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Moving from theory to practice: an examination of the factors that preservice teachers encounter as the attempt to gain experience teaching with technology during field placement experiences.

This case study describes the experiences of two preservice teachers as they attempt to integrate the use of technology into instruction during their field placement experiences. What factors influence the decisions they made about how and when to teach with technology? How do these factors enable or disable To turn off; deactivate. See disabled.  their abilities to gain experience teaching with technology during their field placement experiences? This case is part of a larger study of six preservice teachers, engaged in a program designed to prepare new teachers to teach with technology. This program received $1,3000,000 from the U.S. Department of Education, which was 50% of the total cost. The remaining funding came from a university, school, and business match. Data collected from surveys, interviews, and written reflections was examined to help identify enabling and disabling dis·a·ble  
tr.v. dis·a·bled, dis·a·bling, dis·a·bles
1. To deprive of capability or effectiveness, especially to impair the physical abilities of.

2. Law To render legally disqualified.
 factors, and gain an understanding of how those factors influence practice.

    At the beginning of the year we had intended to have some kind of a
    technology lab or something each chapter that we go through in the
    book. And we did a few of them at the beginning of the year. And
    then we realized how far behind we were, and stuff, so we pretty
    much said, you know, we can't actually do that. So, in the beginning
    of the year I was assuming I would do something in my work sample
    with technology. But by the time I got around to planning it, I knew
    there wouldn't have been time. (Nancy, Group Interview, 3/23/02)

I was surprised to hear this statement coming from Nancy Nancy (näNsē`), city (1990 pop. 102,410), capital of Meurthe-et-Moselle dept., NE France, on the Meurthe River and the Marne-Rhine Canal. It is the administrative, economic, and educational center of Lorraine. , a student who had expressed great interest in using computer technology in the past. Nancy had been a student in an introductory computer course that I had taught the previous year, and had participated in a number of math methods courses that focused on using technology for teaching and learning. What was preventing her from gaining experience teaching with technology during her field placement? An earlier conversation with her had provided at least one possible answer to this question: "Unfortunately, my teacher teaches a little bit differently than I anticipate teaching. Mine would be more of an activity-based approach where you could use the computer lab more often because you're you're  

Contraction of you are.

you're you are
you're be
 not always following the book and doing lesson-by-lesson, page-by-page. For that's how hers works, and technology doesn't does·n't  

Contraction of does not.
 fit in as easily." (Interview, 2/23/01) Clearly, the influence of her mentor Mentor, in Greek mythology
Mentor (mĕn`tər, –tôr'), in Greek mythology, friend of Odysseus and tutor of Telemachus.
 teacher was having a disabling impact on her ability to use technology on a regular basis.

In contrast, Suzanne Suzanne is a common female given name that was particularly popular in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. It remained in the top 200 most popular names in the United States between 1930 and the late 1980s. , who had shared serious reservations about using technology at all, reported that she was using it on a regular basis.
    I come from kind of an environmentalist family who have always been
    very skeptical of technology. So when I found out I was in the tech
    cohort, I was pretty upset, but trying to be open. And then I got
    placed with Brianna, who's like tech guru of the world. Here she is
    this great tech guru ... I use it almost daily, and I'll be in the
    computer lab all next week, and they're doing Publisher brochures.
    It's just fabulous." (Interview, 2/23/01)

Why would Suzanne, who was reluctant to use technology in the first place end up routinely integrating it into her teaching and learning, and Nancy, who was eager to use technology from the beginning, not?

As a teacher educator, I was troubled by this question. Through these conversations with Nancy and Suzanne, and others like them, teacher educators This is a list of educators. See also: Education, List of education topics.
External link:

 can gain a better understanding of the factors that influence a preservice teacher's ability to practice teaching with technology during field placement experiences. What are the factors that enable them to practice teaching with technology, and what are the factors that disable that process? How do these factors influence the decisions that preservice teachers make about how and when to use technology in their student teaching? Why does a factor appear to be an enabler for one person and a disabler for another? What influence does a teacher preparation program have on these factors?

This article highlights the experiences of two preservice teachers during student teaching. It draws from a larger study of six preservice teachers (Bullock bullock

a mature castrated male cattle destined for meat production or draft.
, 2002). The factors they encountered and the way those factors influenced their abilities to practice teaching with technology are representative of the group as a whole. By focusing on the work of these preservice teachers, as described through their own voices, this study provides a unique perspective on the factors that student teachers encounter and the way various factors affect their use of technology in the classroom.

Rationale rationale (rash´nal´),
n the fundamental reasons used as the basis for a decision or action.

The importance of preparing teachers who know how and when to teach with technology has gained national attention over the past three decades. Reports such as A Nation at Risk (US Department of Education, 1983), and Teachers and Technology (U.S. Congress, 1995) emphasized em·pha·size  
tr.v. em·pha·sized, em·pha·siz·ing, em·pha·siz·es
To give emphasis to; stress.

[From emphasis.]

Adj. 1.
 this importance. The International Society for Technology and Teacher Education (ISTE ISTE International Society for Technology in Education
ISTE Indian Society for Technical Education
ISTE International Society for Tropical Ecology
ISTE Integrated Services Terminal Equipment
) (Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) was founded in 1954 to accredit teacher certification programs at U.S. colleges and universities. NCATE is a council of educators created to ensure and raise the quality of preparation for their profession.  (NCATE NCATE National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ) (NCATE, 1997), and the Milken Milk´en

a. 1. Consisting of milk.
 Foundation (Lemke Lemke is a surname, and may refer to
  • Birsel Lemke
  • Jay Lemke
  • Leslie Lemke
  • Lev Lemke
  • Mark Lemke
  • Steve Lemke
  • William Lemke
  • Wolf Lemke

This page or section lists people with the surname Lemke.
, 1999) have also produced reports that support the contention A condition that arises when two devices attempt to use a single resource at the same time. See contention resolution and CSMA/CD.  that the "most direct and cost-effective cost-effective,
n the minimal expenditure of dollars, time, and other elements necessary to achieve the health care result deemed necessary and appropriate.
 way to educate teachers about technology is through the preservice education they receive in colleges of education or other institutions" (U.S. Congress, 1995, p. 166-167). These studies also recommended steps that teacher education programs might take to improve the effectiveness of their programs. Among their suggestions were: integrating instructional technology There are two types of instructional technology: those with a systems approach, and those focusing on sensory technologies.

The definition of instructional technology prepared by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology
 into all teacher education courses, modeling of technology integrated teaching and learning by teacher education faculty, and field experiences with mentor teachers who support and encourage preservice teachers as they practice teaching with technology (Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999). Research into effective teacher preparation programs supported these suggestions (Falba, 1997; McCoy Mc·Coy  
n. Informal
The authentic thing or quality; something that is not an imitation or substitute: This gem is the real McCoy.
, 1999; Smith, Houston Houston, city (1990 pop. 1,630,553), seat of Harris co., SE Tex., a deepwater port on the Houston Ship Channel; inc. 1837. Economy

The fourth largest city in the nation and the largest in the entire South and Southwest, Houston is a port of entry;
, & Robin, 1995; Strudler & Wetzel Wetzel is the name of several persons, places, and other entities:

  • Lewis Wetzel (1763-1808), American frontiersman
  • Karl Friedrich Gottlob Wetzel (1779-1819), German writer
  • Walter C.
, 1999; Vannatta & Reinhart Reinhart is a given name or surname, and may refer to:

A surname:
  • Charles Stanley Reinhart, an American painter and illustrator
  • Joachim Christian Reinhart, a German painter and etcher
  • Joseph W.
, 1999; Voogt & Odenthal, 1999).

Much of the research into the effect of technology preparation on preservice teacher practice included some combination of self-reported survey data on changes in attitudes toward the use of computers by preservice teachers with statistics about the number and kinds of technologies that preservice teachers encounter (McCoy, 1999; Ropp, 1999; Vannatta & Reinhart, 1999). This type of information helped teacher educators examine and improve the infrastructure needed to support technology preparation and use. It also provided us with insight into effective ways to prepare preservice teachers to use technology and develop technology integrated curricula.

