Technology integration for preservice science teacher educators

Technology integration for preservice science teacher educators

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Technology integration for preservice science teacher educators
Stokes, Nina
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[Tampa, Fla]
University of South Florida
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Adaptive technologies
Dissertations, Academic -- Secondary Education -- Masters -- USF ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


ABSTRACT: The current state of technology integration in science teacher education programs is examined with a view to providing science teacher educators with practical information and diverse examples of technologies they can model in their own courses. Motivators and barriers to technology integration and use are discussed, and recommendations for choosing and evaluating science technologies made. A brief history of how computers, related communication technologies, and science teacher education reform "fit" together is provided. Multiple interpretations of what is meant by "technology" and associated terms (distance learning, online courses, Web-enhanced courses, simulations, authentic data sets etc.) are included to set the context.
Thesis (Ed.S.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Nina Stokes.

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Technology integration for preservice science teacher educators
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by Nina Stokes.
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b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains X pages.
Thesis (Ed.S.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
3 520
ABSTRACT: The current state of technology integration in science teacher education programs is examined with a view to providing science teacher educators with practical information and diverse examples of technologies they can model in their own courses. Motivators and barriers to technology integration and use are discussed, and recommendations for choosing and evaluating science technologies made. A brief history of how computers, related communication technologies, and science teacher education reform "fit" together is provided. Multiple interpretations of what is meant by "technology" and associated terms (distance learning, online courses, Web-enhanced courses, simulations, authentic data sets etc.) are included to set the context.
Advisor: Dana Zeidler, Ph.D.
Adaptive technologies
Dissertations, Academic
x Secondary Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


Technology Integration For Preservice Science Teacher Educators by Nina C. Stokes A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Education Specialist Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Dana Zeidler, Ph.D. Elaine Howes, Ph.D. Janet Richards, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 6, 2009 Keywords: adaptive technologies, cai computers, telecommunication Copyright 2010 Nina C. Stokes


i Table of Contents List of Tables ii Abstract iii Chapter 1 Computers, Related Communication Technologies, and Science Teacher Education Reform: History and Background 1 Chapter 2 How Technology and the Reform fit Together 8 Chapter 3 What is Meant by Technology and Associated Terms? 15 Chapter 4 Integration of Technology in Science Education 20 Examples of Technologies Currently Being Used in Science Education 28 Recommendations for Choosing and Evaluating Science Technologies 42 Chapter 5 Implications for the Future 46 References 49


ii List of Tables Table 1 Classification of Education Technologies 30


iii Technology Integration for Preser vice Science Teacher Educators Nina C. Stokes ABSTRACT The current state of technology integration in science teacher education programs is examined with a view to providing science teacher educators with practical information and diverse examples of technologies they can model in their own courses. Motivators and barriers to technology integration and use are discussed, and recommendations for choosing and evaluating science technologies made. A brief history of how computers, related communication technologies, and science teacher education reform "fit" together is provided. Multiple interpretations of wh at is meant by "technology" and associated terms (distance learning, online courses, We b-enhanced courses, simulations, authentic data sets etc.) are included to set the context.


1 Chapter 1 Computers, Related Communication Techno logies, and Science Teacher Education Reform: History and Background The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reminds us that "As long as there have been people, there has been technology." (AAAS, 1989, chap. 3). Sherman (2000) says, "Technology both shapes and reflects the values of our social enterprise." (p. 317). Science teac her educators have used computers and other information technologies as tools to increase students learning of science in America's schools, universities and colleges for over 30 years. In 1934, the first teaching machine was invented by Sydney L. Pressey, but it was not until the 1950s that practical methods of programming were developed. In 1954, B. F. Skinner of Harvard reintroduced programmed instruction, and much of the system is based on his theory of the nature of learning. The range of teaching machines and other programmed instruction materials developed along with programming technol ogy. Programs have been devised for the teaching of almost every subject imaginable some being linear in concept, allowing advancement only in a particular order as th e correct answer is gi ven, while others are branching, giving additional information at th e appropriate level whether a correct or incorrect answer is given (Hezfallah, 1990). The 1960s brought with them the introducti on of computer-assisted instruction (CAI). CAI was developed with the goal of ai ding in the acquisition of basic skills, providing opportunities to practice these skills and then to measure learning gains.


2 Patrick Suppes developed some of the first CAI at Stanford University in 1963, and set standards for subsequent instructional software. Suppes designed highly structured computer systems featuring learner feedback, lesson branching, and student record-keeping (Coburn et al., 1982). In the late 1960s the National Sc ience Foundation (NSF) supported the development of 30 regional computing networks, which included 300 institutions of higher education and some secondary schools, to increase computer acce ss. In excess of 2 million students used computers in their classes by 1974. In 1963, a mere 1% of the nations secondary school teachers used computers for instructional purposes. By 1975, 55% of the schools had access, and 23% were using computers primarily for instruction (Molnar, 1975). In 1969, the British Open University was established as a fully autonomous degree-granting institution. The basic Open University system utilizes television courses rigorously developed by a team of content sp ecialists and instructional designers. The British Open University broke traditional barriers to education by allowing any student to enroll regardless of previous educational experience or background. It currently serves more than 200,000 students and has enrolled more than 2 million people It is recognized throughout the world as a prototype for current-day, non-traditional learning. LOGO, a computer language developed by Seymour Papert and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s, provides one of the earliest examples of computer-based exploratory lear ning. Papert used LOGO to aid students in acquiring critical thinking and mathemati cal problem-solving skills (Papert, 1980).


3 Personal computers were ubiquitous by th e end of the seventies and could be found in classrooms, offices, homes, laborat ories and libraries. The computer was no longer a luxury, but a necessity for schools and universities. In 1971 the microprocessor was invented by Intel and the first e-mail messages were sent, and in 1978, the first computer Bulletin Board System (BBS) was established. In the early 1980s, low-cost personal computers allo wed the use of technology in e ducation to expand to include general-purpose tools such as word processors and spreadsheets. In addition, new technology allowed classes to be given "r emotely", programs being transmitted to classrooms via cables, fiber optics and satellites. In 1984, the first such "distance learning", undergraduate courses were de livered by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This opened the door to individu als who, because of other commitments and responsibilities (careers children, family etc.), would have otherwise been unable to take courses, as well as people located in remo te regions of the nation, and in typically underserved communities. Telecommunication technologies have l eaped forward. The Internet, a global telecommunications system that began in 1969 as a U.S. Department of Defense project, is an incredibly powerful resource, making a vast amount of information immediately accessible. It provides instant access to educa tional research, as well as curricula, lesson plans, discussion forums, online experts a nd communication tools. The World Wide Web was first developed in 1991 and provides the connections to resources on the Internet, allowing users to travel from resource to reso urce with the click of a mouse button. This wealth of information opens doors for collabor ation, encourages alternative instructional strategies, and enhances the curriculum (Barron & Ivers, 1996). Telecomputing tools


4 include e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, elect ronic mailing lists, discussion groups, Web browsers, real-time chatting, and audioand videoconferencing. Online resources include Web sites (including social networking sites such as My Space), and interactive environments, and remotely-operated robotic devices. The 21 st Century has brought with it many new and extremely powerful technologies that have already made their way into school and university science classrooms all over the United States. Multimedia software allows science teacher educators to teach preservice teachers (who, in turn can teach their K-12 students), concepts and skills through the use of programs that employ both sound and video. HyperStudio and other multimedia authoring t ools are used to link and branch screens, making them interactive and layered with information, photos, scanned images, movies and text. PowerPoint and other slide show programs add tools for developing sequenced screens including all the elements of multimed ia. "New ways of obtaining and presenting information have given students powerful new ways of analyzing and understanding the world around them." (U.S. Dept. of E ducation, 1996, Benefits of Technology Use section, para. 3). Computer simulations provide teachers w ith tools to allow students to conduct experiments and control variab les as they never could othe rwise. Students can carry out virtual genetics experiments with software such as "GenScope", or analyze ecological data, simulating live data that would have ta ken decades or centuries to collect in the field. Computer software also allows simu lations in population growth, competition and evolutionary theory to be run, exposing st udents to hands-on analysis of data, which reinforces the concepts they hear in thei r usual science classroom sessions. The Higher


