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Exploring pre-service teachers’ beliefs about using Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 classroom


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Exploring pre-service teachers’ beliefs about using Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 classroom

  1. 1. Computers & Education 59 (2012) 937–945 Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect Computers & Education journal homepage: pre-service teachers’ beliefs about using Web 2.0 technologies in K-12classroomAyesha Sadaf*, Timothy J. Newby, Peggy A. ErtmerPurdue University, 3120 Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, 100 N. University St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098, United Statesa r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c tArticle history: This qualitative study explored pre-service teachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs regardingReceived 15 October 2011 their intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms. The Theory of Planned BehaviorReceived in revised form (TPB) was used as the theoretical framework (Ajzen, 1991) to understand these beliefs and pre-service21 March 2012 teachers’ intentions for why they want to use Web 2.0 technologies. According to Ajzen’s TPB, theAccepted 3 April 2012 behavioral beliefs are based on attitude toward outcomes or consequences of using Web 2.0, the normative beliefs depend on social support and social pressure to use Web 2.0, and the control beliefs layKeywords: the foundation of perceived behavioral control over using Web 2.0 in a classroom. Data were collectedPre-service teacher educationBeliefs and intentions from open-ended survey questions (n ¼ 190), semi-structured interviews (n ¼ 12) and end of semesterWeb 2.0 reflections (n ¼ 12). Findings suggest that pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technologiesTechnology integration are related to their beliefs about the value of these technologies for improving student learning andTeacher technology use engagement, its ease of use (behavioral beliefs), its ability to meet the needs/expectations of digital age students (normative beliefs), the participants’ high self-efficacy in use, and its potential for affording students anytime/anywhere access to learning and interaction (control beliefs). From these results, we recommend that teacher educators should target these beliefs within teacher development programs to prepare pre-service teachers for successful use of Web 2.0 technologies in their future K-12 classrooms. Published by Elsevier Ltd.1. Introduction The role of Web 2.0 technologies in education is becoming increasingly prominent, both because of their potential to effectively enhanceteaching and learning and because of the need for individuals to develop 21st century skills to succeed in today’s information society(Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2010; Shihab, 2008). One major motivation to use Web 2.0 in education is that many of these tools arealready familiar to K-12 students as they are already being used outside the classroom for a wide variety of social networking andcommunication purposes (Project Tomorrow, 2010). Thus, teachers’ classroom uses of Web 2.0 tools can build upon students’ existing levelsof comfort as well as their growing expertise. In addition, Web 2.0 tools are generally inexpensive or free to use, easy to learn, and requirefew other curricular changes for teachers to implement within the classroom (Butler, 2012). Although there are numerous definitions of Web 2.0, for the purposes of this paper, we adopt Butler’s (2012) definition: “a wide array ofweb-based applications which allow users to collaboratively build content and communicate with others across the world.” (p. 139) Some ofthe most commonly used Web 2.0 technologies include blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, and social networking sites. Within education,such technologies have proven beneficial in providing means for the seamless transfer of information, active class member engagement andinteraction, and as platforms for both individualized and collaborative learning and co-creation of knowledge (Bower, 2012; Greenhow,Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Hartshorne & Ajjan, 2009; Shihab, 2008). Moreover, these emerging technologies can help students becomeengaged learners and active contributors to the learning process (Shihab, 2008). Despite the fact that Web 2.0 technologies support social and active learning, researchers suggest that teachers must act as discoursemediators (Ullrich et al., 2008). According to Nelson, Christopher, and Mims (2009), 21st century teachers must have sufficient digitaltechnology skills and pedagogical knowledge in order to take advantage of these toolsdthat is, to be able to create socially active learningenvironments that encourage cooperative interaction and collaborative learning. For this reason, the International Society for Technology in * Corresponding author. Tel.: þ1 765 496 3020; fax: þ1 765 496 1622. E-mail address: (A. Sadaf).0360-1315/$ – see front matter Published by Elsevier Ltd.doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.04.001