This study builds on earlier research, and explores how the work of specific preservice teachers put theory from university labs and classrooms into practice during their student teaching experiences. The stories of preservice teachers, as told through their own voices, will help teacher educators gain a better understanding of range of challenges that preservice teachers face as they attempt to practice teaching with technology. By identifying the factors that enable or disable a preservice teacher's ability to practice teaching with technology during field experiences, and examining how preservice teachers have dealt with these factors. Teacher educators can gain insight into effective practice.

A case study approach was designed to listen to the stories of specific preservice teachers while they were engaged in the process of developing curricula and making decisions about how technology would be used in their student teaching practice. By identifying and analyzing the factors that these specific preservice teachers describe, I gained a broader understanding of the influences that student teachers encounter beyond the university classroom. New light was shed shed

rural building used for agricultural pursuits.

shed hands
miscellaneous workers in a shearing shed at shearing time, i.e. persons other than the shearers, wool classers.
 on the importance of crafting courses, programs and experiences that take these factors into consideration,

and better prepare new teachers to teach with technology.


The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that preservice teachers encounter which influence the decisions they make about how and when to teach with technology during their field placement experiences.

Five key questions frame the research for this study:

* What are the factors preservice teachers encounter that enable or disable their attempts to practice teaching with technology?

* How do these factors influence the decisions preservice teachers make about how and when to use technology in their student teaching?

* Why does a factor appear to be an enabler for one person and a disabler for another?

* What influence does the teacher preparation program have on these factors?

* What are the implications for this and other preservice programs?

Identifying the factors encountered by specific preservice teachers, and examining the influence that these reported factors Reported factor

The pool factor as reported by the bond buyer for a given amortization period.
 had on the decisions they made about how and when to practice teaching with technology, provides useful information for teacher educators as they consider programmatic pro·gram·mat·ic  
1. Of, relating to, or having a program.

2. Following an overall plan or schedule: a step-by-step, programmatic approach to problem solving.



When Nancy and Suzanne described their experiences of attempting to integrate technology into their classrooms, I was struck by the different approaches they had encountered in their field placement sites, especially in light of their own preconceived ideas Noun 1. preconceived idea - an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence; "he did not even try to confirm his preconceptions"
parti pris, preconceived notion, preconceived opinion, preconception, prepossession
 about how and when they might use technology with children. All of the studies I had read spoke of the benefits that teaching and learning with technology offer today's classrooms. The readings in our instruction and technology textbook textbook Informatics A treatise on a particular subject. See Bible.  provided examples of how to design technology integrated curricula. They had each designed sample lessons that demonstrated their understanding of how technology might be used. Why was Nancy, who clearly wanted to use technology on a regular basis unable to do so? Why was Suzanne, who had expressed doubts about the value of using technology routinely able to integrate it into her teaching?

Theoretical Framework

I chose a case study approach for this research, based on an indepth examination of the stories of these preservice teachers as told in their own voices. Stake (1995) described this approach as an opportunity to examine the "uniqueness and commonality com·mon·al·i·ty  
n. pl. com·mon·al·i·ties
a. The possession, along with another or others, of a certain attribute or set of attributes: a political movement's commonality of purpose.
" of the persons being studied and "look for the detail of interaction within its contexts" (p. xi). By examining the cases of specific preservice teachers, and "learning how they function in their ordinary pursuits and milieus" (p. 1) we can then attempt to determine why certain factors serve as enablers for some preservice teachers and disablers for others. The words of preservice teachers paint an indepth picture of their practice teaching experiences, the factors that influence the decisions they make related to teaching with technology, and give some idea of the enabling and disabling influence of those factors. For this reason, I chose not to include formal classroom observations as another source of information for this study.

The interactions that Suzanne and Nancy had are representative of all six preservice teachers, and provide a more focused view of the larger case study. Data were collected from three sources: group interviews, individual interviews, and surveys. Since Suzanne and Nancy were placed in the same school, access to technology and technology support was relatively equal. Comparing the descriptions of their experiences provided useful information about the influence of mentor teachers and some of the other challenges that these preservice teachers faced during their field placement experiences. Researcher Margaret Margaret, 1930–2002, British princess, second daughter of King George VI and sister of Queen Elizabeth II, b. Glamis, Scotland. In 1960 she married a commoner, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created earl of Snowdon in 1961.  Yonemura Yonemura (米村) is a Japanese surname composed of yone ("rice plant") and mura ("village") and meaning "rice village." The Yonemura surname, though found throughout country, appears most frequently in southern Japan, with a particularly high  (1982) also noted the benefit of this approach: "Such conversations can bring to full awareness neglected perspectives on teaching, its complexity, and richness as a practical art" (p. 241).

Previous research included observational and survey data, and provided some of the answers about effective methods for preparing preservice teachers to teach with technology (Strudler & Wetzel, 1999; Vannatta & Reinhart, 1999). What it did not provide was a more intimate view, focused on preservice teachers who were dealing with the challenges of integrating technology use into their student teaching experiences. An examination of the specific cases of preservice teachers, engaged in a teacher education program that expect them to practice teaching with technology during their field placement experiences, provided close-up close-up
1. A photograph or a film or television shot in which the subject is tightly framed and shown at a relatively large scale.

2. An intimate view or description.
 view of the factors that influence each specific case.

Settings and Participants

Suzanne spent her field placement experience at Reagan Middle School (pseudonym pseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). ) in District 14. Built in 1928, Reagan Middle School is representative of many of the schools in this region, with 18% of its students receiving English 1. English - (Obsolete) The source code for a program, which may be in any language, as opposed to the linkable or executable binary produced from it by a compiler. The idea behind the term is that to a real hacker, a program written in his favourite programming language is  as a Second Language support. The students at Reagan Middle School score routinely 15-20% below the state average on standardized standardized

pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.

standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.

standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate.
 reading and writing tests, and near average on state math tests over the past three years. Families in this community represent a diversity of ethnic and economic backgrounds, with the majority considered lower middle class. Other schools in District 14 tend to be newer and serve more affluent neighborhoods in the community. Brianna “Briana” redirects here. For the fish species, see Briána.
Brianna (also commonly spelled Briana) is an English name. It is the modern English feminine form of Brian. "Briana" originated from Ireland and means "Strong will of God".
, Suzanne's mentor teacher was a veteran teacher with over 25 years of experience teaching language arts language arts
The subjects, including reading, spelling, and composition, aimed at developing reading and writing skills, usually taught in elementary and secondary school.
 and computers. Brianna had a great deal of experience using technology in her teaching and helped provide professional development workshops for her colleagues. She participated in the Intel Teach to the Future program (Intel, 2002), which focuses on helping teachers develop and teach technology enhanced curricula, throughout the past two years as a master teacher.

Nancy also completed her field placement experience at Reagan Middle School. Nancy was preparing for initial licensure licensure
 as a middle school math teacher. Her mentor teacher, Vikki Vikki may refer to:
  • Vikki Bunce (born 1983), field hockey forward
  • Vikki Carr (born 1941), American singer
  • Vikki LaMotta (1930-2005), American model
  • Vikki Moss (21st century), Canadian singer
  • Vikki Vargas (21st century), reporter
See also
    , also participated in the Intel Teach to the Future program, and planned to use technology for several of the classes she was teaching. As part of her preparation for the teacher education program, Nancy took several courses that focused on the use of technology for teaching mathematics and other subjects.

