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Preservice science teachers' use of educational technology during student teaching

, University of Virginia, United States

University of Virginia . Awarded


The secondary science teacher preparation at the University of Virginia provides a model technology enrichment program for preservice teachers. Important features of this program include an introductory course with an educational technology component, an educational technology course focused on technology uses in teaching science and mathematics and a secondary science methods class where preservice teachers observe effective technology integration models and experience opportunities to design and implement lessons with technology components. This study explores the use of educational technology during student teaching by 15 secondary science preservice teachers who have completed this technology rich program. The data corpus includes pre and post questionnaires and formal interviews, 63 hours of classroom observations, 355 lesson plans and artifacts collected during the student teaching experience.

Analytic induction was used for data analysis to derive 6 assertions describing aspects of technology use and 3 assertions describing influencing factors. Participants reported adequate skills and intent to use educational technology during their student teaching and the secondary school placement sites provided adequate opportunities for teaching with technology. Student teacher participants chose to use educational technology to involve their students in learning science by visually enhancing aspects of their curriculum that were too abstract, too subtle to notice, too large to see, too dangerous for the classroom, or too complex to make science topics more relevant for their students. In addition, many participants used educational technology for inquiry-based lessons. Student teachers planned and implemented lessons in which the educational technology was used primarily by the student teacher in a supporting role in the classroom and successfully identified appropriate educational technologies that fit their curriculum topics.

The findings include three factors that influenced student teacher use of educational technology: (a) cooperating teacher attitudes toward technology use; (b) student teacher concerns regarding achievement level, behavioral characteristics and technology skills levels of the secondary students; and (c) access/reliability issues. A technology integrated preservice program along with a technology supportive environment provided the participants in this study with sufficient knowledge of both technology and pedagogy to experiment with modern technologies during their student teaching. Implications for ePCK are included.


Irving, K.E. Preservice science teachers' use of educational technology during student teaching. Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia. Retrieved April 20, 2019 from .

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Cited By

  1. Preservice Biology Teachers’ Use of Interactive Display Systems to Support Reforms-Based Science Instruction

    Christine Schnittka, University of Kentucky, United States; Randy Bell, University of Virginia, United States

    Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 9, No. 2 (June 2009) pp. 131–159

  2. Preservice Physical Science Teachers' Use of Interactive Display Systems in the Single-Computer Classroom.

    Pablo Zatz, Randy Bell & Ian Binns, University of Virginia, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (Mar 03, 2008) pp. 4826–4833

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