  2. 2. 938 A. Sadaf et al. / Computers & Education 59 (2012) 937–945Education (ISTE, 2008) emphasizes the need for teachers to gain the fundamental knowledge, skills, and attitudes for incorporatingcontemporary tools and resources within their classrooms to maximize student learning. Although today’s pre-service teachers are proficient in using social and communications technologies, they are not well prepared to useWeb 2.0 technologies for teaching and learning (Lei, 2009). Ertmer (2005) suggested that one of the essential factors for successful tech-nology integration rests with the pedagogical and personal beliefs of teachers. Therefore, researchers have emphasized the need to identifyand develop pre-service teachers’ beliefs during their teacher education programs to prepare these future teachers for the successful use oftechnology in their classrooms (Anderson & Maninger, 2007; Smarkola, 2008; Teo, 2009). According to Pajares (1992), teacher belief systems comprise numerous interacting, intersecting, and overlapping beliefs. These beliefsconsist of a mix of opinions and values that can influence how teachers use technology in their classrooms (Hermans, Tondeur, van Braak,Valcke, 2008). Kagan (1992) defined teacher beliefs as “tacit, often unconsciously held assumptions about students, classrooms, and theacademic material to be taught” (p. 65). Kagan examined 40 studies (published/presented between 1987 and 1991) and concluded thatbeliefs about teaching influenced future teaching behaviors. Thus, teachers’ beliefs about the role of information communications tech-nologies (ICT) for teaching and learning may influence teachers’ decisions to either integrate ICT into their classrooms or to limit their effortsto use it effectively (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010; Hermans et al., 2008). Pajares (1992) suggested that attitudes are formed from the clusters of beliefs that surround a given situation, which ultimately influencea person’s actions. Ajzen (1991) classified these clusters of beliefs into three typesdbehavioral, normative, and controldin order to associatea distinct belief with a given behavior. He posited that all beliefs connect a given behavior with a characteristic of some kind, such asa consequence or an outcome (behavioral belief), a normative expectation (normative belief), or opportunities and resources needed toperform the behavior (control belief). Ajzen believed that each of these characteristics “reveals a different aspect of the behavior, and eachcan serve as a point of attack in attempts to change it” (p. 206). In other words, in order to implement effective interventions to change pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies within a classroom, understanding the underlying foundations of each type of beliefcan be extremely useful. Several studies have explored pre-service teachers’ beliefs related to their intentions to use technology. For example, based on an in-depth study of eight teachers, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Glazewski, Newby, and Ertmer (2010) reported teachers’ value beliefs, related topromoting student learning, drove their use of technology in their classrooms. In another study, Teo (2009) found that pre-service teachers’attitudes toward computer use were significantly influenced by the expectations of significant others (e.g., students, school administrators,and colleagues, etc.) to use technology. Other researchers have reported that self-efficacy beliefs (i.e., individual’s perceived capabilities toperform a behavior; Bandura, 1982) as well as external control beliefs (i.e., enablers and constraints) to facilitate teachers’ uses of technology(Anderson & Maninger, 2007; Smarkola, 2008). According to Anderson and Maninger (2007) self-efficacy and value beliefs are the strongestpredictors of pre-service teachers’ intentions to use software in their courses. Although studies have explored pre-service teachers’ beliefs and intentions related to different technologies in general (Anderson &Maninger, 2007; Smarkola, 2008; Teo, Chai, Hung, & Lee, 2008), research related to Web 2.0 classroom technology use is limited, specifi-cally related to pre-service teachers’ beliefs and attitudes toward using these technologies for teaching and learning. Lei (2009) adminis-tered a survey to 55 first-year pre-service teachers in order to explore their perceptions of the knowledge and skills needed to integratetechnology in their future classrooms. Pre-service teachers reported strong positive beliefs yet moderate confidence for using Web 2.0technologies. They believed that technology can help them teach better as well as help their students learn better. While the results of Lei’s study (2009) contribute to our understanding of pre-service teachers’ beliefs about using Web 2.0 technologiesin a classroom, it is not clear which beliefs lay the foundations and act as important motivators for teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0technologies in future classrooms. For instance, it is not clear why and how they intend to use these technologies. Furthermore, Lei’s studyexamined only pre-service teachers’ behavioral beliefs related to the use of Web 2.0 technologies; normative and control beliefs were notexamined. Sugar, Crawly, and Fine (2004) suggested that, since teachers are “reflective and rationale practitioners whose decisions to adopttechnology result from thoughtfully considering the consequences, social support, and resources available to them” (p. 203), it is importantto understand the behavioral, normative, and control beliefs underlying these technology integration decisions.1.1. Theoretical framework This study used Ajzen’s (1985) Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as a theoretical lens to understand pre-service teachers’ underlyingbeliefs related to their intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies. We chose TPB because it is a widely used and validated theory that relies onbelief-based measures to provide comprehensive descriptions needed to understand people’s intentions to engage in a given behavior(Ajzen, 1991). The TPB is an extension of the theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), which assumes a teacher’s intention touse instructional technology is a rational decision based on personal and social variables. The personal variable, attitude toward behavior,reflects teachers’ positive or negative personal beliefs regarding the use of technology in producing favorable outcomes. The social variable,subjective norms, refers to teachers’ perception of whether significant others believe they should or should not use technology withina classroom. Researchers suggest that pre-service teachers’ positive intentions toward using technology are a major predictor for the futureuse and successful integration of technology in the classroom (Myers & Halpin, 2002). TPB focuses on a person’s intention to perform a particular behavior, such as using Web 2.0 technology within a