    Suzanne and Nancy were both part of a cohort cohort /co·hort/ (ko´hort)
    1. in epidemiology, a group of individuals sharing a common characteristic and observed over time in the group.

     of 33 preservice teachers who entered the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP GTEP Georgia Train and Equip Program
    GTEP Guaranteed Training Enlistment Program
    GTEP Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice (Australia) 
    ) at Portland Portland, town, England
    Portland, town (1991 pop. 12,945), Dorset, S England. It is on the Isle of Portland, a small rocky peninsula. Portland stone has been used in St. Paul's Cathedral and other important London buildings. Lobsters and crabs are harvested.
     State University (PSU PSU - power supply unit ) during the summer of 2000. This fifth-year teacher preparation program combines university courses with one practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
    n See internship.
     and two student teaching experiences to prepare preservice teacher for State of Oregon Oregon, city, United States
    Oregon, city (1990 pop. 18,334), Lucas co., NW Ohio, a suburb adjacent to Toledo, on Lake Erie; inc. 1958. It is a port with railroad-owned and -operated docks. The city has industries producing oil, chemicals, and metal products.
     licensure. Preservice teachers were paired with mentor teachers who were selected on the basis of their expertise and experience as classroom teachers, but not necessarily their use of technology for teaching and learning. In most cases the mentor teachers were selected by the school or district, not the university.

    Three different field placement experiences were integrated into the GTEP year, normally with the same mentor teacher and classroom. Throughout their first term in the program, preservice teachers in this cohort combined a minimum of 90 hours of practicum with their university course-work course-work

    said of a postgraduate degree based on lectures and practical work in courses rather than research.
    . This experience was followed by their first student teaching experience in which they worked half-time half-time

    Sport an interval between the two halves of a game

    Adj. 1. half-time - involving half the standard or customary time for an activity; "he had two years of half-time training"
     for 10 weeks. During this time period preservice teachers designed, taught, assessed, analyzed an·a·lyze  
    tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
    1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.

    2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.

    , and reflected on a two week unit of study (work sample) that was evaluated by their mentor teacher and university supervisor Same as operating system. . Finally, these preservice teachers completed a second student teaching experience that included full-time full-time
    Employed for or involving a standard number of hours of working time: a full-time administrative assistant.

     classroom teaching and responsibility for 10 weeks. It was comprised of a minimum of five weeks of solo responsibility for the classroom and a five week unit of study.

    Data Collection

    Data for this study was collected primarily from group and individual interviews. Additional data from surveys and written reflections was used to help corroborate To support or enhance the believability of a fact or assertion by the presentation of additional information that confirms the truthfulness of the item.

    The testimony of a witness is corroborated if subsequent evidence, such as a coroner's report or the testimony of other
     information gained from the interviews.

    Group interviews. Two group interviews were conducted: one at the beginning and one mid-way through the study. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. Questions were derived de·rive  
    v. de·rived, de·riv·ing, de·rives
    1. To obtain or receive from a source.

     from a pilot study conducted in the fall of 1999. They included:

    * What types of technologies are available for you to use at your student teaching site?

    * How are you preparing to use technology in your teacher preparation courses? Does the preparation seem adequate?

    * What would you like to see your teacher preparation program improve?

    * How have you seen technology being used in your field placement site?

    * How have you used technology in your student teaching to-date?

    * What factors have you encountered that have affected your decisions about whether or not to teach with technology?

    One of the advantages the group interview format was that it allowed me to dig deeper into unexpected issues that came out of the discussion. During the pilot study for this research, I found that the interaction among participants encouraged individuals to remember and talk about experiences they had not mentioned during individual interviews. This provided an opportunity for these preservice teachers to have a conversation about their experiences learning to use technology, and gave me the opportunity to witness and record their interaction.

    Individual Interviews. "Two principle uses of case study are to obtain the descriptions and interpretations of others" (Stake, 1995, p. 64). I used indepth interviews as a follow-up follow-up,
    n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.



    follow-up plan
     to the group interviews to learn more from these preservice teachers. These interviews provided an opportunity to hear the stories of each in greater detail, and from their unique perspectives. Suzanne and Nancy were each interviewed three times: after the first group interview, after the second group interview, and at the end of their field placement experiences. I began these interviews with the same questions I had used during the group interviews and added other questions as needed as needed prn. See prn order.  to clarify (company) Clarify - A software vendor, specialising in Customer Relationship Management software. Nortel Networks sold Clarify to Amdocs in 2002.
     information. Each interview was audio-taped and transcribed. Participants were invited to review each transcript A generic term for any kind of copy, particularly an official or certified representation of the record of what took place in a court during a trial or other legal proceeding.

    A transcript of record
     and add comments.

    Surveys. All of the study participants completed pre and postsurveys as self-reports of their individual skill levels, anxiety levels, and attitudes to-ward the use of technology in the classroom. Data from these surveys helped corroborate interview data related to each participant's preconceptions about the importance of using technology in teaching, and any influence that their individual skill levels might have had. While the survey data did help confirm that previous experience and attitude can be a factor that enabled or disabled their ability to teach with technology, it did not provide any new information.

    Data Analysis

    Group and individual interview data was analyzed in part with qualitative qualitative /qual·i·ta·tive/ (kwahl´i-ta?tiv) pertaining to quality. Cf. quantitative.


    pertaining to observations of a categorical nature, e.g. breed, sex.
     QSR QSR Quick Service Restaurant
    QSR QoS (Quality of Service) Satisfaction Rate
    QSR Quality System Regulations
    QSR Quality Status Report
    QSR Quality System Review
    QSR Quarterly Status Report
    QSR Quality System Requirement
     NU*DIST DIST Distribution
    DIST Distance
    DIST District
    DIST Distinguished
    DIST Distinct
    DIST Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (Australia)
    DIST Digital Image Scaling Technology
     software (QSR, 1997). I used this software to facilitate the coding and analysis of words and phrases Words and Phrases®

    A multivolume set of law books published by West Group containing thousands of judicial definitions of words and phrases, arranged alphabetically, from 1658 to the present.
     gleaned from interviews and documents. During interviews I noted who was talking as I asked questions. In addition, a research assistant tracked speakers on a minute-by-minute basis using a Microsoft Excel (tool) Microsoft Excel - A spreadsheet program from Microsoft, part of their Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. Excel is probably the most widely used spreadsheet in the world.

    Latest version: Excel 97, as of 1997-01-14.
     worksheet See spreadsheet.

    worksheet - spreadsheet
     to record who was speaking and when. This added information helped me verify (1) To prove the correctness of data.

    (2) In data entry operations, to compare the keystrokes of a second operator with the data entered by the first operator to ensure that the data were typed in accurately. See validate.
     the accuracy of my own notes when I transcribed these conversations. I chose a "basic transcript" format, as described by Ochs Ochs   , Adolph Simon 1858-1935.

    American newspaper publisher who published the New York Times (1896-1935) and directed the Associated Press (1900-1935).

    Noun 1.
     and Schieffelin (1979), to record these data, focusing on the "message content" of the participants.

    In nearly all linguistic Linguistic may refer to:
    • Natural language, human language that is spoken, written, or signed for general communication
    • Linguistics, the scientific study of human language
    See also:
    • Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
    , sociological so·ci·ol·o·gy  
    1. The study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society.

    , and psychological treatments of adult-adult speech behavior, nonverbal non·ver·bal  
    1. Being other than verbal; not involving words: nonverbal communication.

    2. Involving little use of language: a nonverbal intelligence test.
     considerations in the immediate situation are minimized min·i·mize  
    tr.v. min·i·mized, min·i·miz·ing, min·i·miz·es
    a. To reduce to the smallest possible amount, extent, size, or degree.

    b. Usage Problem To reduce. See Usage Note at minimal.
     or ignored. By and large, the message content is considered to be conveyed through language. (p. 52)

    Stake (1995) also took this approach a step further by suggesting that, "Getting the exact words of the respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests.  is usually not very important, it is what they mean that is important. A good interviewer can reconstruct re·con·struct  
    tr.v. re·con·struct·ed, re·con·struct·ing, re·con·structs
    1. To construct again; rebuild.

     the account and submit it to the respondent for accuracy and stylistic sty·lis·tic  
    Of or relating to style, especially literary style.

    sty·listi·cal·ly adv.
     improvement" (p. 66). Following Stake's suggestion, participants received copies of all interview transcripts and were given the opportunity to add their own comments or clarifications. This review of the data, combined with my notes and those of the graduate assistant, helped assure an accurate account of these conversations.

