Exploring Pre-Service Physical Education Teacher Technology Use During Student Teaching

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 2 (Convention Center)
Emily Jones1, Jun-hyung Baek1 and James Wyant2, (1)West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, (2)University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA
Background/Purpose: Technology’s role within education has grown exponentially in recent years, yet there is limited evidence of technology integration in physical education (PE) teacher training. Reported barriers to technology integration in teacher training include cost, faculty knowledge/attitude toward technology, and limited curricular space. Proposed integration strategies include technology-focused courses, increased access, modeling of technology use, and field-based experiences. Within PE teacher training, little is known about the impact of technology integration efforts. The purpose of this study was to investigate a technology-rich field experience and how pre-service PE teachers integrate instructional technology in K-12 PE. Of specific interest, pre-service teacher decision making and knowledge relative to the planning, action, and results of technology-Action Research Projects (ARP). 

Method: Researchers collected and analyzed archived data across five-semesters. Participants included 78 pre-service PE teachers (52 male; 26 females) enrolled in student teaching at a rural, mid-Atlantic university. Two sources of data were collected: (1) Presentation posters of the completed ARP (n=75); and (2) Journal entries submitted by students at the three phases of their ARP projects – planning, action, and result (n=234). 

Analysis/Results: Data from the ARP posters were summarized to describe the features of the ARPs. Across the 75 ARPs, 1,379 K-12 students had engaged in technology-rich PE within 35 elementary, 34 middle, and 6 high schools. Team sport and Health-related fitness activities were most often selected by the pre-service teachers to integrate technology, 35 and 34 ARPs respective; 6 within Individual sport units.  Activity-monitoring devices were most commonly used, followed by computer/mobile devices and image/audio capturing. Journal entries were sorted into the three ARP phases and deductive analysis was used to identify emergent themes and subthemes: Planning (Decision Making - teaching/learning context, student interests/needs, collaboration with cooperating teacher; Perceived Challenges- student maturity, implementation concerns), Action (Confidence Level – cooperating teacher support, planning, feasibility; Modifications Made- issues with technology, student responses, task re-design), and Result (Perception of Success – student learning, enjoyment, critiques of technology; Influence of Cooperating Teacher- helpful, hindrance, autonomy; Reflection on ARP- replication, future technology use ideas).

Conclusions: As teacher training programs develop strategies to integrate instructional technology, it is recommended that they first understand the impact of the various strategies. Results of this study support technology-rich field-based experiences for pre-service teachers that are guided by an Action Research framework, and enhance our understanding of factors that can facilitate and hinder early career PE teachers use of technology in teaching/learning settings.