classroom, and suggeststhat the extent of actual use is based on these intentions. According to Ajzen (1991), “intentions are assumed to capture the motivationalfactors that influence a behavior that indicates how hard people are willing to try and how much effort they are planning to exert, in order toperform the behavior” (p. 181). Finally, the theory suggests that intention to use technologies would be greater when teachers have controlover the use. In this context perceived control is influenced by internal (e.g., beliefs in the ability) and external (e.g., resources andopportunities) constraints. For example, when teachers consider themselves qualified to teach with Web 2.0 technology and face fewerobstacles to use it, they will perceive that they have greater control. The TPB postulates that behavior is a function of salient beliefs relevant to the behavior, which generally influence a person’s intentions(Ajzen, 1991). Three kinds of salient beliefs constitute indirect measures of intentions including behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, andcontrol beliefs (see Fig. 1). The theory assumes that the basis of attitude lies in the salient belief that certain behaviors (e.g., pre-service
  3. 3. A. Sadaf et al. / Computers & Education 59 (2012) 937–945 939 Behavioral beliefs Attitude Normative beliefs Subjective Intention Behavior Norm Control beliefs Perceived Behavior Control Fig. 1. Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991).teachers’ use of Web 2.0 technologies) result in certain outcomes or consequences. Furthermore, each outcome is weighed by teachers’personal evaluations of the effectiveness of the outcome. The foundation of subjective norm exists in the salient normative beliefs of socialsupport and social pressure to use Web 2.0 technologies within a classroom. The strength of this belief is weighed by pre-service teachers’motivation to comply with the perceived prescriptions of significant others. Similarly, control beliefs lay the foundation for measures ofperceived behavioral control which suggest that the more confidence pre-service teachers have in their ability and the more access theyhave to resources, the greater their perceived control. The importance of control beliefs is weighed by the power of control; that is, theextent to which pre-service teachers believe the control will facilitate or impede the use of Web 2.0 technologies within their futureclassrooms. The three types of beliefs dbehavioral, normative, and controldare each associated with a given behavior such as, “an outcome,a normative expectation, or resource needed to perform the behavior” (Ajzen, 1991, p.198). As such, this theory helped us examine in-depthinformation about the beliefs underlying pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technology in their future classrooms.1.2. Purpose of study The purpose of the current study was to explore pre-service teachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs related to theirintentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms. To understand these beliefs, pre-service teachers’ intentions for how andwhy they expected to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms were examined. The specific research questions included: Whatare pre-service teachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs related to their intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their futureclassrooms? How do these behavioral, normative, and control beliefs influence pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technologiesin their future classrooms?2. Method2.1. Research design An exploratory qualitative research design was used to address our research questions. The data were collected from multiple sources,including open-ended survey responses (n ¼ 190), semi-structured interviews (n ¼ 12), and end of semester reflections (n ¼ 12).2.2. Setting The study was conducted at a large Midwestern university during fall 2010. Pre-service teachers were enrolled in a required first-yearteacher education course that prepares them to integrate technology tools within their future classrooms. As part of the course, the pre-service teachers were presented with information and assignments about Web 2.0 technologies (e.g., wikis, blogs, social bookmarking,social networking), and how those applications can be used to enhance opportunities for communication and collaboration with potentiallyworldwide audiences. In order to learn to apply this knowledge, students in the course worked on a five-week project related to educationaluses of specific, assigned Web 2.0 technologies. Students worked in teams of 6–8 to explore the assigned Web 2.0 technology and createinstructional materials on how it could be utilized within a classroom environment. Additionally, they created multiple content lesson plansfor each of the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary areas. The finished project consisted of a wiki chapter describing the Web 2.0application and its potential uses in education.2.3. Participants A total of 190 pre-service teachers participated in the online survey. There were 58 (30%) males and 131 (69%) females. Among these, 67(35%) were freshmen, 70 (37%) sophomore, 41 (21%) juniors, and 11 (6%) seniors. The majority of the pre-service teachers rated themselvesas being very comfortable (48%) or fairly comfortable (46%) with computers. A purposive sampling method was used to select participants for the interviews; end of semester reflections were examined for thesesame 12 participants. Criteria for selection included varied majors, gender, and grade level interests. The final interview sample consisted of12 participants, five males and seven females, who represented different majors. Six of the participants were freshman, four sophomore, andtwo seniors. The majority of the pre-service teachers (n ¼ 7) rated themselves as very comfortable with computers, 3 rated themselves asfairly comfortable, and only 2 rated themselves as only a little comfortable. Of the 12 participants, seven were secondary education majors,and five were elementary education majors.