    To help validate To prove something to be sound or logical. Also to certify conformance to a standard. Contrast with "verify," which means to prove something to be correct.

    For example, data entry validity checking determines whether the data make sense (numbers fall within a range, numeric data
     my findings, I used three different approaches to coding the interview transcripts: by individual, by general category, and by type of enabling or disabling factor. For the first analysis I looked at the transcripts of my conversations with each individual and highlighted phrases that identified enabling or disabling factors. I then grouped those phrases under the categories of "enabler," "disabler," or "both" for each individual. Based on this information I was able to cluster cluster, in astronomy: see star cluster; galaxy.

    (1) Two or more systems working together. See clustering.

    (2) Also called an "allocation unit" or "file allocation unit," it is some number of disk sectors that are treated as a unit.
     the enablers and disablers into categories, and develop a strategy for coding the data a second time.

    For my second analysis I sorted the phrases into groups of enablers or disablers for each individual within each of the larger categories. This helped me to see how some factors can serve as either an enabler or disabler depending on the individual and look for patterns of relationships between factors. During this process I discovered factors that did not readily fit into my predetermined pre·de·ter·mine  
    v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
    1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance:
     categories. These factors included: planning (or lack of it), concern about equitable equitable adj. 1) just, based on fairness and not legal technicalities. 2) refers to positive remedies (orders to do something, not money damages) employed by the courts to solve disputes or give relief. (See: equity)

     access to technology by children, collaboration Working together on a project. See collaborative software.  within this particular group of subjects, and onsite training opportunities (e.g., Intel's Teach to the Future). I used this information to verify and broaden the categories of enablers and disablers, and decided that a third coding approach was needed to help validate the additional information

    To help verify the factors and categories that I had derived from the previous two approaches to coding, I decided to use one last approach, and reviewed the transcripts with no predetermined categories or groups. This time I read through each of the transcripts again, and as I encountered a factor that appeared to influence a preservice teacher's ability to practice teaching with technology, I decided whether or not it was an example of an enabler or disabler. Then, I created a subheading sub·head·ing  
    See subhead.


    the heading of a subdivision of a piece of writing

    Noun 1.
     for it under one of those two categories. This third coding approach helped me to look at each factor without the focus on individual subjects, allowing me to review the categories I had originally developed for enablers and disablers to determine whether or not the broad category groups were accurate. Using all three coding approaches helped me identify factors that served as enablers and disablers for each individual based of the interview transcripts. After identifying these factors, I was also able to examine the decisions each participant Participant

    A party of a funding. It usually refers to the lowest rank or smallest level of funding.
     reported making, and the methods they used to practice teaching with technology in light of these factors.


    The preservice teachers studied encountered various factors that both enabled and disabled their attempts to practice teaching with technology during their field experiences. Some of these factors: workshops and course-work, modeling, and faculty expectations were within the scope and control of our teacher preparation program. Others factors such as school and district requirements, support from mentor teachers and parents, individual attitudes about how technology should be integrated, and past experiences using technology were outside the program. How each preservice teacher dealt with the enabling and disabling factors they encountered varied from person to person. The following describes the cases of Suzanne and Nancy, primarily told through their voices.

    Suzanne. Suzanne spent her field placement experiences in a language arts classroom at Reagan Middle School. Brianna, her mentor teacher, was also the technology coordinator for the school, providing easy access to technology and helpful mentoring. Brianna's expertise and enthusiasm proved to be an important enabling factor for Suzanne, who was initially skeptical about using technology in the classroom.
        I come from kind of an environmentalist family who have always been
        very skeptical of technology. So when I found out I was in the tech
        cohort, I was pretty upset, but trying to be open. And then I got
        placed with Brianna, who's like tech guru of the world. Here she is
        this great tech guru. The first program of the year she did a
        Power-Point unit with the kids, and she's got a ton of computers in
        the classroom, and a scanner and an InFocus (computer) projector,
        and all sorts of neat fun stuff. And we use it almost every day. I
        have found that in my student teaching I rely more on the InFocus
        projector than she does for a couple of reasons. One, I like to turn
        the lights off. It calms my kids down. And they're kids that have
        been raised in the digital age, so they are responsive to stuff that
        I project up onto the wall. So I've been really fortunate. I use it
        almost daily, and I'll be in the computer lab all next week, and
        they're doing Publisher brochures. It's just fabulous. (Interview,

    This change in attitude from skeptic to enthusiast A person who enjoys using computers and electronic equipment. Enthusiasts like technology and are willing to learn more of the ins and outs of a product than the average consumer, who just wants to use it. An enthusiast is more like a "prosumer." See consumer and prosumer.  carried throughout her field placement experience. Suzanne quickly saw the advantage of having access to both technology and training as an important enabler.
        I think I was lucky because I came into Reagan Middle School at the
        year when it kind of exploded on the scene there, with just a huge
        huge increase of software and hardware in the school. But also
        training for staff and kind of just this rising level of excitement.
        So I had access. Access was easy. (Interview, 6/7/01)

    Suzanne also had the opportunity to attend and help Brianna conduct technology workshops within her school and district. This collaboration served to enable Suzanne's ability to plan and teach with technology.
        In terms of seeing how to use technology, and getting to experiment
        with ways to use it in the classroom, and getting to be with other
        teachers who are learners at the same time, my field experience has
        been really helpful. To be able to be in kind of a learning process
        together, is almost the ideal situation because you've got people at
        all ability levels and experiences, and even if you don't have a lot
        of experience with computers, you might have a lot of content
        knowledge. And having to create a technology rich work sample. I'm
        like, "Okay, where do I begin? What topic, what book should we
        read?" I mean, I had no idea. So I was able to help a veteran
        teacher with the technology part, and she was able to help me with
        the curriculum part, and there was so much synergy in that
        classroom. (Group Interview, 2/9/01)
        I gave a presentation at a staff development workshop for the
        district on Microsoft Publisher. That was really fun. And it was
        neat because our school has traditionally been the lowest
        economically supported school in the district and, other teachers
        and the community kind of look down their noses at this particular
        school and they came into our computer lab and said, "Like wow this
        is cool!" And our staff felt really neat about that. (Group
        Interview, 3/23/01)

    Because of their work with Brianna, students in Suzanne's classroom were accustomed to using technology on a regular basis. As a result, their skills with and attitudes toward the use of technology helped enable Suzanne to practice using it.
        My students were making their Publisher brochures and I only did a
        15 minute tutorial. And because they'd done so much PowerPoint at
        the end of fifteen minutes they were like, "Okay, we get it." They
        wanted to get on and start it. And they went to town, and they were
        teaching each other stuff, and they were teaching me. And they love
        lectures with PowerPoint. They want them every day. They see the
        InFocus projector and one person says, "Is there gonna be ... are
        you gonna lecture with PowerPoint today?" They really like it.
        (Group Interview, 3/23/01)

    Brianna considered teaching children to use technology more important than focusing on preparing for tests to meet state standards. This perspective was different from other teachers in her building, and other mentor teachers encountered in this study. While Suzanne eagerly followed Brianna's lead, her initial skepticism skepticism (skĕp`tĭsĭzəm) [Gr.,=to reflect], philosophic position holding that the possibility of knowledge is limited either because of the limitations of the mind or because of the inaccessibility of its object.  prompted her to be thoughtful in her approach to teaching and learning. Suzanne expressed concern that the curriculum might become more technology driven, and lack balance.
        My mentor teacher is a tech guru. That's what she calls herself and
        she's the tech coordinator for our school, which is a position she
        shares with the media specialist. And so she teaches 5 classes a day
        and then is supposed to have, to use one of her prep periods to go
        around and help people troubleshoot. We don't have a language arts
        book that we have to get through and so she, my mentor teacher, has
        taken on the responsibility of (because she wants to) doing tech
        stuff with the kids and I think at the expense of literature and
        writing. And I feel like, and she has told me flat out, "I'm sick of
        language arts." She's been teaching for 25 years. "Technology's my
        passion." My kids are learning a passion for technology, but I think
        at the expense of some really other wonderful things that could
        happen, too. And I would like to see more of an integration of the
        two than I do now. (Group Interview, 2/9/01)

