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Reflecting on the Challenges of Informal Contexts: Early Field Experiences With Technology in Teacher Education

, , , , , Montana State University, United States

CITE Journal Volume 17, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


Early field experiences, or those that come early in a teacher’s preparation before more formalized opportunities like practicum and student teaching, can provide a venue for pre service teachers to practice technology-specific instructional decision-making and reflective practice. Although research exists on the potential roles of field experiences in teacher education, little research exists on early field experiences, especially those taking place in informal contexts. Moreover, little research exists examining how those early field experiences in informal spaces might shape preservice teachers’ use of digital learning tools. To address this gap, an inquiry was conducted to better understand teachers’ early field work experiences in informal science contexts and the use of formative assessment technologies. Researchers used a mixed methods design to examine how early field experiences might support authentic and robust opportunities for teachers in training. Results suggested that technology-focused early field experiences can serve as confirmatory events for preservice teachers, afford them opportunities to apply theory and content knowledge to practice, and contend with issues related to technology integration, instructional planning, classroom management, and even attendance within an informal context. Findings could be used to improve the design of early field experiences for preservice teachers, and facilitate the scaffolding of the opportunities to help them better integrate technologies into those experiences.


Lux, N., Obery, A., Cornish, J., Cornish, J., Grimberg, B.I., Grimberg, B.I., Hartshorn, A. & Hartshorn, A. (2017). Reflecting on the Challenges of Informal Contexts: Early Field Experiences With Technology in Teacher Education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(2), 250-267. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved January 21, 2020 from .


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