Technology integration and novice teachers : looking at technology use of novice teachers in the context of their first year of teaching
The aim of this study was to examine first year teachers' experiences incorporating instructional technology into their teaching through the lens of Technology-Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Technology-Pedagogical Content Knowledge is a fairly new concept drawn from the concept of Pedagogical Content Knowledge, originating with Shulman. Participating teachers were graduates of a Southwestern University's College of Education laptop initiative that required all College of Education students to purchase a laptop. The laptop was used throughout their pre-service teaching course work. The first graduating cohort of this initiative was surveyed during their first full year of teaching. Ten of those surveyed then participated in interviews and journal writing related to their technology integration experiences. Results indicated that for the most part these new teachers are not facing access and support related barriers to technology use, though time constraints are still an issue. Results also indicated that the teachers are using technology in their instructional activities, and are continuing to grow in their technology integration skills. The basis in technology use from their College of Education combined with the technology-supportive school atmosphere in which they teach appears to be an environment that is fostering teachers who are willing to experiment with technology integration and are planning how to integrate it more in the coming school year. Their understanding of the connections between technology, content and pedagogy, their t-PCK, are developing and transforming. Impact on the field includes a greater understanding of how teachers come to design lessons for technology integration as well as a greater understanding of how graduates from teacher preparation programs with an emphasis on technology integration are able to apply their skills upon entering the teaching field.