5 Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) program designe d by Stanley Pogrow of the University of Arizona, is a computer-based thinking pr ogram for disadvantaged students, that emphasizes "the basic thinking processes that underlie all learning" (Pogrow, 1987, p. 11). The project includes the ut ilization of computer simulatio ns to study topics such as the dynamics of a balloon in flight, exploring the effects of differen t variables such as fuel, wind direction and terrain. Students can utilize the smaller and more portable computers available now, as valuable science research tools and gui des in the laboratory, and in the field. Microcomputer-based measurement and monito ring devices can be used for gathering and analyzing scientific data such as temp erature, relative humidity, light intensity, pressure and voltage (Rohwedder & Alm, 1994). Virtual dissection programs are also b ecoming more popular, both as valuable preparation tools, enhancements to dissect ions, and as a way for students who feel uncomfortable actually performing the dissecti on, or are physically unable to do so, to participate. It also provides a means for science teacher educators to provide preservice teachers with learning experiences that would otherwise be impossible because of lack of time, funds, or availability of materials. Researchers at Stan ford University created "The Virtual Frog Project". Using th e Internet to access the virtual frog, students can view and explore three dimensional renderings of the different biological systems as well as being able to make the frog's skin transparent to view a particular process, e.g. digestion, or to virtually stain an organ to facilitate viewing. Web cams (a simple Web cam consists of a digital camera attached to a computer), can also help to bring science le ssons to life allowing teachers to take their


6 students on virtual field trips all over the world, providing them with a birds-eye view that serves to enhance their understanding of material studied and discussed in class. Web cams are an excellent way for information to be communicated visually over time. In addition to being more powerful, ne w technologies are also more user-friendly and accessible. Adaptive technologies ensure th at students with disabilities are no longer precluded from computer use. Physically disa bled individuals can us e modified joysticks, keyboards and head pointers (Day (Ed.), 1995), while the speech impaired talk through the computer by typing words which are translated into speech by text-to-speech translators (Middleton & Means, 1991). Vi sually impaired students can use speechenabled products such as talking watches, ca lculators and computers, as well as products with Braille feedback. In today's technological world, it is esse ntial that science teacher educators furnish preservice teachers with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to utilize the wealth of resources that t echnology offers. As stated in the report, "Getting America's Students Ready for the 21st Century", "Succe ss as a nation will depend substantially on our students' ability to acquire the ski lls and knowledge necessary for high-technology work and informed citizenship." (U.S. Department of Education, 1996, The Technology Literacy Challenge section, para. 1). It follows then, that science te acher educators have the responsibility for ensuring future scie nce teachers are prepared and experienced enough to go into the classroom feeling conf ident and comfortable integrating and using technology in their science instruction. As Gillingham and Topper (1999) emphasize We need a clear sense of our ow n expectations for technology-us ing educators if we are to prepare future teachers for appropriate use of technology in their classrooms, (p. 305).


7 Their definition of technology literacy focu ses on educator beliefs and knowledge about using technology in instructi on and learning, and on having the skill and dispositions to use technology in flexible and adaptive ways for the purposes of classroom instruction and professional development. (p. 305). Science teacher educators need to open preservice science teachers eyes to the impor tant role technology can play in providing a real-world context in which they can gr ound their instruction. Technology, if used appropriately, can greatly enhance the educat ional experience and lead to deeper, more meaningful learning. It is not enough to furnish classrooms with numerous computers and vast arrays of software packages the fact that the technology works has already been established. The big question is, when does it work and under what circumstances. Technology is no different from any other edu cational tool teachers must come up with an effective strategy or pedagogy to make it work.


8 Chapter 2 How Technology and the Reform fit Together Technology and reform do not necessarily go hand in hand, as illustrated by technologies that were expected to revolutionize the classroo m, such as television in the 1960s, computers in the 1970s and videodisc and artificial intelligence in the 1980s. The revolution didn't happen (U.S. Department of Education, 1993). Studies of specific school sites that spent subs tantial amounts on technology, aimi ng to change the school, only to discover that the equipment sat unused in closets gathering dust, or that teachers used the technology to teach in the same wa y they had always done (Oakes & Schneider, 1984; U.S. Department of Education, 1993), also illu strate this fact. On the flip side, there are also many instances where technology a nd school reform were partnered successfully (Sheingold & Tucker (Eds.), 1990; Stear ns, Hanson, Ringstaff & Schneider, 1991; Zorfass, 1991) and from these successes, it has become evident that technology often produces unexpected benefits for teachers and students (Stearns et al., 1991). The failures illustrate that successful implementation of technology requires extensive and thoughtful planning, as well as sustained support. In a re view of educational reform, Fullan (2000), points out that because technology is everywhere the issue is how we contend with it, not whether we do. As technology becomes more powerful, good teachers will become increasingly invaluable. Millar and Osborne (1998), report that th e traditional form of science education, where emphasis is on transmitting science content through lectures and cookbook labs,


9 does not prepare students to function effec tively in todays rapidly evolving society where citizens are expected to understand scie nce and technology issu es. Science teacher educators must focus on preparing preservice science teachers to teach in our technological world, ensuring they are well equipped and knowledgeable about the huge diversity of instruc tional and learning opportunities provided by using technology in the science classroom. The National Science Educat ion Standards state The current reform effort requires a substantive change in how science is taught; an equally substantive change is needed in professional devel opment practices. (NRC, 1995, p. 4). Current national standards for technology in teacher preparation stress the importance of developing skills and competencies for using technology (International Society for Technology in Education [ISTE], 2008). Reports on curricular reform (Nationa l Association of Secondary School Principals, 1996; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 1989; National Research Council [NRC], 1995; National Science Teachers Association [NSTA], 1990), highlight the change from the traditional, didactic, transmission teaching mode to a constructivist, learner-center ed instructional method. Unfort unately adoption and use of reform-based instructional techniques is ofte n hindered by the fact that many of todays preservice and inservice scienc e teachers were taught in the traditional, teacher-directed manner and tend to adopt the same methods in their own classrooms (Stofflett & Stoddart, 1994). Battista (1994) reports that as a result of being students in didactic classrooms, these individuals te nd to interpret reform-oriented activities in light of their previous school experiences, adapting constructivist practices that fit with the didactic pedagogy with which they are already familiar and feel comfortable using. Teachers are


10 the ones who determine how technology gets implemented in the classroom and despite the assumptions of many policymakers and administrators, Niederhauser, Salem and Fields (1999) report, there is nothing inhere nt in technology that ensures reform-oriented uses. To date, many teachers continue to hold traditional beliefs a bout instruction and have incorporated technology in didactic ways. (p. 156). This problem can be solved only by helping teachers to change their unde rlying beliefs about teaching and learning. They must be given opportunities to anal yze their own learning under a variety of instructional conditions to understand fully the relationships between teaching and learning. In addition, teacher e ducators must model effective integration of technology in their courses. One of the specific objectives of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards is "to prepare candidates who can integrate technology into instruction to enhance st udent learning" (NCA TE, 2008, p. 4). NCATE standards also "expect teacher educators to model effective teaching. The traditional lecture alone is inadequate. Teacher educator s must use strategies they expect their candidates to use. Why? Teachers teach as they are taught. Teacher educators should model expert teaching." (Wise, 2000). In a presidential report on the use of technology in K-12 education, the authors argue that technology supports the constructiv ist teaching paradigm, and list uses of computers and computer networks by teachers to support constructivist learning. Although the report is general in scope, th e technology uses listed are all directly applicable to science education: 1. Monitor, guide, and assess th e progress of their students. 2. Maintain portfolios of student work.


