Using Technology-enhanced Instruction in Teacher Education Programs

Kelly Moore Torres, Meagan Caridad Arrastia-Chisholm, & Samantha Tackett, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Online Campus

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Teacher education programs often have a difficult job in determining how best to prepare pre-service teachers (PSTs) to meet the academic needs of their future K-12 students, including digital literacies. Obstacles that teacher preparation programs may face in training future educators include changing student demographics and new technological components found in current classroom settings. Likewise, the rapid growth of technology will most likely surpass the implementation of educational technologies.

Educational technology refers to mechanical and material tools that are applied in academic environments (Lakhana, 2014). The implementation of technological tools in educational contexts is essential in a digital age in which K12-students are immersed in technology (e.g., smartphones). Novice teachers face a challenge of incorporating various forms of technology effectively (Teclehaimanot, Mentzer, & Hickman, 2011). Prior research focused on the adoption of technology has found that educators do not typically implement technology for instructional purposes (Kurt, 2011). Yet, all teacher preparation programs in the United States provide some form of instruction on technology integration (Gronseth, Brush, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Strycker, Abaci, Easterling, Roman, Shin, & van Leusen, 2010).

Our current generation of learners have distinct learning preferences (e.g., technology-related behaviors) and needs in comparison to prior cohorts (e.g., current educators). Accordingly, Duncan (2015) implied that current K12-students may expect their teachers to conform to their unique academic learning preferences and needs. Better integration of technology can help provide this student-centered instructional approach. The use of technology can encompass a wide range of activities in which K12-students are actively engaged both in their classrooms and at home. Additionally, the inclusion of technology can help educators bridge any divides that may result from differences between educators and K12-students (e.g., generation, SES, ethnicity).

his presentation will provide an overview of five examples of technology-enhanced teaching strategies targeting digital literacies that PSTs should be comfortable using: web 2.0 toolsT/applications, social platforms, flipped classrooms, gaming, and virtual fieldtrips. Each example will begin with a description of the technology in a general context, followed by an example of using the technology with a specific population of students (i.e., PSTS or K12-students).

Kelly Moore Torres

Department Chair, Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Online Campus

Meagan Caridad Arrastia-Chisholm

Valdosta State University

Samantha Tackett

Florida State University