited specif- ic examples that they themselves were aware of but did not indicate they trained their students to use. Finally, one professor provided an extended ex- ample but framed it within the following context: “. . .but I would have a problem with trying to demand that they use that [technology]. If you can do it better without the, you know, plugging anything in, well, I say more power to you, just go for it.” The lack of evidence from faculty interviews of training and practice in integrating technology supports the data that students are not confident in integrating technology for educational purposes. That faculty in general did not address the benefits of integrating technology when teaching, and perhaps do not recognize it themselves, might affect students’ decisions to integrate technology into the lessons they plan during student teaching. The beliefs and actions of the faculty seemed to be related to student technology integration. Faculty believed students should be tech-savvy, and students’ grades in the required educational technology course indicated that students were competent when it came to using technology. While report- ing that they model technology integration, faculty did not generally pro- vide training in how to integrate technology for educational purposes. It is not surprising that the students lacked confidence in this area. In addition, faculty did not stress the benefits of technology integration, and this lack of understanding technology’s benefits perhaps discourages students from at- tempting to overcome their lack of confidence in technology integration. College Requirements for Technology Integration Strategic directions of the College. The College’s strategic directions recognize the importance of technology integration, stating that “informa- tion technology is a facilitator of quality education. … It is a tool for ac- tive learning, inquiry, and self-reflection” (The University of Toledo, 2004,
  11. 11. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 15 p. 15). Within the strategic directions are descriptions of the ways in which students and faculty will interact with technology. Student learning is to be enhanced. In general, students in the College should be learning in a tech- nology-enhanced environment and given opportunities to develop technol- ogy skills; however, the focus should be on how technology can facilitate learning. The faculty are charged by the College with creating technology rich learning environments. Unfortunately, the strategic directions never established strategic goals at the college, department, or program levels to guide faculty performance and provide a basis for assessment. However, what is listed in the document appears, by and large, to be taking place. While there should be a focus on integrating technology to enhance learning, the main thrust of the strategic directions was for students to develop their skills with a variety of technolo- gies, which is occurring based on the high grades in the required education- al technology course. The directive given to faculty is to create technology- rich learning environments, which some faculty report doing in their model- ing of technology integration. No direction is given within the document for faculty to train pre-ser- vice teachers in technology integration; at most it states that faculty should make students aware of technology and address the positives and negatives of technology integration. Through the required educational technology course, modeling of technology integration and introduction to content-spe- cific technologies in Methods of Teaching, students appear to be made aware of available technologies. However, there is no evidence that the majority of faculty have been addressing the benefits of technology integration with their students. Student teaching and student teaching portfolio guides. The College provided pre-service teachers with guides for completing their student teaching and creating their student teaching portfolios. In completing both student teaching and the portfolio, students were to complete a form and write a commentary on the environment in which they taught. This form asked students to indicate whether or not they had access to certain tech- nologies (e.g., computers, SMARTboard, Internet access, etc.). In the com- plementary commentary section, students were to describe the specifics of the available technologies and the way the student teacher integrated tech- nology. However, within the guides, there was no requirement that student teachers must integrate technology. Furthermore, within the performance evaluation rubrics, there was no mention of technology integration; it did not appear that students’ abilities to integrate technology within a teaching/ learning environment were being assessed.