11 3. Prepare (both computer-based and c onventional) materials for use in the classroom. 4. Communicate with students, pa rents and administrators. 5. Exchange ideas, experiences, and curricular materials with other teachers. 6. Consult with experts in a variety of fields. 7. Access remote databases and acquire educat ional software over the Internet. 8. Further expand their own knowledge and professional capabilities. (Presidents Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, 1997, p. 17). This report goes on to stress th at colleges of education ha ve a valuable opportunity to introduce future teachers to the use of educational technology before the demands of an actual teaching position begi n to impinge on the time availa ble for such training (p. 53). New and innovative technologies provide empowering tools to support the science education reform, and in order for us to produce technology-literate science teachers, science teacher educators will also have to be technology-litera te. Science teacher education programs are the key to ensure that new science teachers ar e fully aware of the huge potential of technology, and how it can be used both in their own professional development, and in their classrooms. Dexter, Anderson, and Becker (1999), report that, The research on technology-using teachers characterizes diffe rent ways teachers employ technology in instruction. Data from this li terature suggest that technology -using teachers range along a


12 continuum of instructional styles from instru ction to construction. (p. 221). Examples of technology-using teachers who fall at every point along this inst ruction--construction continuum can be found, but research on exempl ary technology use suggests that expert technology-using teachers (do or should) fall on the constructivist si de of the continuum (Becker, 1994; Dede, 1998; Dexter et al., 1999). Studies on cl assroom practice in general (Brown, 1997; Bruer, 1994) and technology use within that practice (Becker, 1994; Berg, Benz, Lasley II, & Raisch, 1998; Hadley & Sheingold, 1993) have tended to define exemplary in terms of the extent to wh ich teachers instructional methods embody a constructivist teaching philosophy. In the research literature, there is some indication that over time, technologyusing teachers will evolve into constructivis t teachers (Fisher, Dwyer, & Yocam, 1996; Hadley & Sheingold, 1993; Sandholtz, Rings taff, & Dwyer, 1997). The supposition is that the use and integration of technology into practice actually prompts teachers to change their methods so that they are more student-centered. Dexter et al. (1999) noted that if this were true then This makes the issue one of time. That is, given enough time, the variety of approaches to using tec hnology will homogenize in to a constructivist approach. (p. 222). On the other hand, some researchers (Miller and Olson, 1994; Hativa & Lesgold, 1996; Kerr, 1996) disagree, believing that just because teachers have new technologies available for uti lization in their classrooms, does not mean that they will become constructivists. Pedagogical beliefs explain how teachers te ach, with or without the use of technology, and these beliefs go much deeper than technological capability or accessibility. Changing beliefs is no easy task and usually takes a significant amount of time (Cuban, 1993; Ertmer, 1999; Ertmer & Hruskocy, 1999). In spite of the fact that


13 research studies have shown that most teach ers today understand the importance of using technology in their classroo ms (Beichner, 1993; Fulton, 1993), Robyler (1993) reports that they don't know how to utilize technology to support educational best practices. Technological tools change every day, as do current opinions on how teachers should use these technologies in schools. Technology be st practice is still e volving and individual teachers may have significantly contrasting ideas of what exactly exemplary technology integration and use entails. This is ec hoed by Ertmer, Gopalakrishnan and Ross (2001) who suggest, "it is quite possi ble that todays practitioners and researchers have very different beliefs about what constitutes exem plary classroom technology use." (, p.1). As Earle (2002), points out, Teaching with technology causes teachers to confront their established beliefs about instruction and their traditional roles as classroom teachers. (p. 8). The International Society for Technol ogy in Education (ISTE) published the National Educational Technology Standards for students (NETSS), in 1998, and they have been subsequently reviewed and re freshed. The NETSS ( 2007) describe what students at each grade level should know about technology and what they should be able to do with it, as well as outlining how technology should be used throughout the curriculum. Educational technology standards fo r students are divided into six categories: (1) creativity and innovation; (2) communication a nd collaboration; (3) research and information fluency; (4) critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making; (5) digital citizenship; and (6) technology operations and concepts. Categories provide a framework for linking performance indicators found within the profiles for technologyliterate students. Together, the standards and pr ofiles guide educators in their planning of


14 technology-based activities "in which students achieve su ccess in learning, communication, and life skills." (ISTE, 1998, Technology Foundations for All Students section, para. 1). The ISTE also developed NETS for T eachers (NETST) in 2000. These standards focus on preservice teacher education, and define the fundamental concepts, knowledge, skills, and attitudes for applying technology in educational settings. They state that Effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETSS) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professi onal practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community." (ISTE, 2008, Educational Technology Standards for Teachers section, para. 1). They list five standards areas with performance indicators designed to be general enough to be customized to fit state, university, or district guidelines, and yet specific enough to define the scope of th e topic. Performance indicators for each standard provide specific outcomes to be measured when developing a set of assessment tools. Teachers: (1) facilita te and inspire student learning and creativity; (2) design and develop Digita l-Age learning experiences and assessments; (3) model Digital-Age work and learning; (4) prom ote and model digita l citizenship and responsibility; and (5) engage in professional growth a nd leadership. ISTE reported that as of September 2008, every U.S. state and many countries have adopted, adapted or referenced at least one set of ISTE standard s in their technology plans or other official state documents. ISTEs 2008-2009 Annual Report st resses that the next generation (of NETS) focuses more on using technology to l earn and less on learning to use the tools. (p. 4).


15 Chapter 3 What is Meant by Technology and Associated Terms? The word technology has several meanings. The term is derived from the Greek words, tekhnf which refers to an art or a craft, and logia meaning an area of study, so, literally, technology means the study, or sc ience, of crafting. Besides computer technology, also called educational technology or instructional te chnology, there is technology education. In this sense, technol ogy refers to the diverse collection of processes and knowledge that people use to ex tend human abilities and to satisfy human needs and wants. (International Technology Education Association [ITEA] 2000, p. 2). Technology does this by identifying and solv ing problems that people face. Technology education involves teaching people to solve pr oblems and satisfy human needs and wants in a practical way. A wide range of factor s must be considered simultaneously to determine just what these needs and wants ar e. Thus technology meshes, or integrates, many different subject areas. It forms the in terface between learning about the natural world and solving societal problems. The I TEA captures the science educator's idea of technology in their logo, "Technology is hum an innovation in action!" (Technology for All Americans Project, 1996, p. 16). In Benchmarks for Science Literacy ( AAAS, 1993), technology is described as being "an overworked term". The authors go on to say that: It [technology] once meant know ing how to do things the practical arts or the study of the practical arts. But it has also come to mean innovations such as


16 pencils, television, aspirin, microscopes et c., that people use for specific purposes, and it refers to human activities such as agriculture or manufacturing and even processes such as animal breeding or voti ng or war that change certain aspects of the world. Further, technology sometimes refers to the industrial and military institutions and know-how. In any othe r senses, technology has economic, social, ethical, and aesthetic ramifications that depend on where it is used and on people's attitudes towards its use. (p. 43) As noted by the ITEA (2000), there are three commonly occurring misconceptions regarding technology. The first is that technology is applied science. The lack of technological literacy is compounded by one prevalent misconception: When asked to define technology, most indivi duals reply with the archaic and mostly erroneous idea that "technol ogy is applied science (Bybee, 2000, p. 23). This is illustrated clearly by the following definiti on for technology taken from the "American Heritage Dictionary" which defines technology as The application of science, esp. to industrial or commercial objectives. (Berube et al. (Eds.). p. 1248). In fact, the history of technology is older than the history of science as we know it. Technology has been around since the appearance of the human species on Earth. The second misconception concerns peoples tendency to equate technology education with teaching computers and information technology, and the third, the c onfusion of the term technology with technical. Carnevale (2000), reports on an Internet survey of 2,227 learning-and-training professionals, conducted by a learning and technology research group (the Masie Center, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), which goe s a long way towards illustrating the multiple