  4. 4. 940 A. Sadaf et al. / Computers & Education 59 (2012) 937–9452.4. Data collection The participants (n ¼ 190) completed the online survey after the conclusion of the Web 2.0 project. The survey instrument consisted oftwo sections. The first section of the survey included seven multiple choice items to determine the general demographics of the participants(i.e., gender, age, etc.). The second section consisted of four open-ended survey questions, based on TPB variables, to enable examination ofpre-service teachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs associated with intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies. The questionsfocused on the TPB variables and included a question related to intentions (Do you intend to use Web 2.0 technologies in your futureclassroom as a teacher? Explain why or why not? How?), behavioral beliefs (What do you view as the advantages of using Web 2.0 tech-nologies), normative beliefs (Do you think people [students, colleagues, administrators, parents, etc.] would influence your use of Web 2.0technologies? Explain why or why not? How?), and control beliefs (What is the most important factor that would influence the use of Web2.0 technologies in your future classroom as a teacher? Why?). The semi-structured individual interviews (n ¼ 12) were conducted at the end of the course to more deeply understand pre-serviceteachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs as well as to gain further insight into how these beliefs might influence their inten-tions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms. Each interview lasted for 15–20 min and comprised the primary data source forthis study. The interview questions focused on the same TPB variables as the survey questionsdintentions, behavioral beliefs, normativebeliefs, and control beliefs. Sample questions included: What do you think of using Web 2.0 technologies within a classroom? Would you use Web 2.0 tools in your future classrooms? Why or why not? What factors or circumstances would facilitate or hinder the use of Web 2.0 technologies in your future classrooms? Why? Finally, reflections (n ¼ 12) were also collected at the end of the course to triangulate the data from the surveys and interviews. Pre-service teachers were asked to reflect on their beliefs about the use of Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms and the factorsthat might facilitate or hinder their use. Using three data sources ensured trustworthiness of the data regarding the beliefs that contribute topre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms.2.5. Data analysis The survey data were analyzed using a quantitative content analysis approach (Miles Huberman, 1994). Similar responses weregrouped into categories for each belief dbehavioral, normative, and controldand their frequencies were noted. The purpose of thefrequency analysis was to identify sub categories that had the greatest explanatory potential. The interview and reflection data werecoded and categorized into the three TPB (Ajzen, 1991) categories using Miles and Huberman’s (1994) constant-comparisonapproach. The process of constant-comparison yielded many codes within each category. Once all of the transcripts were coded,each category was then re-analyzed to determine the relationships between the codes and to identify the findings relevant to eachparticular belief. To ensure reliability of the coding process, a subset of data was coded and analyzed independently by three researchers. Inter-coderreliability was established through percentage agreement (90%). The transcripts were then compared for consensus in codes and catego-rization within the three beliefs of TPB and discrepancies were resolved through discussion. After validating the coding scheme, the primaryresearcher independently coded the rest of the interviews and reflections.2.6. Establishing trustworthiness of qualitative data According to Patton (2002), reliability and validity in qualitative studies determines the soundness, trustworthiness, and credibility ofany qualitative research. In this study, validity was gained through triangulation of findings from multiple data sources including surveys,interviews, and reflections. Peer review and investigator triangulation techniques including the use of multiple researchers for data analysisserved to eliminate personal bias, thus ensuring greater validity by allowing for a convergence of multiple interpretations of the data.Additionally, negative case analysis was used to find cases that disconfirmed the themes expected by the researchers and adapted othersthat more accurately represented the data.3. Results According to Ajzen (1991), all beliefs link a given behavior with a characteristic of some kind, such as a consequence or an outcome(behavioral belief), a normative expectation (normative belief), or opportunities and resources needed to perform the behavior (controlbelief). He suggested that these fundamental beliefs provide important information about a given behavior. The content analysis of theopen-ended survey data resulted in descriptions of the salient beliefs, which constituted the underlying basis of pre-service teachers’behavioral, normative, and control beliefs. Table 1 presents themes identified from the open-ended survey data as well as the interviews andreflections. Frequency counts are also included. Using the TPB framework as our guide, eight themes emerged from the interview and reflection data: three themes were associatedwith behavioral beliefs, two with normative beliefs, and three with control beliefs. Results from the interviews and reflections weregenerally consistent with the open-ended survey findings, but provided further clarification and more in-depth information. We beginby discussing the themes from the open-ended survey questions; comments from the interviews and reflections are integrated todemonstrate salient beliefs regarding pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in a classroom. In addition, tofurther explain these beliefs, we discuss how and why pre-service teachers intend to use Web 2.0 technologies in their futureclassrooms.
