Elementary Education Candidates’ Integration of Technology in Science Units

Technologies still show promise to reinforce teaching and learning within the grade school grades (New Media Consortium, 2017; U.S. Department of Education, 2016). When including higher level thinking skills, technology has been found as a tool that positively impacts student achievement (Polly, 2008; Wenglinsky, 2000). samples of activities that are technology rich and include higher level thinking skills include using technology to make products or artifacts of data like multimedia presentations or artifacts, using technology to locate and synthesize information, and using technological tools to explore and add up of mathematics and science problems by generating representations or simulations (International Society for Technology in Education, 2016). during this paper we define technologies as digital tools that include hardware and devices (e.g., computers, document cameras, and iPads), software and tools (e.g., PowerPoint and iPad applications), also as infrastructure needed for technology, specifically the utilization of the web .

In recent years in elementary schools, the addition of interactive whiteboards and projectors and one-to-one environments with either laptops or iPads has increased teachers’ and students’ access to tools to support teaching and learning processes (New Media Consortium, 2017). Research about how technology is employed by teachers, however, indicates a predominance of teacher-centric pedagogies (Polly, 2015).

When considering the way to best prepare teacher candidates (that is, preservice teachers) to be effective at designing and integrating technology in meaningful ways, there’s a requirement to supply ample support with content-specific samples of technology integration (Tondeur, van Braak, Sang, Voogt, Fisser, & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2012). during this paper we report our examination of how education preservice teachers intended to use technology in science units that they designed.

Role of Technology in grade school Science
In science, technology continues to point out promise as a tool to support the teaching and learning of concepts. Technology and science activities that promote problem solving and important thinking cause deeper learning of science concepts (Scalise et al., 2011; Trowbridge, Bybee, & Powell, 2008). Novak and Krajcik (2004) posited that technology was most beneficial when including inquiry-based activities: “Utilizing technology tools in inquiry-based science classrooms allows students to figure as scientists” (p. 76).

While technology infused into science classrooms with critical thinking and inquiry have potential, research from in-service teachers notes various barriers and factors associated with technology integration. during a study of secondary school and highschool teachers, researchers found that teachers were ready to use technology in inquiry-based experiences, but contextual factors and teachers’ technology skills proved significantly to assist or impede the utilization of technology (Gusey & Roehrig, 2009). A related study found that secondary science teachers reported gains in skills and knowledge associated with technology integration by participating in an ongoing set of professional development experiences (Graham et al., 2009).

Research on preservice teachers has cited the necessity to develop skills and knowledge associated with technology integration (Polly, 2010; Niess, 2005) and their self-efficacy associated with teaching with technology (Kent & Giles, 2017), also on address the preconceived beliefs that future teachers have about teaching with technology (Cullen & Greene, 2011).

In her seminal work, Schrum (1999) posited that the three primary areas where technology integration knowledge is developed included (a) stand-alone educational technology courses, (b) pedagogy courses in various content areas like science, mathematics and literacy, and (c) time in classrooms where practicing teachers model technology integration.

In a study of preservice teachers Bell, Maeng, and Binns (2013) found that situating learning of technology integration in specific science experiences during science pedagogy courses and in immersive clinical experiences in classrooms where teachers effectively used technology as a tool to show science in an inquiry manner led to frequent enactments of technology while enacting inquiry-based pedagogies. For those teachers who struggled to integrate technology in inquiry, they still successfully integrated technology to display visuals through document cameras, PowerPoint presentations, and videos (Maeng, Mulvey, Smetana, & Bell, 2013).

Still, even when technology-rich learning experiences are modeled effectively and experienced by preservice teachers, preservice teachers have struggled to style and implement technology-rich experiences that consistently included inquiry or higher level thinking (Cullen & Greene, 2011; Polly, 2016). Specifically, preservice teachers tend to style and plan technology to be used only to present content within the sort of electronic slideshow presentations, document cameras, and videos or provide practice of low-level basic skills (Polly, 2016; Maeng, et al., 2013).

Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge
This study is influenced by the framework of technological pedagogical content knowledge (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Niess, 2005; now referred to as technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge, or TPACK). TPACK is usually visualized as a three-ring Venn diagram (Figure 1) that represents knowledge associated with technology, pedagogy, and content. Educational technologists posit that so as for teachers to effectively integrate technology, they need to be ready to apply knowledge from the middle of the Venn diagram , which reflects a mixture of data associated with technology, pedagogy, and content.

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