17 interpretations of technology in education. Individuals were asked what term they would use to describe "learning with technology". The respondents were given a list of possible terms, as well as the opportunity to write their own choices. The results showed a wide range of responses as well as significant di fferences between indivi duals who take online courses, and vendors who offer course materi al. Forty percent of people who work for institutions and vendors offe ring online course material, responded with the term, e-learning", while of the people who take online courses, "computer-based training" was the number one response, closely followed by "Web-based training". The Director of Development for the Masie Center believes the inconsistency probably stems from the swift development of learni ng technology, which has caused a rhetorical rift between those who stay current with the technol ogy industry, and those who do not follow it. Distance education or distance learning is terms that have been applied interchangeably to a huge variety of progr ams, providers, audiences and media. Its characteristics are the separati on of teacher and learners in space, and/or time (Perraton, 1987), the conscious control of learning by the student rather than the distant instructor (Jonassen, 1992), and noncontiguous communication between student and instructor, mediated by print or some form of tec hnology (Keegan, 1986; Garrison & Shale, 1987). Carnevale (2000) quotes the director of a business providing computer-certification courses using distance educati on, who states that the rapidl y increasing number of terms causes a great deal of confusion. This indivi dual earned her Ph.D. in adult education and found, during the course of doi ng her dissertation research that, within the distance education community, different meanings are attached to the same terms and concepts by different individuals. Some students assume that distance educati on involves technology,


18 while others still think of correspond ence schools where co mmunication between instructor and student is via mail. Even some of those who expect a technology component assume that they will use a CD-ROM and don't immediately understand the practice of taking a course on the Internet. Jackson (2001) reports having several problems talking w ith colleagues about 'online courses' as the term seems to be used in radically (and confusingly) different ways by different people. (p. 3, Defining eLearning section). He uses a definitional dichotomy to help clarify meanings: Technologyenhanced learning versus technologydelivered learning. The former includes c ourses in which the students have frequent opportunities to meet face-to-face with the instructor and in which technology is used as a supplement to classes held faceto-face in classrooms. Technology-enhanced courses are those in which information (typi cally the syllabus, readings, reference list etc.) usually given to students in shrink-wrap course kits purchased from copy centers, is instead posted online for the students to access and print out. Online communication is typically asynchronous through either a Web ed itor or an asynchronous course system. In contrast, students are never, or only very rare ly, in the physical pres ence of the instructor in technology-delivered learning, the more usual, teacher-directed instruction being perhaps limited to the first and last classes of the semester, or eliminated all together and sometimes replaced with real-time virtual classrooms. According to Jackson (2001), technology-delivered learning has the same meaning as the terms distance learning, distributed education, and dist ance education. Instru ction can be delivered through blend of synchronous (traditional classroom, face-to -face activity, real-time virtual classrooms, live Web-casts, live online discussions) and asynchronous (e.g. e-mail, voice mail,


19 comments from threaded discussions) technologi es. He stresses that combinations of both technology-enhanced, and technology-deliv ered methods of instruction and delivery often represent the ideal program structure resulting in the most learning. Hefzallah (1999) talks about two types of interactive l earning environments made possible by new learning and telecommunications technologies: (a) face-to-face, and (b) mediated interactions. These overlap and bl end with Jacksons categories in many ways. During face-to-face interactions, both the studen t and the instructor are present in the learning environment, whereas mediated in teraction occurs when space and/or time separates the source of information or the t eaching program or material from the student (p.59). He outlines three types of mediated interaction: (a) live mediated interaction where there is immediate feedback between the student and instructor and the only separation is space. This would include audio interaction, visually augmented audio interaction, live video interaction and computer-interaction-synchronous mode; (b) computer interactions in the asynchronous mode In this type of in teraction, students and teacher are separated by space and time. Examples of this type of interaction would be email, discussion groups and electronic mailing lists; (c) totally mediated interaction in which there is an absence of feedback. Agai n the student and instru ctor are separated by space and time. Examples would be multimed ia CD-ROM programs, interactive video programs and multimedia-assisted instruction, wh ere feedback is indirect. For example, a teacher might recommend a particular intera ctive video or CD-ROM program to another teacher.


20 Chapter 4 Integration of Technology in Science Education As Rakow (1999) states, "The sciences ar e a natural place for the integration of instructional technologies to improve teach ing and learning." The challenge lies in integrating technology into classrooms and in making it an integr al tool for learning within the context of science and scien ce education. Technology use needs to match teachers' instructional goals (Strehle, Wh atley, Kurz, & Hausfather, 2001; Windschitl & Sahl, 2002; Zhao, Pugh & Sheldon, 2002). Science and technological knowledge are constantly changing and increasing in complexity and it is essential fo r educators to keep current and abreast of changes and new developments. Teachers must have the ability to make choices about technology integration without becoming technocentric by placing undue emphasis on technology for its own sake without connections to learning and the curriculum. (Earle, 2002). Preservice (and inservice), teachers must be given opportuni ties to experience and observe technology integration in action, time to reflect on thei r ideas and experiences with colleagues and peers, and to collaborate w ith other educators to try out new ideas and methodologies (Ertmer, 1999). Continuous traini ng and practice are essential. According to The National Center for E ducation Statistics (NCES, 2005), the percentage of public schools with Intern et access increased from 35 to 99 percent, between 1994 and 2002. Additionally, in 20012002, 87 percent of public schools with Internet access reported that professional development focu sing on how to integrate the


21 use of the Internet into the curriculum was offered to teac hers (Kleiner and Lewis 2003). Hattler (1999) stresses that professors in t eacher education programs are responsible for integrating information technology into c ourses necessary for, and leading to, certification. By adding technological assignments via the In ternet into our teachers' certification courses, preservice teachers can be be tter prepared to meet the technological challenges present in the classrooms of tomo rrow. (p. 327). More and more states are starting to include new technologies in lear ning standards for all disciplines, increasing the urgency for teacher competence in this area. If technology is to be integrated successfully into classroom instruction, teach er educators must be able to exhibit successful technology use in preservi ce course work (Beichner, 1993). Levin (1994) outlines the three main foci embodied in the guidelines developed by the ISTE and National Council for Accredit ation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for teacher education programs to ensure that preservice teachers are furnished with the know-how, skills and attitudes necessary for th em to use technology effectively in their own future classrooms. 1. Use technology for personal and professional productivity. 2. Acquire both the content and peda gogical understanding needed to teach with computer-based technologies. 3. Gain knowledge about the impact of technology on schools and society. (p.13) These foci are echoed by Yerrick and Hoving (1999) who stress that, In order to incorporate appropriate te chnology applications and teach in ways consistent with National Science Edu cation Standards (NRC, 1996), teachers


22 need, among other things, to be profic ient in ways of speaking, thinking, and interacting with science content and micr ocomputers. To teach constructively via technology takes special knowledge of mi crocomputer capabilities and skills. It also requires teachers to think broadly across all content areas and about the many areas of available technological resources (Greenberg, Raphael, Keller, & Tobias, 1998; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1989). (p. 292). In recent years a number of research studies focusing on barriers to technology infusion and strategies to break down thes e barriers have be en conducted. During a discussion at the 2003 Association for the Education of Teachers in Science (AETS) Conference, motivators and ba rriers to the infusion of technology into the science curriculum were examined with a view to discovering how technology might "act as an amplifier for and catalyst of the pedagogical revolution we seek in science education, rather than as a vehicle for the entrenchment of traditional practices?" (Gess-Newsome, J., Clark, J., & Menasco, J., 2003, Discussion se ction, para. 1). These included personal factors, contextual factors and teacher thinking. Personal factors affecting teachers' technology use were age, gender, teaching experience, background and experience in tech nology use, content area or grade level, and quality of professional development experienced. Becker (1994) reported on a 1989 national survey of 516 teachers in grades 3-12, five percent of whom were categorized as exemplary users of technology (i.e. they used technology for exemplary teaching practices such as inquiry a nd problem-solving). Exemplary us ers were found to be mostly males, with backgrounds in content disciplin e, holding advanced degrees, having had formal training in computer use, and us ing computers at home more often than non-