  5. 5. A. Sadaf et al. / Computers Education 59 (2012) 937–945 941Table 1Themes and frequencies of pre-service teachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs. Survey themes/categories Frequency (n ¼ 190) Interview and reflection themes Behavioral beliefs: outcomes of using Web 2.0 tools Engagement with content and students 97 (51%) Value for student engagement and effective learning Enhance learning 67 (35%) Relevant to 21st century/technology generation 52 (27%) Enrich learning experience through innovative tools 46 (24%) Help facilitate understanding of material/concepts 33 (17%) Easy to use 40 (21%) Easy to use but difficult to integrate within lessons Cater to the needs of different learning styles 30 (16%) Varied use according to grade level and content area Normative beliefs: people who expect the use of Web 2.0 Students’ influence 86 (45%) Need to meet the needs of digital age students Administrators expectations 73 (38%) Expectations of administrators and colleagues Colleagues 50 (26%) Parents 24 (13%) Everyone 20 (11%) Control beliefs: internal and external enablers/constraints High self-efficacy in personal use 80 (42%) High self-efficacy for using Web 2.0 and low self-efficacy for integrating Web 2.0 into lessons Access to learning outside the classroom 63 (33%) Anytime/anywhere access to learning and interaction Restricted access to computers and internet 30 (16%) Access to computers and InternetNote. Participants might have made comments that fit in more than one category.3.1. Behavioral beliefs Behavioral beliefs represent the extent to which an individual believes the target behavior will lead to desirable outcomes (Ajzen, 1991).The results of the survey (see Table 1) showed that the most commonly expressed behavioral belief was that Web 2.0 technologies have thepotential to increase students’ engagement with content and other students (51%) and subsequently enhance learning (35%). Participantsagreed that these technologies are relevant to the 21st century-technology generation (27%) and have the potential to enrich learningexperiences through innovative tools (24%). Results from the interview and course reflections supported the survey findings. The codes in the interview data were combined todevelop three themes for behavioral beliefs: Value for student engagement and effective learning, easy to use but difficult to integratewithin lessons, and varied use according to grade level and content area.3.1.1. Value for student engagement and effective learning Interview and reflection data revealed that improvement of students’ learning was the most frequently cited reason to use Web 2.0technologies in their future classrooms. All 12 interview participants mentioned that they will use Web 2.0 in their classrooms due to itspotential positive impact on student learning. They perceived the use of Web 2.0 tools as a great way to communicate in the classroom andto get students more involved through varied learning experiences and extended class time. For example, one of the pre-service teachersstated in her reflection, “Web 2.0 tools enhance learning by providing various learning opportunities for students. Students can use Web 2.0tools to connect with peers and teachers outside the classroom and to bring other elements into the classroom (i.e., virtual field trips).”Similarly, another pre-service teacher said in her interview: I think that blogs are a great way to communicate in the classroom and get students more involved and interacting with each other. I also think that with the digital age and getting kids to write, blogs is important instead of keeping a journal. This way I could access their work and other students could access it if they wanted. Pre-service teachers also noted that Web 2.0 technologies are good audio and visual tools that can help explain concepts better as well ascater to the needs of students with different learning styles. For example, one of the participants said, “YouTube videos visually explainconcepts to students instead of telling them, which would be good for younger kids because they tend to be more visual.” Another pre-service teacher expressed similar ideas in his reflection: I would use Web 2.0 technologies because it provides a variety of different ways for students to learn. Some students are visual learners and some are auditory learners and I think by using Web 2.0 technologies you can have different forms of learning that can engage more students. In addition, 10 of the 12 pre-service teachers stated that the use of Web 2.0 technologies motivates students to learn by enhancing theirlearning experiences through innovative tools to which they can relate. For example, one pre-service teacher stated in the interview: Web 2.0 technologies hold students’ interests and get them focused on the subject you are covering. Using these tools can transform what might have been a boring lesson into a fun and interesting concept. Students in this era are used to these types of Web 2.0 tools and relate to these technologies more so than the standard pen and paper. Most of the pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the usefulness of Web 2.0 technologies included improving student learning. Theyperceived use of Web 2.0 tools as a great way to provide motivation for students by enriching their learning experiences through innovativetools that are relevant to them, and promote understanding of content through audio and visual tools.3.1.2. Easy to use but difficult to integrate within lessons The interview data revealed that almost all (n ¼ 11) of the pre-service teachers felt that Web 2.0 technologies are very easy to use and canimprove the efficiency of their personal work as well as the work of their future students. They believed that Web 2.0 tools “are pretty easy to
  6. 6. 942 A. Sadaf et al. / Computers Education 59 (2012) 937–945use and seem pretty straightforward to explain to students. So, the students wouldn’t have a problem figuring out how to use them.” Pre-service teachers believed these tools have the potential to improve students’ work efficiency: “I am more than open to introducing thesetechnologies [Web 2.0] into my classroom because these technologies allow things to become a lot easier in much less time.” Although pre-service teachers felt very confident using Web 2.0 technologies, they believed that it requires more effort to come up withnew ideas that aren’t already out there. Most of them believed that it might be challenging “to find the right Web 2.0 technology to matchthe lesson goals, decide which ones to use, when to use them and how to write lesson plans around them.” For example, one pre-serviceteacher explained in her interview: I think it takes a substantial amount of effort to find the right application for your classroom, and then to adapt lesson plans and make it fit into your curriculum. You have to be creative and put thought into it because there are not a lot of lesson plans or curriculum out there that integrate these. This theme suggests that although