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Digital Natives as Preservice Teachers: What Technology Preparation Is Needed?

Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 25, Number 3, ISSN 1040-2454


This study focused on "digital natives" as preservice teachers to examine their beliefs, attitudes, and technology experiences and expertise, identify the strengths and weaknesses in their technology knowledge and skills, and explore what technology preparation was needed to prepare them to integrate technology in their future classrooms. Results reveal that (a) the digital-native preservice teachers reported strong positive beliefs in technology, yet moderate confidence and reserved attitude in using technology; (b) the majority (80%) of them spent the most time on social-communication activities, and only about 10% of them spent the most time on learning-related activities; (c) they were very proficient with basic technologies but were not familiar with more advanced technologies; (d) the scope of their use of Web 2.0 technologies was limited to mainly social-networking Web sites, and they lacked the experiences and expertise in using Web 2.0 technologies with great potential for classroom application; and (e) they lacked experiences and expertise in using classroom technologies, especially assistive technologies. The results suggest that, growing up with technology, digital natives as preservice teachers are savvy with basic technologies and social-communication technologies. However, their technology proficiency is limited by both the narrow scope and the lack of depth of their technology activities. Systematic technology preparation is needed to help them learn more advanced technologies, classroom technologies, and assistive technologies, and more important, to help them make the connections between technology and teaching and to help them make the transition from digital-native students to digital-native teachers. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)


Lei, J. (2009). Digital Natives as Preservice Teachers: What Technology Preparation Is Needed?. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 25(3), 87-97. Retrieved February 28, 2020 from .

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