    While test preparation did not drive the approach of her mentor teacher, Suzanne did express concern as state testing time approached. This was a concern shared by other participants in this study as well, and in several cases a disabling factor.
        One sad thing is our reading. We're coming up on our reading test
        and we're been preparing because we haven't really read up to this
        point, and so now we're kind of preparing for the test, and taking
        all these sample tests. And even kids that I thought would be able
        to read independently, that I thought would be okay are not doing
        well. So, you know, just sort of another reminder that it's a
        language arts class, not a technology class. And that my number one
        job is to teach reading and writing and critical thinking skills.
        And if I can do that by using technology as a tool, awesome. But,
        I can't, I can't do it in place of. (Group Interview, 3/23/01)

    This could have become a disabling factor for Suzanne. Instead it prompted Suzanne, during the last term of her program, to deliberately de·lib·er·ate  
    1. Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional: mistook the oversight for a deliberate insult.

     focus on integrating more literature and reading into her teaching while continuing to use technology for other unit activities.
        My kids are reading a lot. We're doing literature circles with
        parent volunteers, and I'm really excited about that. The kids are
        so excited about it. And we're reading Ann Frank, and my teacher did
        the ITF (Intel Teach to the Future) thing, and her unit was on Ann
        Frank, and it was really good, so I'm gonna incorporate some of what
        she used into it. But, I don't want to do the whole gamut of
        everything because I want to stay focused on the text. And so I'm
        gonna definitely, especially use a lot of the Internet. We're gonna
        go to a lot of the sites on the Internet and look at visual
        pictures, and there's lots of songs from that era that um.. so I'm
        gonna do a lot of that stuff. (Group Interview, 3/23/01)

    Suzanne became so adept at knowing when and how to use technology, and sensitive to the potential abuses that she was able to effectively use it during an unplanned "teachable teach·a·ble  
    1. That can be taught: teachable skills.

    2. Able and willing to learn: teachable youngsters.
     moment" in her classroom.
        My kids have been saying "ghetto" a lot lately. Like if a desk is
        broken, they say, "this is a ghetto desk." So I was kind of ignoring
        it, and I didn't know how to address it, and then we did character
        silhouettes where you outline your body and then you draw it, and
        then you write descriptions of your character in there. And somebody
        drew really big lips on his character and said, "Those are ghetto
        lips." And then said, in front of the whole class, "Look at these
        ghetto lips." And I stopped the class, and I talked about, you know,
        what ghetto means, and asked them what they meant when they used it,
        and talked about the politics of language. And, so then, they didn't
        use it in relation to race, but every now and then they'd come in
        and they'd be like, "This is a ghetto classroom." And if it wasn't
        specifically tied to somebody's body part or whatever, then it was
        okay they thought. They were just kind of doing it to needle me. So
        I got up, another teacher told me about this web site that she'd
        found from the Warsaw ghettos, and so I showed pictures of them on
        the Internet. And I talked about, where the word came from, that it
        initiated in, around, World War II, with the Warsaw ghetto, when all
        the Jews were forced into these slums. And so anytime you segregate
        somebody, now, into a really low income, bad place to live, then,
        and it's usually made up of one ethnic minority or another, then
        it's called a ghetto. And they were just dead silent. I mean just
        total dead silent. Like just seeing those pictures was so, I mean
        this was so powerful. And no amount of preaching or whatever could
        have been as powerful as those visuals were. And so, that was a
        tool. And I think, "Okay, this is what the Internet, this is what it
        is supposed to be used for in the classroom. This is real teaching
        with technology." So I felt, cause sometimes I feel like it's just
        all, it's really impressive, and people are really impressed by
        technology, but the content just isn't there. And so, when I kind of
        get those, like magic moments when I'm teaching and using technology
        at the same time, I'm like, "Okay this is what it's supposed to feel
        like." (Group Interview, 3/23/01)

    Brianna also did her own technical support most of the time. To Suzanne, this additional duty that Brianna took on was both a blessing "Bless" redirects here. For the Swedish pop band, see Bubbles (band). For the Montreal rapper, see Bless (rapper).

    This article is about the noun. For the place, see Blessing, Texas. For other uses, see Blessing (disambiguation).
     and a curse Curse
    Ancient Mariner

    cursed by the crew because his slaying of the albatross is causing their deaths. [Br. Poetry: Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner]


    king of the dwarfs; his malediction spurs many events in the
        This woman is there at 6am and leaves between like anywhere between
        4 and 10 PM at night. And she is like, she's obsessed with the
        school and with technology. And she like, with anything that has to
        do with language arts, if there's a conference or seminar, anything,
        she doesn't want to go and so my kids are learning a passion for
        technology, but I think at the expense of some really other
        wonderful things that could happen, too. (Group Interview, 2/9/01)

    Of all the factors that Suzanne described, seeing the time and energy that Brianna invested was the only one that had the potential to be a disabler, but all of the other enabling factors allowed her to routinely integrate technology into her practice teaching. It is no surprise that she is now employed full-time at Reagan Middle School.

    Nancy. Nancy completed her field experience in a mathematics classroom, preparing for initial licensure as a middle school math teacher (grades 5-10). Before entering the teacher education program, Nancy took several courses that focused on the use of technology for teaching mathematics and other subjects, and was looking forward to using technology as part of her field experience.

    At the beginning of the school year Nancy and Vikki, her mentor teacher, participated in a Technology Institute that was part of the this PT3 project. This three-day experience combined "getting to know you" activities with workshops and demonstrations by university faculty, experienced teachers, and project partners. Teams of preservice and mentor teachers were encouraged to use this time to think about the possible ways they might integrate technology into their teaching during the coming school year, and began planning some of the activities they might include. Nancy and Vikki spent their time together, talking about how they would include one technology experience in each unit that they taught. To start off, they planned for Nancy to introduce spreadsheets The following is a list of spreadsheets. Freeware/open source software
    Online spreadsheets

    Main article: List of online spreadsheets
    • EditGrid [1]
    • Simple Spreadsheet [2]
    • wikiCalc
     to her students as part of a unit activity.

    This collaborative col·lab·o·rate  
    intr.v. col·lab·o·rat·ed, col·lab·o·rat·ing, col·lab·o·rates
    1. To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.

     experience had an enabling influence on Nancy's attitude and initial approach to practice teaching. She was very eager to find other ways to integrate technology as well.
        They put in a new computer lab this year, so at the beginning of the
        year my mentor teacher and I were all excited, thinking we were
        going to do at least one type of a computer lab activity per
        chapter. It ended up that we did have one successful thing working
        with Excel, so that was good. And then one of my methods courses
        required me to do a language arts lesson, and I ended up doing a
        speech lesson. So we decided to integrate PowerPoint into that, and
        then we tried to integrate math into that by having them do a speech
        on a mathematical idea or concept. And so, it was kind of cool.
        (Interview, 2/23/01)

    Unfortunately, despite the new computer lab in the school, overall access to computers was limited. The one-day experience they planned ended up taking a full week and used a large portion of Nancy and Vikki's allotted al·lot  
    tr.v. al·lot·ted, al·lot·ting, al·lots
    1. To parcel out; distribute or apportion: allotting land to homesteaders; allot blame.

