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.