Teachers must be aware of available technologies. In the educational technology course studied, teachers are introduced to many different technologies through both demonstrations and projects in which students identify and research technologies they deem pertinent to their content area. Specifically, students completed four “technology projects” in which they identify and learn about a particular technology, create an artifact using the technology, discuss ways in which the technology might be used by students and teachers, provide rationale based on learning theory for the technology use, discuss struggles for implementation, and discuss the trade-offs, limitations, and biases of the technology. Graduate students are also required to locate and evaluate pertinent education literature related to the technology. The discussion of these aspects is turned in to the instructor via a blog the preservice teachers create for the course.
The “technology projects” described above lead up to a final project in which students prepare and deliver a lesson using various technologies. The lesson is expected to leverage technology to increase student collaboration, represent content more concretely, and/or gain insight into student thinking. Although students plan and deliver the lesson in pairs, the students individually reflect upon the lesson in their blog.
Through class demonstrations, the technology projects, and the lesson delivery assignment the preservice teachers gain experience as users and producers of technology. As the preservice teachers use technologies as students and explore technologies for the projects they gain valuable experience related to technology use. As the preservice teachers create artifacts to demonstrate their learning they become producers of technology.
This post is from a paper I recently presented at the Association for Science Teacher Educators. For the full paper and citations, click here.