23 exemplary users. Recent research studies however, indicate that demographic characteristics including exposure to technology are not particul arly useful in explaining technology integration (Cuban, Kilpatrick & Peck, 2001). Research demonstrates that teachers w ith greater teaching experience are more likely to use technology in their teaching (Becker, 1994; Pierson, 2001), and that teachers' level of expertise in using technology determines their level of understanding of the potential of the technologies, how effectiv ely they use them in classrooms, and how effectively they overcome barriers (Atk ins & Vasso, 2000; Friedrichsen, Dana & Zembal-Saul, 2001; Germann & Sasse, 1997; Jaber & Moore, 1999; Zhao, Pugh & Sheldon, 2002). Teachers want additional professiona l development in technology use and infusion (Clark, 2002; Jaber & Moore, 1999), and attendance at technology infusionrelated professional development activities (inservice and methods classes) has been shown to increase integration into practic e (Adams, 2000; Beyerback, Walsh, & Vanatta, 2001). In spite of the fact that technology use in the classroom increased following professional development, uses were often lim ited to didactic presentation modes, word processing and data access, or class ma nagement (Mullen, 2001; Sandholtz, 2001). By modeling technology integration in constructivist classroom settings, science teacher educators can provide future science teacher s with examples of effective technology use that develops students' higher order thinki ng skills and focuses on science inquiry. Contextual factors affecting teachers' technology use were defined as being either structural (availability and reli ability of hardware, how easy th e software is to use and its educational appropriateness, teachers' prep aredness/willingness to infuse technology in


24 their curricula), or cultural. Cultural factor s would include threats to technology infusion such as lack of administrative and techni cal support and time for teacher learning and planning. Research has shown that technology in fusion is rare, even in cases where contextual factors have been mitigated. A lthough computer access issues have decreased, neither the frequency in use of computers for science inst ruction, nor the frequency of students doing hands-on/labora tory activities have change d (Horizon Research, Inc., 2002). Cuban et al. (2001) and Norton, McR obbie and Cooper (2000), report that access to equipment rarely led to widespread teach er and student use. Access to technology is not an issue for science educators' infusion of technology, but "Because technology is constantly changing, keeping current is a fu ll time job in itself." (Pederson & Yerrick, 2000, p. 144). Teacher thinking is the third factor th at Gess-Newsome et al. (2003) discuss as affecting the infusion of technology into the science curriculum, pr oposing that research has shown that teacher thinking acts as the mo st consistent predicto r of the success of infusion (Woodbury & Gess-Newsome, 2002). The likelihood of a science teacher using technology in the classroom a nd how that technology is used depends largely on his/her knowledge and beliefs about teaching and how students learn. This is demonstrated in studies by Ertmer, Addison and Lane (1999), and Windschitl and Sahl (2002), who found that teachers' basic beliefs about teaching a nd learning were more powerful predictors of teacher classroom instruction than attempts to reform their teaching, and studies by Germann and Sasse (1997), Strehle et al. (2001), and, Zhao and Cziko (2001), indicating that teacher beliefs about teaching efficiency and effectiveness are more critical to the


25 infusion of technology than the availability of technological resources. Past research indicates that teachers' opinions of teach ing with technology corresponded with their views of teaching as either a didactic or active proce ss (Hakkarainen et al., 2001; Friedrichsen et al. 2001; Mullen, 2001; Norton, McRobbie & Cooper, 2000). In their study of use of technology in high school classr ooms, Cuban et al. reported that teachers adapted the technology to fit their customary patterns of traditional, teacher-centered instruction, so computers sustained, rather than altered existing teaching methods. Technology use, if partnered with teachers' commitment to change, dissatisfaction with current practices, or reflecti on, can function as a catalyst for the change to more constructivist teaching methods (Dexter, Anderson & B ecker, 1999; Greenburg, Raphael, Keller, & Tobias, 1998; Holland, 2001; Strehle et al. 2001; Windschitl & Sahl, 2002). Some research studies indicate that the most powerful predictor of technology infusion is the presence of other teachers who are attempting to do the same and willing to work with others (Becker, 1994; Holland, 2001; Hunter, 2001, Windschitl & Sahl, 2002). Barriers to technology infusion and strategi es to break down those barriers were also discussed at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in February 2003, where the International Society for Tec hnology in Education facilitated a session designed to gather comments and suggesti ons for the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). Attendees incl uded representatives from sc hools, districts and teacher education programs, and although the discussi on was general in scope, the barriers to technology infusion and strategies to overcome th em are all applicable to science teacher education.


26 Barriers to technology infusion fe ll into eleven categories: 1) Access/Equity (getting a chance to use a computer) 2) Collaboration (with business and community partners) 3) Funding/Resources (infrastru cture, hardware, software) 4) Leadership 5) Motivation/Incentives/Time 6) Professional Development/Training 7) Planning 8) Research/Information Gathering/Dissemination 9) Standards/Accountability/Evaluation 10) Technology Facilitation/ Technical Assistance 11) Technology Integration/Curriculum/ Teaching and Learning Strategies (ISTE NETS FETC Forum, 2003) The group as a whole, listed Funding/Resources (infrastructure, hardware, software, connectivity, other) as the num ber one barrier to technology integration, followed closely by the Motivation/Incentives/Time and Professional Development categories. The Teacher Education group (consisting of teacher educators, teacher candidates, and administrators) identified the Motivation/Incentives/Time category as being the number one barrier (interesting to note that this differs from the Gess-Newsome et al. (2003) proposal that research has show n teacher thinking acts as the mo st consistent predictor of the success of infusion). The Teacher Educati on group identified the following strategies as being most pertinent strategies for addressing the barriers identified: Support for ISTE NETS-type structure


27 Include funding for higher education faculty, administrators, and leaders Include content-focus, learning styles, sharing of models, effective research Collaboration among teacher education f aculty and others outside teacher education Include tenure requirements and incentives/rewards for teacher educators using technology effectively NCLB [No Child Left Behind] should ensure that teacher preservice preparation/administration/preservice t eachers are not left out of the funding, structure, and model sharing Structure funding for effective model sharing and dissemination of lessons learned in currently funded teacher preparation programs (ISTE NETS FETC Forum, 2003, Strategies section) Research studies such as these have identified numerous road blocks hindering the integration of technology, as well as strategi es for surmounting them It is clear that science teacher education programs play a ke y role in successful technology infusion. As Kent and McNergney (1999) emphasize, the use of technology by school children necessarily depends on the ability of teachers to integrate technology into th eir teaching. Preservice education can provide rising teachers with the confidence and knowledge required to use the technological tools availa ble to them (p. 4). The current education of preservice science teachers will be a determining factor in the future part technology plays in science education, and it follows that for them to learn


28 how to infuse technology into their own science classrooms, first it must be integrated into their professional education course work. As Bell (2001) states: Technology access and skills are necessary but insufficient steps toward using technology effectively in science instru ction. Rather science educators should explicitly instruct preser vice teachers on ways to inte grate technology into their instructional practice. Such instruction will require science educators to provide conceptual frameworks for technology integration, and opportunities for preservice teachers to develop and practi ce teaching lessons that appropriately integrate technology. Like most worthwhile goals, such explicit instruction is inherently more difficult to achieve, bu t much more likely to produce desired results. (p. 5). In the next ten years, more than two thirds of the nation's teache rs will be replaced by new teachers so it is critical to ensure that this new generation of teachers is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet this ch allenge successfully. A study by the Milken Exchange on Education Technol ogy (1999), and the International Society for Technology in Education found that, "in ge neral, teacher-training programs do not provide future teachers with th e kinds of experiences necessary to prepare them to use technology effectively in their cl assrooms." (p. i, para. 4). It emphasized that since the United States will need a projected 2.2 milli on new teachers over the next decade, "the time to examine and re-engineer our teacher prep aration programs is now." (p. i, para. 4). Examples of Technologies Currently Being Used in Science Education There are a plethora of different applicat ions of technology bei ng used in science teacher education programs today. Educationa l technologies consist of many different


