Preparing student teachers to use mobile technologies in teaching and learning : a single site case study. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
The need to prepare student teachers for school classrooms that now require mobile technologies has stimulated teacher education providers to integrate technology into initial teacher education (ITE) programmes. However, with the increasing use of mobile technologies in schools, effective preparation of student teachers for their future school classrooms is unclear and under-researched. Research indicates that student teachers feel inadequately prepared for the realities of future teaching. Studies have identified several strategies that teacher educators may use and a common set of competencies for teacher educators to facilitate learning effectively with technology (Foulger et al., 2017). However, a few studies have explored mobile pedagogical approaches that teacher educators use to prepare student teachers for their future school classrooms but less is known about how teacher educators integrate mobile technologies into their practices to support student teachers’ teaching and learning during their teaching practice.
The purpose of this case study was to explore how teacher educators used mobile technologies to influence the teaching and learning experiences of student teachers. In particular, the study sought to investigate the pedagogical strategies that teacher educators used to prepare student teachers to integrate mobile technologies into their teaching and learning. This thesis presents a single instrumental case study of teacher educators’ practices with mobile technologies in an ITE department set in an institution of higher learning in New Zealand. The study employed multiple data sources from both teacher educators and student teachers. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with eight teacher educators who taught multiple courses across four 1-year ITE programmes. Furthermore, online and face-to-face teaching practices of three teacher educators were observed. Survey data of student teachers’ perceptions of their learning with mobile technologies were obtained from 110 student teachers enrolled in ITE programmes and analysed using descriptive statistics. Four focus groups were held with 20 student teachers. Analysis of emerging themes using NVivo 12 Plus software identified four interrelated themes: collaboration, authentic learning, aligning coursework with school practices, and learning technology by design.
The findings confirmed earlier research showing that teacher educators used mobile technologies to enhance and support collaborative and authentic learning experiences of student teachers. Weaving mobile learning in all the courses enabled student teachers to experience how mobile technologies can support teaching and learning, and also to develop pedagogical skills and practices that they could transfer to their future classroom practices. The findings of this case study indicated that teacher educators supported student teachers to learn how to use mobile technologies to design learning resources that were appropriate to the subjects they taught. Data from focus groups with student teachers revealed that learning with mobile technologies across their courses enabled them to build their confidence to use them in the classroom. Student teachers on teaching practice used some of the applications (apps) and digital learning resources they had designed in their coursework. The findings suggest that the coherence between ITE and school practices enabled student teachers to transfer mobile learning pedagogies from coursework to their teaching practice in schools.
This case study contributes to the discussions about preparing student teachers to understand the underlying practices of teaching in innovative learning environments (ILEs). Teacher educators emulated approaches of ILEs to create coherence between ITE programmes and practices in schools by emphasising collaborative learning. The study also contributes to the theoretical implications by identifying the relevance of the iPAC framework to study mobile learning practices in ITE with both teacher educators and student teachers across multiple programmes and courses. Furthermore, this study provides evidence of successful “far transfer” including the use of mobile technologies during their coursework by teacher educators and student teachers, in which the student teachers transferred that learning into their own pedagogy when on teaching practice.