Title

Future teacher misconceptions concerning educational technology

Date of Completion

January 2000

Keywords

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Technology of

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The goals of this study were to identify preservice teachers' misconceptions or novice perceptions concerning educational technology and its uses in school, to detect any changes in misconceptions over a period of 1.5 semesters (during and after a one-credit technology course), and to describe these misconceptions in terms that will enable instructors to address them. Theoretical foundations for this study came from research on ecological psychology and situated cognition. Primarily qualitative methods were used to answer three initial research questions: (1) What are the novice perceptions concerning educational technology among preservice teachers enrolled in an introductory technology class? (2) What are the resulting novice perceptions at the end of this class? (3) What are the resulting novice perceptions three months after taking the class? ^ The teachers' participation included taking a short, 10-minute, interview regarding their perceptions about educational technology and an oral response to a technology integration scenario. These were administered at the beginning, at the end of the semester, and three months follow-up. Several interviews were conducted with experts in the field of educational technology as well to ensure the credibility of the taxonomy of responses. ^ The data revealed that novice perceptions concerning educational technology and its uses existed both in interview and scenario responses of future teachers, although scenario responses showed a different level of understanding of technology uses. Slight positive changes or no changes in interview responses about educational technology (changes from novice to expert-like perceptions) occurred between the Pretest and the Posttest and no changes or slight negative changes (changes from expert-like back to novice responses) occurred between the Posttest and the Follow-up. ^ It was also evident that the course in technology differentially addressed issues of novice perceptions at the individual difference level, but there is still a need for better course design in order to attack all of these misconceptions. Implications of this study are foreseen for the design of future teacher preservice experiences that will address perceptions and develop a more expert-like understanding of the nature and application of educational technology. ^