29 combinations of hardware and software and may employ many different combinations of audio channels, code, data, text, graphics or video. Technology app lications are usually characterized in terms of their most obvious hardware feature (e.g. a VCR or computer), but for educators, it is the nature of the instruction delivered that is important not the equipment delivering it. In the U.S. Department of Educatio n's 1993 report, "Using Technology to Support Education Reform", the authors classified e ducational technologies into four categories based on their different uses: tutorial, exploratory, application, and communication. They explain, "Our categories are designed to highlight differences in the instructional purposes of various technology applications, but we recognize that purposes are not always distinct, and a particular application, may in fact be used in several of these ways." (Educational Technologies section, para 1). Although their cl assification scheme is general in scope, it provides a concise a nd useful guide for science teacher educators and preservice science teachers. Tutorial uses are those in which tech nology does the teaching and controls the material presented to students. The format is usually lecture or workbook. Exploratory uses of technology allow students to explor e freely the information presented in a particular medium, while application uses provide students with tools to help them complete various educational tasks such as data analysis and writing. Finally, communication uses allow students and teach ers to communicate with each other and with others through networks or other tec hnologies. Table 1 summa rizes the technology classification scheme giving definitions and examples of each of the four categories of educational technology use.


30 Table 1 Classification of Education Technologies _____________________________________________________________________________________ Category Definition Examples _____________________________________________________________________________________ Tutorial Systems designed to t each by Computer-assisted instruction providing information, demonstrations, (CAI) or simulations in a sequence deterIntelligent CAI mined by the system. Tutorial systems Instructional television may provide for expository learning Some videodisc/ multimedia (the system displays a phenomenon or systems procedure) and practice (the system requires the student to answer or questions or solve problems). Exploratory Systems designed to facilitate student Microcomputer-based learning by providin g information, laboratories demonstrations, or simu lations when Microworlds/Simulations requested to do so by the student. Some videodisc/multimedia Under student control, the system systems provides the context for discovery (or guided discovery) of facts, concepts, or procedures.


31 Table 1 (Continued) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Category Definition Examples _____________________________________________________________________________________ Application General-purpose tools for accomplishing Word processing software tasks such as compos ition, data storage, Spreadsheet software or data analysis. Database software Desktop publishing systems Video recording and editing equipment Communication Systems that allow groups of teachers Local area networks and students to send information and Wide area networks data to each other throug h networks Interactive distance learning or other technologies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Note. From "Using Technology to Support Education Reform," U.S. Department of Education, 1993. Retrieved May 20, 2003, from The state-of-the-art in technology change s almost constantly, but there are many uses of technology in science education that support scien ce education reform and what we know about how students learn best. The IS TE, in an effort to implement the NETS for Teachers across universities, has iden tified and described many methods and strategies for successfully integrating tec hnology and state, "having a set of generic models and strategies that are multipurpose in application assists teacher candidates in quickly developing technology-rich lessons (ISTE, 2002, p. 31). In ISTE's "NETS for


32 Teachers: Preparing Teachers to use T echnology" publication, examples of proven effective strategies for in tegrating technology into teaching for Web-based lessons, multimedia presentations, telecomputing pr ojects and online discussions are given. These examples provide a wonderful resource for science teacher educators looking for explicit ways to instruct preservice teachers on how to integrate technology into their practice. WebQuests provide an example of Web-ba sed lessons. They utilize information exclusively from the Web. They are inquiry-o riented activities desi gned to use learners' time efficiently by focusing on using informati on rather than search ing for it, supporting higher order thinking skills: analysis, s ynthesis, and evaluation (Dodge, 1997). The WebQuest model was developed in early 1995 at San Diego State University by Bernie Dodge with Tom March. WebQuests are refl ective, fluid, and dynamic. They provide teachers with the opportunity to integrate Internet technology into the course curriculum by allowing students to experi ence learning as they constr uct perceptions, beliefs, and values out of their e xperiences (Beane, 1997). The Internet offers such an incredible wealth of information, teachers can become frustrated and overwhelmed spending hours searching for the best resources to support a particular classroom activity or unit. Th e WebQuest model provides the option of reviewing and selecting Web-ba sed lessons structured in a lesson-type format, hence cutting down on the time needed for a specifi c search and allowing more focus on student learning. Diverse examples of science WebQ uests can be found on the WebQuest site. Tasks range from genetically altering a plant or animal, to learning about the people and


33 culture of a particular ge ographic area, while simulati ng the work of a team of epidemiologists. A WebQuest comprises of 6 sections or 'blocks': introduction, task, process, resources, evaluation and conclusion. The intr oduction serves to orient the learner and peak their interest in the subject. The task block in a WebQuest describes what the learner should have accomplished at the completion of th e exercise. This could take the form of a verbal presentation, such as the student being able to explain a part icular topic, or a product such as a PowerPoint presentation or HyperStudio stack. The teacher suggests the steps that students should follow to comple te the task in the process block. Depending on the task, these might include descriptions of roles to be played, or strategies for dividing the task into smaller, more manageable subtasks. The resources block lists the Web pages identified by the teacher to aid the student in accomplishing the task, and since these resources are preselected, learne rs can focus on the topic, rather than on searching. Resources may include audio conferen ces with distant expe rts, videotapes, or the hard copy of a report--they are by no means limited to Web pages. The evaluation block is a recent addition to the model and invo lves the use of rubrics for evaluators (e.g. teachers, parents, or peers) to evaluate accomplishments. The conclusion section of a WebQuest allows the experience to be summ arized, and encourages reflection about the process, so that learning can be extended and generalized. Science teacher educators may design th eir own WebQuests, or require their preservice students to design a WebQuest as a course assignment. Topics that mesh with the science curriculum, and for which ther e are appropriate online materials, are identified. Teachers then follow the specific WebQuest design steps and/or utilize a


34 template to create their own WebQuest (Dodge, 1997). "The WebQuest teaching strategy provides an excellent framework for teacher candidates designing technology-rich experiences for students." (ISTE, 2002, p. 33) WebQuests provide preservice teachers with valuable opportunities to become comfor table with aspects of technology within the context of their preparation for the profession of teaching (Stinson, 2003). WebQuests can be especially useful for teachers who are inexperienced in technology use in that they offer prepackaged, self-contained lessons r eady for implementation. The WebQuest site contains lessons, rubrics, and teaching tips, a ll of which aid teachers in making an easier transition into using Internet technology (Watson, 1999). Multimedia represents and conveys info rmation through combinations of text, graphics, video, animation and sound. Multimedia presentation software such as PowerPoint and HyperStudio provide an eas ily updateable way to produce artistic presentations in which the learner controls the order and pace of the presentation. PowerPoint also allows the establishment of links between any obj ect on the slide and objects on another page, or in another pres entation. Slides may also be linked with Internet sites, CD, or Laser disc players. Teachers have found that multimedia projects motivate students to learn, as illustrated in a study by Cradler and Cradler (1999), in which students and teachers reported a posit ive change in student motivation for class assignments when the use of multimedia was incorporated into classroom instruction. According to ISTE (2002), "Exemplary proj ect-based learning with multimedia is anchored in core curriculum, multidisciplinar y, demonstrates sustained effort over time, promotes student decision making, supports collaborative group work, exhibits a