     computer lab time. Nancy's mentor teacher decided that they should abandon abandon v. to intentionally and permanently give up, surrender, leave, desert, or relinquish all interest or ownership in property, a home or other premises, a right of way, and even a spouse, family, or children.  their plan for the rest of the year. To Vikki it was more important to make sure that the students completed all of the chapters in their textbook by the end of the year. If there was time remaining at the end of the year, they could consider adding another technology experience then. For her, the use of computers was something to be added to the math curriculum rather than a method for enhancing instruction. What had been an enabling factor became a disabler.
        My mentor teacher probably wouldn't have done the Excel lesson
        without me being there. And now, we're at the point, because we took
        the time out of the curriculum, we're behind. We were planning on
        doing a technology lesson for my work sample and stuff, but we've
        decided to cut that out because we're gonna be behind at the end of
        the year. (Group Interview, 2/9/01)

    While Vikki used technology in her own teaching, the expectation that Nancy would complete every chapter in their textbook took precedence The order in which an expression is processed. Mathematical precedence is normally:

    1. unary + and - signs
    2. exponentiation
    3. multiplication and division
     over the need for Nancy to practice teaching with technology. Though it might have been possible for Nancy to gain additional experience with technology in the classes that Vikki taught, she was not given that opportunity. In addition, the requirement to teach a speech lesson, which Nancy saw as something unrelated to her preparation to teach math added stress.
        It took four days from start to finish, so that put us behind, so
        now we are trying to catch up still. We're like a whole chapter
        behind what they were at last year. And so I really doubt that we'll
        go to the computer lab again with my students. My teacher also does
        an accelerated geometry class, which I don't teach. I just observe.
        But she's planning on taking them to the lab to use Geometer
        SketchPad. But I doubt that we'll go to the lab again with my kids.
        We just don't have the time. (Interview, 2/23/01)

    The opportunity to observe TO OBSERVE, civil law. To perform that which has been prescribed by some law or usage. Dig., 1, 3, 32.  Vikki teaching with technology did provide Nancy with some modeling, but not the opportunity to apply that modeling to her own practice. At a later interview, when asked if she had used technology in her teaching, or observed ob·serve  
    v. ob·served, ob·serv·ing, ob·serves
    1. To be or become aware of, especially through careful and directed attention; notice.

     her mentor teacher using technology, Nancy responded:
        No, we haven't done anything in our classroom, at least with my
        prealgebra students. My mentor teacher is in the middle of her
        master's project which is a fractal geometry unit, and I haven't
        really been involved with that. But I have been observing it a
        little bit. They did research, they created a PowerPoint, they
        created a brochure using Publisher, and I'm not sure what her next
        step is. It's either going to be Logo or Geometer Sketchpad, one or
        the other or maybe both. They're supposed to actually create some
        kind of fractal piece. But that's something she's been doing that
        hasn't really been my creation. (Interview, 4/20/01)

    Vikki was also concerned about preparing her students to meet State of Oregon standards and pass unit tests. To do this, she chose to use the textbook as the curriculum. As a result, technology use was seen as an add-on A purchase of additional goods before payment is made for goods already purchased.

    An add-on may be covered by a clause in an installment payment contract that allows the seller to hold a security interest in the earlier goods until full payment is made on the later goods.
     or enrichment enrichment Food industry The addition of vitamins or minerals to a food–eg, wheat, which may have been lost during processing. See White flour; Cf Whole grains.  activity rather than a way of preparing students to meet these standards. The add-on perspective proved to be a major disabling factor for Nancy.
        Unfortunately, my teacher teaches a little bit differently than I
        anticipate teaching. Mine would be more of an activity based
        approach where you could use the computer lab more often because
        you're not always following the book and doing lesson by lesson,
        page by page. For that's how hers works, and technology doesn't fit
        in as easily. (Interview, 2/23/01)

    Despite having a new computer lab in the school, Nancy expressed concern and frustration Frustration
    See also Exasperation, Futility.


    poor government clerk saves to buy a new overcoat, only to have it stolen. [Russ. Lit.: Gogol The Overcoat in Magill II, 790]

    Angstrom, Harry “Rabbit”
     over the lack of technology in her classroom, and the challenges of scheduling use of the computer lab: "Another challenge is that the computer lab is pretty much booked for the rest of the year anyway, so even if we did have the time, we probably couldn't could·n't  

    Contraction of could not.

    couldn't could not
     get in there." (Interview, 4/20/01)

    Nancy also expressed frustration over her mentor teacher's unwillingness to allow students to use classroom calculators, the only technology that was readily available in her classroom. Concern for possible theft or misuse of the calculators appeared to take precedence over the potential for assuring increased access to technology.
        I don't know how many kids actually have a calculator at home. I
        would assume probably all of them. Maybe one or two exceptions
        like if a kid's homeless or something like that. Which we do have
        one kid who's living out of a homeless shelter, and she's failing.
        So, you know, at that point do you give her a calculator to take
        home, you know? And actually that was one thing that happened the
        other day. And I knee-jerked the answer and said no. A kid asked if
        he could borrow a calculator overnight, and I said, "No, we can't do
        that." And when I thought about it I said, "Well, why not? Why can't
        we loan it to him?" So I guess that's something you have to start
        thinking about. I mean we have probably 20 calculators and we never
        use them. We never pull them out and hand them out to students, we
        assume that they have calculators. And it's kind of funny because
        when they asked to come borrow a calculator at the first of the
        year, it was kind of like she expected them to bring their own.
        Well, why do we have calculators then? Why dowe have these 20
        calculators in the closet if we're not gonna use them. So, I don't
        know. A lot of stuff it's like, you know, it doesn't make sense as
        to what our method is, and rationale behind it. (Interview, 2/23/01)

    Nancy was eager to use technology in her teaching when she started the program, and excited about the initial plans that she and her mentor teacher had made. Her experience with curriculum limitations and the resulting change in plans dampened her enthusiasm, and severely disabled her ability to teach with technology. She frequently expressed disappointment that she wasn't was·n't  

    Contraction of was not.

    wasn't was not
    wasn't be
     allowed to do more.
        We can pretty much do it how we want to do it. But generally, we do
        one section each day, then one day for review and one day for a
        test. And so it's pretty linear, pretty, you know you don't have to
        think too much about it. You just turn the page. So I'm not really
        learning a whole lot as far as planning a curriculum and all that.
        You know, I'm a little, I don't know, disappointed in that.
        (Interview, 2/23/01)

    Despite her disappointment, Nancy continued to express enthusiasm for integrating technology in her teaching, which enabled her to look for ways to provide experiences for her students within the parameters that were set by her mentor teacher.
        I want to incorporate as much as possible, but just like we're
        talking about with the graphing it needs to be consistent with what
        you're teaching them throughout the year. Otherwise I think it gets
        way too confusing throwing in different versions and different ways
        to look at it and stuff. But it depends on what it is you are
        working on. When we did the Excel lab at the beginning of the year
        with our students, we were talking about order of operations and
        arithmetic sequences and stuff like that. And that worked really
        well because they were learning the language of Excel, but at the
        same time it was reinforcing the math. So that worked out just fine.
        And the class I took last summer, Computers for Middle School Math
        Teachers, they had stuff like Logo and Geometer Sketchpad, and stuff
        like that. And I think those are very powerful tools if you can get
        them in with the right class, and have enough computers and software
        and stuff to get it actually working and have them spend enough time
        on it to make it worth while. We really didn't do any geometry with
        our students, so I couldn't use any of that this year. But in the
        future, I think that would be a great thing to do. (Interview,

    Nancy completed her program and received her license to teach middle school mathematics. When she last contacted me she was still looking for Looking for

    In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
     a full-time teaching position.


    The enabling and disabling factors that these preservice teachers encountered fell primarily into five categories:

    1. Factors influenced by the instruction they received through their program from faculty and from their mentor teacher:

    * mentor teachers who collaborated with preservice teachers to develop technology enhanced lessons, regularly used technology in their own teaching, and encouraged preservice teachers to do the same (enabler);

    * mentor teachers who did not use technology in their own teaching and saw the use of technology as an "add on" rather than additional approach to teaching and learning (disabler);

    * workshops and other instruction provided by the university and/or and/or  
    Used to indicate that either or both of the items connected by it are involved.