a majority of pre-service teachers believe that Web 2.0 technologies are very easy to use, integratingthem within lessons would be challenging and require more effort.3.1.3. Varied use according to grade level and content area Many of the participants believed that the “usefulness” of these tools depends on the content being taught and the age level of theirfuture students. For example, one math teacher said that Web 2.0 technologies are not as useful for math: “Web 2.0 technologies help withsome subject areas more than others, like more English, science, or liberal arts areas. I feel like math has to be taught by a teacher since it’smore like theories and procedures.” He believed that Web 2.0 technologies can be used more as a “review” or “practice” tool rather thana learning tool. On the other hand, a chemistry pre-service teacher intended to use these technologies as a learning tool and noted that Web2.0 technologies can help improve student understanding of concepts when used as visualization tools in chemistry classrooms: Web 2.0 will help chemistry teachers teach in depth and to go beyond a book and a regular classroom in teaching students. I think a lot of these applications will help connect abstract ideas, things that they can’t see, things that are hard for the teacher to teach students and to get across to them. It’s going to be a really big way of broadening their learning environment and how they learn. In addition to usefulness in different content areas, pre-service teachers (n ¼ 8) noted that Web 2.0 technologies might be difficult to use withyounger age groups and might only be used as a “demonstration” or “instructional delivery” tool rather than as a learning tool. As stated by oneparticipant during interview, “I think it might be hard to use many of them in a kindergarten classroom. It has to be used for demonstrations.”Generally, pre-service teachers (n ¼ 9) believed that Web 2.0 is more suitable for older grades because, as one commented in his reflection: High school or middle school students are very technology savvy. They have more experience with technology and they live on computers. I would like to keep their brain stimulated through the use these [Web 2.0] technologies and not just writing in notebooks and doing all paper based learning. Although pre-service teachers understood the usefulness of Web 2.0 technologies, their intended uses differed based on the contentareas and age levels they intended to teach.3.2. Normative beliefs Normative beliefs measure the extent to which an individual believes that others who are important expect them to perform a particularbehavior (Ajzen, 1991). The importance of these beliefs depends on an individual’s motivation to comply with others who are consideredimportant to him/her. Survey data revealed that the most frequently reported influence on pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0technologies was their future students (45%). This was followed by administrators’ expectations (38%), and colleagues’ suggestions (26%). A fewpointed out that possibly parents (13%) and everyone (11%) might influence them to integrate these technologies within their future classrooms. Interview and reflection results were congruent with the survey findings. Two themes associated with pre-service teachers’ normativebeliefs emerged from our analysis of interview data: Need to meet the needs of digital age students and expectations of administrators andcolleagues.3.2.1. Need to meet needs of digital age student During the interviews and reflections, the influence exerted by future students emerged as an important consideration among the pre-service teachers when describing their intentions to integrate Web 2.0 into their teaching. All (n ¼ 12) of the pre-service teachers thoughttheir students would influence their use of Web 2.0. For example, one stated in her interview, “if students are telling me that they want moreintegration of Web 2.0, I will definitely try to find more applications to keep them engaged.” Most (n ¼ 10) of the pre-service teachersthought that using Web 2.0 technologies will enable them to be more connected to the students because, according to one participant,“that’s what kids are used to, you know, it’s more comfortable for them to use those kind of things [Web 2.0] so I think it would be easier andthey would be more excited about learning.” Pre-service teachers believed that Web 2.0 is relevant to digital age students because “Studentslive on Facebook and they live on the computer. It’s just so natural for them. So I feel like we are connected to future generations more thangiving a lecture for 25 minutes.” Another participant said: Students need to be engaged in this way. If you cannot see the technology developing all around, then you must be blind or living under a rock. Since our students are growing up completely in a digital age, when they get to school they expect that [web 2.0] as well.3.2.2. Expectations of administrators and colleagues In addition to the future students, pre-service teachers indicated that their use of Web 2.0 technologies would be influenced by schooladministrators and their colleagues. Nine of the 12 participants believe that school administrators would expect them to use these emergingtechnologies: “I think that administrators are pushing for more technology to be used because it is more interesting and helps student learn
  7. 7. A. Sadaf et al. / Computers Education 59 (2012) 937–945 943in a creative way.” Pre-service teachers (n ¼ 8) felt that their colleagues’ successes with certain Web 2.0 technologies might influence theiruse. As one pre-service teacher stated in her interview: If a school requires or would like me to do it, I would probably try to incorporate it more than I would want to. Also, if my colleagues and co-workers say, ‘this really worked in my classroom, you should try it.’ So I would try things that have worked in the past. Although three referent groupsdstudents, administrators, and colleaguesdemerged as the key individuals who would influence pre-service teachers’ intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms, pre-service teachers seemed more motivated tocomply with students’ desires and learning compared to the influence of the other two groups.3.3. Control beliefs Control beliefs refer to people’s perceptions of the control they have over performing a behavior based on the availability of internal andexternal factors (Ajzen, 1991). These beliefs are weighed by the extent to which the control factors facilitate or impede a particular behavior.Survey results revealed that almost half (45%) of the pre-service teachers reported high self-efficacy in personal use of Web 2.0 technologies.While some (33%) believed that Web 2.0 technologies have the potential to facilitate access to learning outside the classroom, a few (16%)believed that restricted access to computers and Internet for some students might be a concern. Interview and reflection results were consistent with the survey findings and three themes