35 real-world connection, utilizes systemic assessment, both al ong the way and for the end product, and employs multimedia as a communication tool." (p. 36). Another dimension is provided by pub lishing students' multimedia products (e.g. Web pages, sites, computer presentations crea ted with PowerPoint or computer-generated movies) over the Internet so that they can be viewed by distant audiences. Research has shown that the quality of student work increases significantly when students realize their work will be viewed by an audience other than teachers and students at their school (Coley, Cradler, & Engel, 1997). The CyberFair sponsored by Mankato, MN schools allows third through sixth grade students to share thei r science projects on the Inte rnet, while Brentwood School in California has a virtual science fair in wh ich projects competing in the school-wide science fair have no printed reports or disp lay. Preservice science students can visit these Web sites and see examples of student scien ce projects ranging from "Which tile cleaner removes soap scum best?" to studies of carnivorous plants! These projects engage students in learning and teach them e ducational technology skills, while supporting standard-based coursework. They serve to connect students to their local communities through collaborations with lo cal leaders, businesses, spec ial populations and increase environmental awareness. In addition they increase real-world, transferable skills and involve students in peer evaluation. ThinkQuests are another example of multimedia projects. ThinkQuest Programs provide a highly motivating opportunity fo r students and educators to work collaboratively in teams to learn as they create Web-based learning materials, and teach others about a huge variety of different topics. Students (Grades 4 through 12), can


36 collaborate on Web projects hoste d on a searchable library at the ThinkQuest Web site. ThinkQuest programs also provide electronic meeting places designed for educational collaboration. Teachers can expand their professional development while learning a student-centered model of education, and experi menting with the potenti al of the Internet. They can examine modes of learning and interact with students to obtain a true understanding of how young people want to learn. Students in California created a ThinkQuest project focusing on the plight of threatened Sout hern sea otters. As well as including a wealth of information about sea otters, (e.g. life cycle, habitat, population counts, and range), the site includes live st reaming video of sea otters housed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and an audio interview with a marine mammal trainer. Telecomputing projects utilize Intern et communication tools as essential resources. Tools include e-mail, electronic mailing lists, electronic bulletin boards, discussion groups, Web browsers, real-time chatting, and audioand videoconferencing. Harris (1994) identifies three different general classes of educational telecomputing activities: interpersonal exchanges (incorpor ating the use of interpersonal resources), information collections (involves studen ts collecting, organizing, and sharing information), and problem-solving projects. Ea ch category of activities includes five, six or seven different activity stru ctures, and for each structure, an example activity that has been classroom-tested and shared by telecomputing teachers is provided. Interpersonal exchanges involve indivi duals or groups communicating via e-mail electronically with other indivi duals or groups. According to Harris (1994), these types of educational telecomputing ac tivities are the most popular Teachers and students may also use newsgroups and Internet-connected bulletin boards for projects such as


37 "Keypals" which involves student-student communication. Harris notes that studentstudent exchanges involves th e transfer and processing of multiple e-mail messages sent to a single account, and may prove to be too time consuming for the teacher. Global classrooms, in which two or more classr ooms located anywhere in the world, study a common topic together, sharing their new knowledge about that topic during a previously-specified time period, are easier to manage. Other activity structures for interpersonal exchanges incl ude electronic appearances (a special guest is hosted, students corresponding with him/her either asynchronously, or real-time), electronic mentoring (students can mentor other students, or experts fr om universities, businesses, government, or other schools can serve as electronic mentors), and impersonations (participants communicate with e ach other "in character"). Activity structures falling within the information collection category of educational telecomputing are information exchanges, electronic publishing, database creation, tele-fieldtrips, a nd pooled data analysis. Information exchanges provide students with the opportunity to become both the creators an d consumers of the information that they are sharing and have resulted in students colle cting a wide variety of topic-specific data from around the worl d. Some examples are: local agricultural information, biome data, water usage info rmation, recycling practices, and personal health information. KidsNetwork (develope d by the Technical Education Research Centers [TERC], and funded by the National Science Foundation [NSF] and the National Geographic Society) is a te lecommunication-based science curriculum for elementary and middle school students in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Argentina. Participants focus on a number of real-world issues, examples of which include acid rain,


38 weather and health. This pr oject provides an exciting and innovative way to bring inquiry-based learning to students. Students perform experiments, gather data, and analyze trends and patterns on topics of curre nt social, scientific and geographic interest. E-mail is used to communicate with each other and with participating scientists who help students review the data and make interpreta tions. The data and findings are then shared with other participating schools, and there have been several si gnificant instances in which students findings led to the discovery that school drinking water and air pollution standards were not being met. In 1991, Ki dsNet units were used in more than 6,000 classrooms in 72 countries. More than 90% of teachers using KidsNet reported that students' interest in science increased significantly, and that their classes spent almost twice the amount of time on science than they otherwise did (TERC, 1991). A great example of an electronic pub lishing project is provided by the Global Schoolhouse's NewsDay project in which students write articles about a variety of issues and topics including science and technology, a nd post them on an electronically shared newswire. Different schools publish different newspapers locally but also read and choose articles from other schools to downloa d and include in their own newspaper. Some information exchange projects involve database creation where students not only collect data, but organize it into databases that project pa rticipants and other students can use for study. Harris (1994) notes that "s uccessful projects of this genre are well-structured; they have a definite time schedule, requirements for participation are clearly stated, and teachers are asked (often by filling out a registration form) to commit to following these guidelines." (Dat abase Creation section, last para.).


39 Tele-field trips allow sharing of experien ces and observations of local field trips to museums, zoos, aquariums etc. with st udents and teachers all over the world via the Internet. These informal science centers house an incredible wealth of information that can be used to support science learning in the classroom. Access is usually limited because of travel expenses or time limitations, but through the Internet, students can learn about the work of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute, or participate in science experiments online from the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Some tele-fieldtrips can be taken either directly or vicariously via a variety of telecommunications networks, using robotic devices that can be contro lled remotely via the Internet. The JASON Project TM is a multidisciplinary, real-time science teaching and learning program that enhances the curricu lum by exposing students to experts and leading scientists who work with them to examine the biological and geological development of Earth. The JASON Project TM has been a pioneer in the field of Virtual Field Trips. Students can journey to the botto m of the Atlantic Ocean in search of the wreck of the RMS Titanic, view rain forest s, volcanoes, or journey to Polar Regions. Through the JASON Academy TM teachers can take content-rich, continuing education science courses anytime, anywhere via the In ternet. There are no text materials involved in the courses, instead hot-linked referen ces and many classroom applications with demonstrations and hands-on activities are utilized. Pooled data analysis involves students collecting data at multiple sites, and combining them for analyses. The simplest of these types of activit ies involve students sending out a survey electronically, collecti ng the responses, analyz ing the results, and reporting their findings to all pa rticipants. Water acidity projects, in which rainwater or


40 stream water is collected at different sites, tested for acidity, then examined for patterns over time and distance provides an example of a pooled data analysis project. WaterNet (developed by Berger and Wolfe at the University of Michigan and funded by the Department of Education), is a telecommunication-based wa ter pollution study involving high schools in the United States, West Germany, and Australia. Students gathered water quality data from their local rivers and stor ed the information in a database. Through data sharing, it is hoped that students will gain a deeper understanding of the problems of water pollution and develop an interest in solving these social problems (Roberts, Blakeslee, Brown, & Lenk, 1990). Problem-solving projects include informa tion searches (students are provided with clues, and must use electronic or hard copy referen ce sources to solve problems), electronic process writing, sequent ial creations (in which participants progressively create either a common written text or a shared vi sual image), parallel problem-solving (a similar problem is presented to students in several locations, solved separately at each site, and their successful problem-solving me thods shared electronically), simulations, and social action projects. Online discussions allow students to co mmunicate with peers, teachers, and experts worldwide either asynchronously (via electronic bulletin board s, e-mail) or in real-time (via chat groups). Asynchronous communication allows students time to reflect before responding and also allows for time differences in different geographic areas, while real-time communication provides st udents with immediat e feedback. TAPPED IN is an excellent online resource for prof essional development. It is "the online workplace of an international community of education professionals. K-12 teachers and


41 librarians, professional development staff, teacher education faculty and students, and researchers engage in professional devel opment programs and informal collaboration with colleagues." (SRI, para. 1). Science teachers can partic ipate in After School Online science teacher forums which are discussions designed for science educators on various topics related to the field of science edu cation. In addition, TAPPE D IN offers e-mail groups to locate and communicate with others who have shared interests or expertise. Examples of online activities conducted by other teachers can also be viewed. The emergence of social networking tec hnologies and evolution of digital games and simulations have significant implicati ons for education. These technologies have been utilized for decades by institutions including government, medicine and business, mainly for training purposes, but as repor ted by Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff and Haas, 2009, digital simulations, games and social networking tec hnologies provide deeper educational benefits. Security issues and possi ble dangers of using so cial networking sites definitely raise significant concerns that must be addressed, but Klopfer et. Al (2009) take the position that these technologies are safe, valuable tools schools must take seriously. (p.2). Green and Ha nnon (2007) discuss the fact that the newest generation of K-12 students has been completely norm alized by digital technologies these technologies are a fully integrated part of thei r lives. Teachers and teacher educators must appreciate and realize that st udents sitting in todays cla ssrooms have a very different perspective on the world, and experiment with new ways to connect with students through these technologies. Research is supporting this kind of work illustrating that multimedia education improves both comprehens ion of the lesson material and students interest in the less on topic (Brady, 2004).


