Implications for Learning the Nature of Technology (Part 3)

Beyond the extent to which students’ learned about the NOT, the study investigated ways in which the preservice teachers used NOT in broader context.  Unfortunately, a minority of students included NOT ideas within the broader context of technology literacy at the end of the course.  This might mean more explicit attention needs to be paid to how aspects of the NOT might be important for K-12 students and the general public to understand.

At the end of the course, the preservice teachers did tend to use NOT ideas when discussing factors they would consider when implementing technology in their future classrooms.  This finding reinforces the idea that the preservice teachers are seeing value in the NOT in their own decision-making, but may not be making a connection to the need to help their future students come to understand the NOT.

Overall, the results of this study are quite promising.  Although not all students made significant improvement in their understanding of each NOT idea, the overall trend was that students did improve their understanding of the NOT and were able to apply these understanding to make more informed decisions regarding technology implementation in educational settings.  Given these promising results and students’ struggles, further research must be explored concerning the NOT in both preservice teacher education and in K-12 settings.  Specifically, investigations might further explore students’ thinking regarding the NOT.  This study’s conservative analysis of data may have prevented some fine-grained understanding of student thinking.  Therefore, more detailed investigation of students’ thinking might improve understanding of student struggles to learn and apply the NOT and how such struggles might be overcome.

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This post is from a paper I recently presented at the Association for Science Teacher Educators. For the full paper and citations, click here.

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