    Usage Note: And/or is widely used in legal and business writing.
     school district including Intel's Teach to the Future (enabler); and

    * modeling (or lack of modeling) by university faculty in methods and other teacher preparation courses (both enabler and disabler).

    2. Factors influenced by their own personal expectations, those of the teacher preparation program, those of their mentor teachers, or those of students and parents:

    * faculty expectations that students would use technology in their teaching and learning (both enabler and disabler); and

    * student and parental enthusiasm and support for the use of technology in the classroom (enabler).

    3. Factors influenced by mentor teacher, school, district, or state requirements:

    * district/school expectations and support for technology use in the classroom (both enabler and disabler).

    4. Factors influenced by the type of technical support, or technology available for their use:

    * access to technology, software and/or technical support (both enabler and disabler).

    5. Factors influenced by the attitudes, fears, and experiences that the preservice teacher had before or during their field experiences:

    * a preservice teacher's desire to use technology and a vision of technology as an integral part of instruction rather than an "add on" (enabler);

    * successful experiences working with technology and children that led preservice teachers to see this approach to instruction as valuable and worthwhile (enabler);

    * fear of what might happen if the technology failed during a lesson (disabler); and

    * past negative experiences working with technology or using technology with children (disabler).

    The following sections describe each type of factor as they were encountered by these two preservice teachers, and the influence the factors had on the decisions they made about how and when to use technology during their student teaching experiences.

    The Influence of Instruction

    The courses that Suzanne and Nancy took as part of their teacher preparation program included one that specifically focused on instruction and technology. They also took teaching methods courses that used different approaches to technology and teaching. Faculty experience with, and modeling of technology in instruction varied widely, nevertheless an overall expectation that preservice teachers would use technology in their teaching and coursework coursework

    work done by a student and assessed as part of an educational course

    Noun 1. coursework - work assigned to and done by a student during a course of study; usually it is evaluated as part of the student's
     whenever possible existed. Technology focused workshops were offered throughout the program to help provide additional opportunities for preservice teachers to learn how to use technology for teaching and learning.

    Suzanne and Nancy started their year-long program by attending a technology "institute" along with their mentor teachers. This three-day experience combined "getting to know you" activities with workshops and demonstrations by university faculty, experienced teachers, and project partners. Teams of preservice and mentor teachers were encouraged to use this time to think about the possible ways they might integrate technology into their teaching during the coming school year. Both pairs of mentor and preservice teacher used this opportunity to begin planning activities to use in their classrooms. Response to the experience was positive overall. The most heavily attended sessions were hands-on hands-on
    Involving active participation; applied, as opposed to theoretical: "We're involved in hands-on operations, pulling levers, pushing buttons" Arthur R. Taylor.
    , focused on specific technology applications, and those in which experienced teachers shared how they were using technology in their classrooms.

    Mid-way through the program, preservice and mentor teachers were invited to attend two additional workshops: one on visual learning and concept mapping, and one on digital video production. Both Suzanne and Nancy attended these workshops. Their mentor teachers did not. Suzanne also had the opportunity to participate in technology inservice workshops sponsored by her school district and Intel's Teach to the Future program. These workshops proved to be a strong enabling factor for her.

    Nancy had taken a number of technology-focused courses before entering the program, including a course on computers in education, and math education courses that focused on the use of computers in mathematics instruction. When she began the program, Nancy was excited about the possibility of trying out some of the ideas she had gained through these experiences. She and Vikki planned to integrate a variety of these activities throughout the year. While this initially served as an enabling factor for Nancy, she was unable to put her plans into practice due to time and curriculum restraints.

    The Influence of Expectations

    Program expectations had a definite impact on the extent to which each of these preservice teachers practiced teaching with technology, and served as both an enabling and disabling factor. When first introduced to the GTEP program, preservice teachers were told that their cohort would be a "technology" cohort, and that they would use technology in their practice teaching and develop an electronic version of their final work sample portfolio. Suzanne was one of those initially resistant to the idea of using technology in this way. She shared the concern of her peers that they were not adequately prepared, and considered it unfair to be asked to take on the added challenge. For many of her fellow preservice teachers this became a disabling factor, however in Suzanne's case it did not, due in part to the influence of her mentor teacher.

    The expectations of mentor teachers also had a significant influence on how preservice teachers used technology. Brianna encouraged Suzanne to participate in the faculty development workshops she was conducting for Intel and her school district. Brianna's encouragement had a strong enabling influence on Suzanne' confidence with technology and her attitude toward using it for teaching and learning. The combination of university expectations, workshop opportunities, and Brianna's mentoring proved to be an enabling factor for Suzanne.

    The expectations of students and parents also served as an influence. In Suzanne's case, the attitudes of students toward the use of technology in their own work, and the encouragement they gave Suzanne when she used technology in her teaching was a strong enabling factor. They expected her to use it, and let her know they enjoyed and appreciated it.

    While Vikki, Nancy's mentor teacher used technology in her own teaching she discouraged dis·cour·age  
    tr.v. dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing, dis·cour·ag·es
    1. To deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.

    2. To hamper by discouraging; deter.

     Nancy from doing the same. Nancy was able to teach a series of lessons using Microsoft Excel early in the year. The spreadsheet spreadsheet

    Computer software that allows the user to enter columns and rows of numbers in a ledgerlike format. Any cell of the ledger may contain either data or a formula that describes the value that should be inserted therein based on the values in other cells.
     lessons took longer than she and Vikki had originally planned, and as a result Vikki decided that it was more important to focus on moving students through the textbook without additional technology activities, something she saw as supplemental. This decision disabled Nancy's further efforts to practice teaching technology.

    The Influence of Mentor Teacher, School, District, or State Requirements

    The expectations that mentor teachers, schools, and districts had were frequently influenced by district and state requirements such as preparing children to meet State of Oregon benchmarks (Oregon Department of Education The Department of Education of the U.S. state of Oregon is responsible for implementation of state policies with respect to public education at the kindergarten through community college level, including academic standards and testing, credentials, and other matters not reserved to  [ODE ode, elaborate and stately lyric poem of some length. The ode dates back to the Greek choral songs that were sung and danced at public events and celebrations. ], 2001). Each mentor teacher's approach to these requirements was different, impacting each preservice teacher's ability to practice teaching with technology in different ways, and helping to determine whether or not this factor enabled or disabled the preservice teacher's ability to practice teaching with technology.

    In Suzanne's case, Brianna considered teaching children to use technology more important than focusing on preparing for state tests. As a result, Suzanne became concerned about a possible lack of balance in the curriculum. The lack of balance could have become a disabling factor for her, however Suzanne used this as an opportunity to deliberately focus on integrating more literature and reading into her teaching, partly to help prepare students for state tests. She took this as a challenge to make sure that the ways she used technology with her students helped her achieve her goal of balance, ultimately becoming an enabling influence for her.

    Vikki, on the other hand, viewed the use of technology as something extra, an "add-on" to the curriculum. Because of her add-on perspective she was reluctant to allow Nancy to bring computer activities into the classroom other than the Excel A full-featured spreadsheet for Windows and the Macintosh from Microsoft. It can link many spreadsheets for consolidation and provides a wide variety of business graphics and charts for creating presentation materials.  lesson that she taught at the beginning of the year. Vikki insisted that Nancy focus on moving her students chapter-by-chapter through their math textbook, and save any additional technology activities for the end of the year if they had time left over.

    The Influence of Technology Support and Availability

    During our first interviews, the availability of technology and technology support was a factor that was frequently discussed. How each mentor teacher, school, and district dealt with this factor had a strong influence on each preservice teacher's ability to practice teaching with technology.

