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Toward a Productive Definition of Technology in Science and STEM Education

, Florida International University, United States ; , Southern Methodist University, United States ; , , University of Minnesota, United States ; , Florida International University, United States ; , St. Catherine University, United States

CITE Journal Volume 20, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

The lack of a definition of the T in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) acronym is pervasive, and it is often the teachers of STEM disciplines who inherit the task of defining the role of technology within their K-12 classrooms. These definitions often vary significantly, and they have profound implications for curricular and instructional goals within science and STEM classrooms. This theoretical paper summarizes of technology initiatives across science and STEM education from the past 30 years to present perspectives on the role of technology in science-focused STEM education. The most prominent perspectives describe technology as the following: (a) vocational education, industrial arts, or the product of engineering, (b) educational or instructional technology, (c) computing or computational thinking, and (d) the tools and practices used by practitioners of science, mathematics, and engineering. We have identified the fourth perspective as the most salient with respect to K-12 science and STEM education. This particular perspective is in many ways compatible with the other three perspectives, but this depends heavily on the beliefs, prior experiences, and instructional goals of teachers who use technology in their science or STEM classroom.

Citation

Ellis, J., Wieselmann, J., Sivaraj, R., Roehrig, G., Dare, E. & Ring-Whalen, E. (2020). Toward a Productive Definition of Technology in Science and STEM Education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 20(3), 472-496. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved February 27, 2021 from .