associated with pre-service teachers’ controlbeliefs emerged from our analysis of data: High self-efficacy for using Web 2.0 and low self-efficacy for integrating Web 2.0 into lessons,anytime/anywhere access to learning and interaction, and access to computers and the Internet.3.3.1. High self-efficacy for using Web 2.0 and low self-efficacy for integrating Web 2.0 into lessons The interview data revealed that all (n ¼ 12) participants felt very comfortable using Web 2.0 technologies. For example, one of theparticipants reported that, in general, Web 2.0 technologies “are pretty easy to use and straightforward to explain to students. So I think thestudents wouldn’t have a problem figuring out how to use it.” While talking about their skills and knowledge about using Web 2.0 tech-nologies, pre-service teachers mentioned that they are skilled in finding the right websites and are able to figure out how to use them. Asone pre-service teacher explained: A lot of them are easy to use and you can go online and figure it out. I have a lot of experience with Web 2.0 technologies. I feel like I have the skills where I can go online, I research things and find the right websites or blogs and publications that tell me which of these to use and which of these could not be used. Although, pre-service teachers expressed high self-efficacy in using Web 2.0 applications, their self-efficacy related to integrating Web2.0 applications in lessons within classrooms was low. As one participant said in his reflection, “I think I do have the knowledge and skills touse Web 2.0 technologies. But I would probably go to some workshops that are offered to get some more background on it, like what isappropriate in the classroom.” Some also showed low self-confidence due to the lack of experience in actual teaching with Web 2.0technologies, as evident from the following comment: I would say I do have skills for the most part, but I think you would gain more knowledge when you start student teaching. Where you are actually in front of the class and you can see firsthand at what works and what doesn’t work. So I think I do, but there is still a lot more to learn. Although pre-service teachers’ intentions are influenced by their confidence in their own Web 2.0 skills and knowledge, they wanted togain more experience and knowledge to be able to effectively integrate these technologies within their future classrooms.3.3.2. Anytime/anywhere access to learning and interaction Interview data revealed that pre-service teachers perceived Web 2.0 technologies as useful due to easy and quick access inside as well asoutside of the classroom. Many of the participants believed that “Web 2.0 technologies give more resources for students to learn which areeven accessible from home.” Another pre-service teacher commented: Using Web 2.0 technologies allows for students to access information and lessons from anywhere, even if they were not present during class. Applications like Zoho, for example, you can use it as a freeway to make a presentation and have it there forever for your students to use. An application like that would help them learn more effectively. Moreover, pre-service teachers believed that because of the accessibility of Web 2.0 technologies, students will be able to broaden theirknowledge and facilitate interaction by sharing ideas with other people. As one of the interview participants noted, “Web 2.0 technologiescan aid with interaction outside the classroom to complete assignments and can be used as an easier way to communicate with each otherfrom anywhere.” Another pre-service teacher noted the importance of access, stating, “Wikis and blogs could be useful in providing thestudents with valuable information whenever they need it. They can share opinions and ideas with other people out in the world, not justthose they are around every day.” Generally, pre-service teachers seemed motivated to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms due to access to increasedinteraction, information, and resources that can have a positive influence on their students’ learning.3.3.3. Access to computers and the Internet While pre-service teachers indicated that availability and accessibility would encourage them to use Web 2.0 technologies, five of theparticipants expressed concern during their interviews that “some students might not have the ability to access the Internet from home orthat schools might not have enough computers for students to use.” One pre-service teacher wrote in her reflection: I am concerned with budgets and the ability to access the Internet. If students do not have Internet access, they might struggle to use these technologies because they are not as familiar with the applications. Also, not everyone will have a computer at home to access the website.
  8. 8. 944 A. Sadaf et al. / Computers Education 59 (2012) 937–945 Pre-service teachers believed that not having a computer at home or Internet access in school might impede their use of Web 2.0technologies in their future classrooms.4. Discussion The goal of this study was to explore pre-service teachers’ behavioral, normative, and control beliefs related to their intentions to useWeb 2.0 technologies in their future K-12 classrooms. Data analysis revealed that pre-service teachers believed that the integration of Web2.0 technologies into the teaching and learning environment is useful and has the potential to improve student learning. This perceivedusefulness of Web 2.0 technologies was driven by the value of Web 2.0 technology for improving student engagement, interaction,communication, and enhancing the overall learning experience by using innovative learning tools to which students can relate. Theseresults are similar to that of Shihab (2008), who noted that Web 2.0 technologies fostered engaged learning among students as they developcreativity and critical thinking by working on collaborative investigations. In addition, pre-service teachers believed that Web 2.0 tools are very easy to use by themselves as well as their students. At the sametime, they believed that they will have to exert more effort to come up with new ideas to integrate them within lessons, since thesetechnologies are new and lesson plans have yet to be developed where their use is integrated. This finding corroborates Lei’s (2009) findingsthat pre-service teachers found Web 2.0 technologies easy to use for their own personal needs but difficult to integrate within lessons. Theseresults suggest that while ease of using Web 2.0 technologies may positively influence pre-service teachers’ intentions, at the same time,perceived difficulty in lesson integration may have a negative influence on their intentions. Pre-service teachers also believed that the use of Web 2.0 technologies should be considered according to the content areas and gradelevel of students. Interview data revealed that, generally, pre-service teachers intended to use Web 2.0 technologies as demonstration ormotivation tools for elementary school students and as