    Suzanne was fortunate to work with a mentor teacher who was considered the "technology guru guru (g`r, gr` " in her building. As a result, she had more technology in her classroom, and better access to computer labs when she needed them. In addition, most of the time, Brianna did her own technical support, and had access to a wealth of equipment due in part to her work with Intel. Though Suzanne expressed concern about the amount of time Brianna devoted to this endeavor See Endevor. , she was able to see beyond that concern and take full advantage of the technology and support that was available to her. These factors enabled Suzanne to practice teaching with technology throughout her field experience.

    Nancy was in the same school and had access to the same resources as Suzanne. She did note, however, that it would be difficult to schedule the computer lab for any length of time on a regular basis. Suzanne confirmed this by noting that it appeared that computer lab scheduling did not appear to be equitable. Though Nancy's students did have access to computers in their classroom, Nancy did not see this as a workable alternative. Just providing calculators for students was a problem. While they had a classroom set of calculators that she could use for teaching, Vikki was reluctant to allow students to use them out of fear that they might become lost or stolen. As a result, if Nancy wanted to assign work outside class that required students to use a calculator calculator or calculating machine, device for performing numerical computations; it may be mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic. The electronic computer is also a calculator but performs other functions as well. , they had to provide their own.

    The Influence of Attitudes, Fears, and Experiences

    The attitudes, fears, and experiences of the preservice teachers who participated in this study served as both enabling and disabling factors. During group and individual interviews all of the participants expressed a desire to find ways to integrate technology into their teaching. Fears about using technology in teaching did not appear to play a major factor, except for the fear of equipment failure. Successes with technology before and during the program appeared to be an important enabler, especially when coupled with the opportunity to observe their mentor teachers successfully teaching with technology.

    Suzanne was skeptical about using technology in teaching when she first entered the program: "I come from kind of an environmentalist environmentalist

    a person with an interest and knowledge about the interaction of humans and animals with the environment.
     family who have always been very skeptical of technology. So when I found out I was in the tech cohort, I was pretty upset. But, trying to be open." (Interview, 2/23/01) Observing observing,
    v 1. to look or notice through visual inspection.
    2. to quietly look at the client's inhalation and exhalation patterns to discern the breath wave and perceive areas that need therapeutic intervention.
     her mentor teacher, and teaching lessons with technology helped decrease her skepticism. As a result, Suzanne came to see technology as an integral part of her teaching, rather than something to be added on. Her view of technology as integral enabled her to develop technology experiences that balanced enhanced teaching and learning with her desire to use technology as much as possible.

    Nancy was eager to use technology when she started the program: "They put in a new computer lab this year, so at the beginning of the year my mentor "My Mentor" is the second episode of the American situation comedy Scrubs. It originally aired as Episode 2 of Season 1 on October 4, 2001. Plot
    Elliot gets on Carla's bad side after telling Dr. Kelso about one of Carla's mistakes. Elliot gets defensive with J.D.
     teacher and I were all excited, thinking we were going to do at least one type of a computer lab activity per chapter." (Interview, 2/23/01) Unfortunately Nancy was not able to maintain her enthusiasm and put another plan into practice: "And now, we're we're  

    Contraction of we are.

    we're we are
     at the point, because we took the time out of the curriculum, we're behind. We were planning on doing a technology lesson for my work sample and stuff, but we've we've  

    Contraction of we have.

    we've have
     decided to cut that out because we're gonna gon·na  
    Contraction of going to: We're gonna win today. 
     be behind at the end of the year." (Group Interview, 2/9/01)

    For Suzanne and Nancy, no single factor appeared to be an overwhelming disabler or enabler. Instead, the combination of factors, especially the combination of attitude, experience, and modeling appear to have had the most influence on the decisions they made about how and when to use technology in their teaching. Though some of these factors fall within the control of the teacher preparation program, others like attitude and mentor teacher modeling do not. How a preservice teacher reacts to potentially disabling or enabling factors varies depending on all of the other factors they have encountered before or during their student teaching experiences.


    This study provides a focused view of one aspect of teacher preparation, practice teaching, a key part of preparing preservice teachers to effectively teach with or without technology. "Practice" gives preservice teachers the opportunity to transfer the knowledge they gain through their courses and modeling. It is an opportunity to see whether or not they can apply what they have learned in the university classroom to real life situations, an essential part of their preparation.

    The experiences that Suzanne and Nancy described provide a clear understanding of the factors that served as enablers and disablers for them, and insight into why these factors varied from individual to individual. The information gleaned from the words and voices of these individuals provides a new perspective on the factors that influence the decisions that preservice teachers make about how and when to teach with technology and suggests ways that teacher educators might better prepare preservice teachers to integrate the use of technology into their classrooms.

    Though Nancy and Suzanne, like all six participants, took the same university classes and received the same modeling and expectations from university faculty, there were big differences in what they accomplished during their practice teaching experiences. They each encountered similar enablers and disablers in terms of access to technology, technical support, and university instruction and modeling. Yet only Suzanne routinely practiced using technology in her classroom. What was it about the factors these participants encountered that made led them to become disablers in some cases, enablers in others, or have no apparent influence at all?

    One of the most obvious differences was the level of encouragement and support they each received from their mentor teachers. Brianna routinely used technology in her own teaching and expected Suzanne to do the same. Her students were accustomed to using technology on a regular basis and expected Suzanne to continue to provide them with technology enhanced learning experiences. Suzanne had easy access to the technology she needed to turn her plans into reality. Interestingly, Suzanne expressed some initial skepticism about the place of technology in the classroom, a concern that Nancy did not share.

    In contrast, Vikki used technology in her own teaching, but discouraged Nancy from doing the same. Vikki saw the use of technology as something extra that could be added on if they had time left after students had finished working through the textbook. Viewing technology as a add-on prevented Nancy from practicing teaching with technology for all but one lesson during the year. Clearly, the role of the mentor teacher is critical.

    Further research into the influence of enabling and disabling factors, individually or in combination, will help determine to what extent the experiences these individuals encountered are representative of preservice teachers as a whole. In addition, a longitudinal study longitudinal study

    a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study.
     that follows preservice teachers through their first few years of teaching could provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of current approaches to teacher preparation, and give a different perspective on the pervasiveness per·va·sive  
    Having the quality or tendency to pervade or permeate: the pervasive odor of garlic.

    [From Latin perv
     of the factors these preservice teachers encountered. What influence do the enabling and disabling factors that they encounter during their field placement experiences have on the way they use technology as they journey into their future classrooms?

    Finally, the findings of this study suggest that a combination of effective mentoring and modeling, clear expectations, easy access to technology and technology support, and positive experiences with technology in the classroom, will enable preservice teachers to practice using technology on a regular basis. Teacher education programs need to know which mentor teachers will best serve as good models, and which school environments can provide access and support. Assuring positive experiences with technology is a little more difficult. Faculty can help by encouraging collaboration between mentor and preservice teachers, and guiding preservice teachers as they develop their plans. Additional study of these factors could prove very useful. Current research into partnerships between universities and K-12 schools is leading that direction (Wetzel, Zambo Zam´bo

    n. 1. The child of a mulatto and a negro; also, the child of an Indian and a negro; colloquially or humorously, a negro; a sambo.
    , & Padgett Padgett is a surname, and may refer to:
    • Matt Padgett
    • Doug Padgett
    • Ernie Padgett
    • Joy Padgett
    • Lemuel P. Padgett
    • Lewis Padgett
    • Ron Padgett
    • Scott Padgett
    See also
    • Paget
    • Padget

    , 2001). Further study of effective practice may help teacher education programs develop a model that encourages preservice teachers to see the factors they encounter as enablers rather than disablers, and better prepare them as technology using educators.


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    DAVID David, in the Bible
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    Portland State University

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    COPYRIGHT 2004 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
    No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
    Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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    Author:Bullock, David
    Publication:Journal of Technology and Teacher Education
    Geographic Code:1USA
    Date:Jun 22, 2004
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