Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Gary Sarkozi

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed-method study was to investigate digital native preservice teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding their technology experiences and skills at the beginning and at the end of their field placement semester. Digital natives, as defined by Prensky (2001), are students born after 1980 who have been raised with digital media and spend a great deal of time engaging with digital devices. Factors that could impact changes in these participants’ technology integration self-efficacy beliefs were also analyzed. This study used pre- and post-surveys, face-to-face interviews with a portion of the respondents, and a document review of course materials and lesson plans. Twenty-one preservice students, enrolled in the second to last semester of a teacher preparation program, at a small mid Atlantic university during the fall, 2011 semester participated. The quantitative portion involved the online administration of the Technology Integration Survey at the beginning and at the conclusion of the field placement experience. For the qualitative portion, nine participants were purposefully selected for interviews in an effort to more fully understand participants’ experiences and how these experiences impacted their self-efficacy beliefs about technology integration during the semester. In order to triangulate the data, results of the quantitative phase of the study were then compared with the results from the qualitative phase of the study. The findings of this mixed-method study suggested that digital native preservice teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs to integrate technology into their teaching improved slightly over the course of the semester. In addition, a strong relationship was found between participants’ Post-Test Technology Skills scores and Post-Test Self-Efficacy scores, indicating that an increase in technology skills corresponded with an increase in self-efficacy (r = .684, p = 0.001). Qualitative results pointed to mentor support, time, and access to technology during their field placement experiences as factors for integrating technology into their instruction. Additionally, results indicated that participants had access to and spent a considerable amount of time on computers every day. They were proficient with basic technologies but reported lower proficiency with more difficult technologies. Yet, results also suggested that, while this group of digital native preservice teachers has grown up in the digital age, their practice and, more importantly, their fundamental understanding of integrating technology into their instructional practices was limited.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2012

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