Learning Generation: Innovations With Tomorrow's Teachers and Technology
Ronald Aust, University of Kansas, United States ; Brain Newberry, California State University, San Bernardino, United States ; Joseph O'Brien, Jennifer Thomas, University of Kansas, United States
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume ISSN 1059-7069 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA
In this article, we discuss the context, conception, implementation and research used to refine and evaluate a systemic model for fostering technology integration in teacher education. The Learning Generation model identifies conditions where innovations for using technology emerge in small group dialogues. The model uses a multifaceted implementation with programmatic reform, enhanced infrastructure, technology enriched field placement, ongoing technical support, robust web communications, and Innovation Cohorts. Ideal cohorts include teacher education and liberal arts faculty, pre-service student(s), practicing teachers and K-12 students. Cohort development evolves through seven stages: 1) genesis, 2) consultation, 3) planning, 4) initiation, 5) action, 6) assessment and 7) celebration. Cohort topics include: Technology Integration, Legislative Tracking, Making Hope Happen, Technology in Science Teaching, Foreign Language, and Choral Music. Phase one of the research involved a survey and interviews on uses of technology. Survey results with student and faculty found significant differences between six subscales: word processing (M=3.84), basic computer skills (M=3.61), online activities (M=3.49), software use (M=2.99), presentations (M=2.84), spreadsheets / database (M=2.77); F (5, 244) = 173.11, p < .001. The lower scores on presentation and spreadsheets/database software are worth noting because these uses are often the most successful in supporting inquiry and constructive learning activities. Survey results also found that the confidence of women was lower than men in basic computer skills (p=.004) and use of presentation software (p=.002). In the interviews, several faculty members (36%) specifically mention the importance of modeling the use of technology in their instruction. Further research is needed to investigate the relationship between faculty modeling of technology use on teacher education students across gender. An audit of the cohorts' products and faculty interviews indicate that the Learning Generation goals were achieved. Faculty report that their technology skills improved and they embraced the collaborative grass-roots nature of cohorts. Learning Generation is a flexible model that can be adapted to the unique needs, culture and capacities of diverse teacher education institutions.
Aust, R., Newberry, B., O'Brien, J. & Thomas, J. (1997). Learning Generation: Innovations With Tomorrow's Teachers and Technology. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. Charlottesville, VA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.