collaborative, interactive or communication tools with middle or high schoolstudents. While the chemistry teacher intended to use Web 2.0 as a visualization tool to help students understand concepts better, the mathteacher wanted to use the technologies as review tools to provide more practice with math problems. These results suggest that these pre-service teachers were aware of the different ways to integrate these technologies within a classroom to foster student learning. Thisawareness might be due to the fact that during the Web 2.0 project, these pre-service teachers worked on developing multiple content arealesson plans that focused on the integration of Web 2.0 technologies in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Results revealed that pre-service teachers believed that their future students, administrators, and colleagues were the people who willmost likely influence their normative beliefs. However, pre-service teachers were relatively more motivated to address their future students’expectations regarding the use of Web 2.0 technologies, compared to the expectations of their administrators and colleagues. This finding issupported by Shihab’s (2008) study, which suggests that current Web 2.0 technologies should be integrated into the classroom due to theexpectations of the current generation of digital students. Pre-service teachers were also motivated to use Web 2.0 technologies due to their high self-efficacy beliefs in terms of their knowledgeand skills in using these technologies within a classroom. One possible reason for these results may lie in the fact that the participants in ourstudy worked on a five-week Web 2.0 project in which they learned how to use these technologies and created instructional materials forimplementation within a classroom environment. This belief echoes findings of previous studies showing computer self-efficacy asa positive influence on pre-service teachers’ views and intentions to use and integrate computers (Gialamas Nikolopoulou, 2010).Although, pre-service teachers expressed high self-efficacy in using Web 2.0 technologies for their personal needs, their self-efficacy relatedto integrating Web 2.0 technologies into classroom lessons was low, perhaps due to the fact that the participants were enrolled in a first-yearteacher education class and most of the pre-service teachers had not yet experienced teaching in a classroom. Pre-service teachers’ belief in anytime and anywhere access to Web 2.0 technologies was found to have a positive influence on theirintentions to use these technologies. Pre-service teachers believed that having easy access to more information, more resources, anda variety of tools not only provided motivation to use these technologies within the classroom but will enable them to use these technologiesto improve student learning even outside of school. Moreover, while pre-service teachers considered access to Web 2.0 technologies asmotivation for them to use the technology within the classroom, a few of them expressed concern related to students’ access to computersthat might impede their decisions to use Web 2.0 technologies. This concern seemed to exert a negative influence on their intention to useWeb 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms.5. Conclusions and implications The results indicate that pre-service teacher intentions to use Web 2.0 technologies in their future classrooms are influenced by theirbehavioral, normative, and control beliefs. The findings suggest that teacher education programs should promote these beliefs to betterprepare pre-service teachers for successful use of Web 2.0 technologies in their future K-12 classrooms. Teacher educators should target pre-service teachers’ beliefs about the value of these technologies for improving student learning and engagement. It is critically important thatteacher education programs focus their efforts on helping pre-service teachers learn strategies to integrate Web 2.0 technologies thatsupport student learning according to their grade level interests and specific subject areas. Providing pre-service teachers more oppor-tunities to reflect on the pedagogical uses and implications of Web 2.0 technology integration can have a positive influence on theirintentions to use these same tools in the classroom (Coutinho, 2008). Success in this regard may require the implementation of severalprogressive steps within the teacher education experience. For example, to facilitate beliefs progressing toward positive intentions and inturn action may require students to first work on how they would plan to integrate the Web 2.0 technologies within their future classrooms.Concentrated efforts on developing content lesson plans that include the integration of Web 2.0 technologies as critical pieces within thoseplans would allow students to reflect on how the technology could be implemented and consider potential benefits and challenges of thatimplementation. Teacher educators as well as peer teachers can then give feedback and alterations could be made to the plans, thus helpingto refine the beliefs of the pre-service teachers. Normative beliefs can be supported by showing pre-service teachers how they can use Web 2.0 technologies to meet the learning needsto their future students. Teacher education programs might consider seeking collaborative projects with schools supportive of innovative
  9. 9. A. Sadaf et al. / Computers Education 59 (2012) 937–945 945teaching where pre-service teachers can get in-service teachers feedback. Allowing in-service teachers to review, as well as use the planscould provide added relevant feedback about how the technology actually works in a classroom setting and how it can meet the needs ofstudents. Providing the pre-service opportunities to utilize their own technology enhanced lesson plans in an actual classroom situation(presumably during student teaching) with real learners would be an additional step in the progression between beliefs and intentions toactual actions. For control beliefs, teacher educators can prepare pre-service teachers to deal with internal and external enablers as well as constraints ofWeb 2.0 technology use. Lei (2009) noted that to prepare pre-service teachers to face barriers to technology use, “it is important to helpthem understand the enabling conditions of technology integration, and know how to locate resources and where to find help whenneeded” (p. 92–93). Allowing pre-service teachers, for example, to confirm or alter their beliefs by observing in-service teachers with a focusspecifically on technology integration would allow students to reflect on what is being done (or not being done), what changes would orwould not be possible, as well as what actual resources would be available in that particular classroom setting. Reflecting on such expe-riences through blog entries and wiki contributions may allow individuals to exchange experiences, gather additional feedback, andstrengthen or alter beliefs. 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