42 These examples represent only a fraction of the many creative and reformoriented ways technology can be infused in to the science curriculum. By modeling best practices in technology integrati on (such as the in examples previously discussed), and by providing preservice science teachers opport unities to develop and practice teaching lessons that appropriately in tegrate technology, science teacher educators can aid them in reforming their instructional practice (Yerrick & Hoving, 1999). Recommendations for Choosing and E valuating Science Technologies Technology should be examined in the same way that any other material or tool being considered for use in the classroom w ould be, with how students' learning will be enhanced through its use, being the primary fo cus. Bernhard, Mellissions Lernhardt, and Miranda-Decker (1999) stress th at in considering a particul ar technology for use in the classroom, whether it aids students in unders tanding technology's role and importance in the real world should be a major considerati on. The technology should have the ability to engage student interest and make use of computer capabi lities. This is echoed by Jones, Valdez, Nowakowski, and Rasmussem, (1995) who report that successful use of technology in the classroom is char acterized by student engagement. Reed and McNergney (2000) review how educators can evaluate technologybased curriculum materials for use in the cl assroom stating that "Only through evaluation of technology-based curricula can educators make informed decisions about the purchase and use of technology, and ultimately about the wisdom of their investments." (Conclusion section, para. 1). The first concept they identify as being key in evaluating technology-based curriculum materials are authenticity. This concept gives rise to questions such as: Does the technology help students lear n by utilizing real-world


43 examples? Do such examples integrate technology and subject matter to enhance conceptual understanding of complex, naturally-occurring phenomena? Does the technology encourage students to learn actively (i.e. by doing, interact ing, and exploring) rather than focusing on passive activities su ch as listening or watching? These are excellent questions for science teacher educ ators to ask about a technology they are considering for use in their courses. Educators can construct their own evaluation framework by defining the instructional context, establishing who the le arners are, what constitutes the learning environment (of which the instructor is a part), and determining the nature of any technical limitations (Comer and Geissler, 1998 ). Once this context has been established, aspects of the curriculum such as content, required technology and instructional tools, learning assessment, and teacher support can be evaluated (Bernhard et al., 1999). Educators must evaluate digital content to ensure that it emphasizes open-ended exploration rather than dril l-and-practice (Zehr, 1999). L earning can be promoted through the effective integration of digital cont ent by educators, providing students with opportunities to search and manipulate digital information in collaborative, creative and engaging ways (CEO Forum, 2000). McKenzie (1999) reports that "s uccessful searching and efficient electronic investigations must rest upon a carefully developed, structured foundation of information literacy skills that would include solid questioning, prospecting, translating and i nventive abilities." (p. 17). WebQuests are a perfect example of how students can be guided through the information-gathering process and their searching abilities improved (D odge, 2000). Students themselves also become contentproducers, products taking a multitude of diffe rent forms ranging from Web sites and e-


44 mail, to computer simulations and streamed discussions. The Thi nkQuest site provides visitors with insight into what kinds of products today's students can create. Bell (2001) summarized questions pertinen t to educators' reluctance to embrace technology raised by participants in a Na tional Technology Leadership Retreat that brought together the leaders of a dozen na tional education associations. Specific to science teacher preparation, Bell reports on th e concerns of representatives from the Association for Education of Teachers of Science (AETS): Does technology help students acco mplish the recommendations of the science education standards? If we teach preservice teachers to use appropriate technology, will they teach more in the way we want them to teach? Does technology enable students to as k questions they would not thought of asking before? Do students learn science differently w ith technology? Is the quality, nature, or efficiency of learning improved? Are students learning different scienc e content or concepts with the technology than they would have otherwise? Does technology enhance inquiry le arning? Can technology provide an inquiry environment? If science educators determine that technology is worthwhile, what do they need to do, or what experiences do they need to provide, to convince preservice teachers of its benefits? What are the stages teachers have to go through to appropriately use


45 technology in learning? (Some take the technology and teach in the same old way.) Can technology help educators maintain an ongoing relationship between education faculty and new teachers in the classroom? (p. 13). When considering a particular technology for use in their classroom, science teacher educators can apply these suggestions to determine whethe r it aligns with the standards, supports sc ientific inquiry, advances student learning and/or surpasses the possibilities of less advanced tec hnologies. If the answer to th ese questions is affirmative, then they can be reasonably assured that the technology is worth implementing. As Odom, Settlage, and Pedersen (2002) point out "The varieties of technology that could be potentially be incorporated into science instruction and teacher pr eparation seem to be increasing at a rapid rate. Given the im possibility of adopting every new gizmo, individually and organizationally, we shoul d be wiser and more selective about the technological routes we pursue." (p. 395).


46 Chapter 5 Implications for the Future As Thornburg (1999) asserts, "Just because an educational task can be conducted using technology doesn't mean it should be." (p. 7). Face-to-face meetings are always better than videoconferencing and, "no portable display device on the market is as cheap, or has the image quality of the printed page." (p. 7). The key is to look for opportunities where technology can be used to accomplish tasks that without it would be impossible. Technology should not be taught merely for its own sake in the preparation of science teachers. Science teacher education programs obviously play a key role in ensuring that new science teachers enter the classroom as technologically-literate individuals, able to implement and use varied technologies as pa rt of their instructional methods. As emphasized in the U.S. Department of Education (1996) report, Getting Americas Students Ready for the 21 st Century, teacher preparation programs can make a significant difference by focusing on teaching with technology, not merely teaching about it. (Supporting Professional Developmen t section, para. 1), and also by Flick and Bell (2000) who stress that, Technology modeled in science education courses should take advantage of the capabilities of technology and extend instruction beyond or significantly enhance what can be done without technology. New teachers should experience technology as a means of helping students explore topics in more depth and in more interactive ways. (Proposed Guidelines section).


47 Flick and Bell go on to propose the following guidelines for using technology in the preparation of science teachers: 1. Technology should be introduced in the context of science content. 2. Technology should address worthwh ile science with appropriate pedagogy. 3. Technology instruction in science sh ould take advantage of the unique features of technology. 4. Technology should make scientif ic views more accessible. 5. Technology instruction should devel op students' understanding of the relationship between technology and science. (Proposed Guidelines section). To many, technological development means change, and change is uncomfortable, unsafe. This is why so often, people are negative and resistant to learning about, and using new technology. Science teacher educators are responsible for helping future science teachers push through that init ial resistance, so that they can learn enough about the ideas that guide the use of tec hnology to realize its massive potential as a teaching and learning tool. If the educational system is viewed as a series of waves, continually breaking on the shore, gently changing the beach landscape--each wave represents a different component or facet of the educational syst em, and although the waves all leave their own impression, changes in the beach are small. Technology is like a tidal wave breaking on the beach. In a matter of seconds, the whole to pography of the shore is totally altered.


48 The education system of the future based in the context of an information society --an environment rich in technology and inform ation, demands that teachers make radical shifts in their instructional and learning paradi gms. In order for this to occur, intensive, continuing technology education will be n eeded, in addition to a sustained support structure teachers can turn to for help and advice.


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