  12. 12. 16 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman As students used the provided guides for completing their student teaching and portfolios, they were not directed to integrate technology; it was not unexpected then that there was little evidence of technology inte- gration within the portfolios. Interestingly, when faculty were asked wheth- er or not technology integration was a requirement of student teaching, there was no consensus. Four said there was no requirement, two said they weren’t sure, and two said there was. NCATE requirements. In addition to the College’s own standards with regard to technology integration, the College also aims to be aligned with NCATE accreditation standards (see NCATE, 2008). NCATE standards contain technology integration within teacher preparation programs at both the acceptable and target levels. These standards state that teacher can- didates should be prepared to use technology to enhance learning, teacher candidates should have opportunities in the classroom and during field ex- perience and clinical practice to utilize technology, and teacher candidates’ abilities to do so should be assessed. In addition, there are teacher prepara- tion standards specific to content areas. These standards, developed by spe- cialized professional associations, have been adopted by NCATE within its accreditation standards and are not identical for all programs. For example, the Science Education standards (National Science Teachers Association, 2003) have a general standard which states that teacher candidates should be able to integrate technology to facilitate learning. The Math Education stan- dards (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2003) are more spe- cific; candidates should embrace technology as an essential tool for learning mathematics, should use technology as one of a variety of teaching tools, and should develop lessons utilizing technology. The different standards for different programs might help to explain why there is disparity among the perceptions of the faculty. As the College itself has not developed specific goals regarding the requirements for tech- nology integration, faculty might be looking to program specific standards for guidance (i.e. Math faculty look to the specific Math Education stan- dards). As a result, some believed that lesson plans including technology integration are required by the College while others did not. Regardless of College policy, however, faculty should be aligned with the general NCATE accreditation standards, which state that teacher candidates be able to inte- grate technology to enhance learning, be given opportunities to utilize tech- nology to enhance learning, and be assessed as to their ability to integrate technology. Based on the faculty interview responses, this was not the case. It is possible that faculty perceptions were not aligned with NCATE stan- dards because the College’s strategic direction with regard to technology did not reflect the specific foci as the NCATE standards. As was addressed ear-
  13. 13. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 17 lier, faculty appeared to be generally performing according to the College’s strategic direction, which stressed students’ abilities to use technology and which might have led faculty to value students’ personal technology abili- ties rather than the professional use of technology to assist instruction. The NCATE standards, on the other hand, stress that teacher candidates integrate technology to promote learning, not necessarily be personally tech-savvy. DISCUSSION The data reported in STUDENT (Teclehaimanot and Mentzer, 2008a) led to four conclusions: students were competent in working with technol- ogy, students lacked confidence in integrating technology for educational purposes, high percentages of students reported integrating technology in their student teaching and planning for student use of technology, and little evidence for technology integration during student teaching was found in student teaching portfolios. Following the requirements and standards of the College and NCATE and how these affected the faculty can account for much of what was found in the student data. The one area which remains muddled is why a high percentage of students reported planning lessons in which their students used technology while there is little evidence of this in the student teaching portfolios. The first conclusion drawn from the student data was that students were competent in the use of technology. While the College’s Strategic Direction stated that students should be learning in technology-rich environments, de- velop awareness of various technologies, and develop skills in using tech- nology, the NCATE standards focused on students’ preparation to integrate technology to enhance learning and develop skills in technology integration. Based upon interviews, faculty have aligned themselves with the College’s strategic direction rather than NCATE standards as a majority of them re- ported that students’ ability to use technology themselves was the main pur- pose for including educational technology within teacher preparation pro- grams. A logical result of this would be producing teachers who are compe- tent in using technology, as was the case. These same College and NCATE positions, combined with the faculty’s position on developing tech-savvy students, also provided an explanation for students’ lack of confidence in technology integration. With the focus on technology competency, training and practice in technology integration for enhancing learning has been overlooked. Without training and practice in integrating technology, students did not receive the opportunity to develop this skill to a level where they felt comfortable utilizing it when teaching.
  14. 14. 18 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman Students’ lack of confidence in integrating technology would then dis- courage them from integrating technology during their student teaching— when their performance as teachers is under scrutiny. This was borne out in the lack of evidence for technology integration in the student portfolios. Since portfolios figured into the students’ final grade, students were reluc- tant to include something that might reflect inadequacy—in this case, tech- nology integration. Compounding student reluctance to include technology integration is the confusion among the faculty as to whether or not technol- ogy integration was even required during student teaching. While NCATE’s standards state that student teachers should be integrating technology and have their abilities assessed, the College’s guides to completing student teaching and creating the portfolio did not require any evidence of technol- ogy integration and did not assess students’ abilities to integrate technology. It appeared that the College guides were being followed at the expense of the NCATE standards. In addition to this are the faculty responses indicat- ing that they generally do not discuss the benefits of technology integration with their students. In total, with no specific requirement to integrate tech- nology, the students’ lack of confidence, and lack of understanding of the benefits of technology integration combine to discourage the students from integrating technology resulting in a lack of evidence for technology inte- gration in the student teaching portfolios. Contrary to the evidence of technology integration in the portfolios was the large percentage of students who self-reported using technology in their student teaching and also planning lessons which required their students to use technology. One possible explanation for the high rate of response for using technology is that student teachers might have integrated technology without planning for it and/or without documenting it in the portfolio. If student teachers are not planning integration, but just using the technology, then the use of technology would be reported by student teachers but not ap- pear within the lesson plans of the portfolios. This is supported by the earli- er faculty member quote which indicated that technology was not something for which one needed to plan. This is also congruent with students’ lack of training in how to integrate technology; they do not know how to plan for technology integration and instead just use it when convenient. It is unclear, however, how to account for the high percentage of stu- dent teachers reporting that they planned lessons in which their students would utilize technology. There are a couple of possible explanations. First, portfolio preparation did not require that every lesson be included, but rather just a sampling of lessons within one unit of instruction. Lessons integrating technology might have been left out of the portfolios. Because students re-
  15. 15. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 19 ported a lack of confidence in integrating technology, they might have cho- sen to leave lessons involving technology integration out of the portfolio. Also, there may have been confusion as to what it means for students to use technology. Student teachers might have reported their lessons involved stu- dent use of technology even if it was passive use (e.g., watching a film clip). This explanation fits the types of technology use evidenced in the portfolios (Table 2); generally, technology was used in a presentation-type manner. The student teacher played music or videos or displayed images through an overhead projector. The strategic direction and the requirements of the College with re- gard to technology integration may be unintentionally resulting in a lack of confidence in technology integration and the lack of evidence that students are able to effectively integrate technology. In its effort to graduate stu- dents who are ready to make use of the technologies available in the mod- ern classroom, the College has focused on ensuring that students are able to use technology. However, graduating students who are competent in the use of technology is not the same as graduating students who are equipped and able to enhance learning through technology integration. Indeed, the focus on developing technology skills might be detracting from training and prac- tice in integrating technology for educational purposes. In order to achieve the result of graduating students who will integrate technology to enhance learning, priorities should be readdressed, focusing on training and practice in integrating technology. Students need to develop technology skills, but the reason for developing these skills is for the stu- dents to later use them to promote the learning of their future students in their own classrooms. Students in the teacher preparation program should develop technology skills, understand the benefits of technology integration to their students’ learning, understand how to appropriately plan technology integration, and practice technology integration during their coursework as well as during their field experience. Furthermore, the assessment of stu- dents’ abilities to integrate technology to promote learning should be clearly articulated in program policy in order to develop teachers who are ready to and integrate technology in their classrooms as well as bring the teacher ed- ucation program more in line with the NCATE accreditation standards. References American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy. New York: Oxford University Press.
  16. 16. 20 Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, and Hickman Becker, H.J. (1999, January). The sampling of technology-supported reform programs, participation school sites, and the sampling of his-end technolo- gy-present schools in the national survey. Teaching, Learning and Comput- ing 1998. Unpublished paper presented to P*SITEs advisory meeting. SRI Menlo Park, CA. Carlson, R. & Gooden, J. (1999). Are teacher preparation programs modeling technology use for pre-service teachers? ERS Spectrum, 17(3), 11-15. CEO Forum on Education and Technology. (2000). Schools technology and readiness report year 2. Washington DC. Edwards, V. B. (Ed.). (1998, Oct. 1). Technology counts: Putting school technol- ogy to the test [Special issue]. Education Week, 28(5). International Society for Technology in Education. (2001). Technology stan- dards for school administrators [Online]. Available: http://cnets.iste.org/tssa/ framework.html International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational technology standards (NETS-T) and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved December 3, 2008 from http://www.iste.org/Content/ NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/ NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Leinhardt, G. (2006). Going the Distance With On- line Education. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 567-605. National Center for Educational Statistics. 2002. http://nces.ed.gov. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2003). NCATE/NCTM program standards: Programs for initial preparation of Mathematics teachers. Re- trieved January 29, 2009, from http://www.nctm.org/ncate.aspx National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2008). Professional standards for the accreditation of teacher preparation institutions. Retrieved January 29, 2009, from http://www.ncate.org/documents/standards/ NCATE%20Standards%202008.pdf National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: Author. National Science Teachers Association. (2003). Standards for science teacher preparation. Retrieved January 29, 2009 from http://www.nsta.org/pdfs/ NCATE-NSTAStandards2003.pdf Rutherford, J., & Ahlgren, A. (1989) Science for All Americans: Project 2061. New York: Oxford University Press. Teclehaimanot, B. & Mentzer, G. (2008a). Are Math and Science Pre-service Teachers More Predisposed to Use Technology in their Teaching than Those in Other Content Areas? In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 3972-3980). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Teclehaimanot, B. & Mentzer, G. (2008b). Teacher education faculty percep- tions of the integration of technology into their courses: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Orlando, FL.
  17. 17. A Mixed Methods Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions 21 The University of Toledo. (2004). A learning community for the future: Strategic directions. Retrieved January 30, 2009, from http://www.utoledo.edu/education/about/pdf/strategicDirections.pdf U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2000). Teachers’tools for the 21st century: A report on teachers’use of technology. Washington, DC.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Zhao, Y. (2007). Social studies teachers’ perspective of technology integration. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(3), 311-333 Note This study evolved from a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement grant that aims to recruit, train, and retain high quality math and science education students. One of the outcomes of the project is to in- crease the number of teachers using educational technology themselves and with their students