This qualitative case study examined what educators and startups learned from each other when participating in a 4-hour educational technology (edtech) design summit, SlowPitch, which strategically facilitated boundary crossing conversations and activities among typically siloed constituents, such as educators, researchers, developers, investors, and students, in the edtech ecosystem. Participants included eight edtech startup founders or representatives, seven preservice teachers, and 18 practicing educators. Individual interviews were conducted during and after SlowPitch. Findings revealed educators (a) learned about edtech innovations, (b) engaged in teacher design thinking for integrating edtech innovations, (c) became aware of the voices and influencers within the ecosystem, and (d) learned about edtech startup development processes. Startups (a) learned how their edtech products would work (or not) in teachers’ classrooms, (b) explored how to penetrate the K-12 market, and (c) generated ways to gain interest of potential users. This study illustrates value in broadening an ecological perspective on educators’ work toward technology innovation and integration in school classrooms to consider edtech innovators and their innovations. The discussion suggests edtech learning in teacher education and professional learning can push farther than program wide and program deep in university and K-12 contexts to include experiences in the broader edtech ecosystem.
Teacher educators understand that the preparation of teachers needs to be rooted in the practice of teaching. This understanding, paired with the advancement in digital technologies capable of delivering practice-based teaching experiences, requires that those charged with preparing teachers consider how to best to position these technologies within their programs. This article positions virtual field experience platforms as on-ramps to professional practice and provides guidance for examining the features and capabilities of such platforms to inform their selection and use within teacher preparation programs.
This 5-year multicohort study examined the growth of elementary preservice teachers’ technology integration in the context of a teacher preparation program redesign that made integrating technologies into instruction a major focus. The authors examined how the teacher education program impacted preservice teachers’ technology integration in the classroom by increasing their efficacy to integrate technology and subject areas (i.e., technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge [TPACK] efficacy) and their technology knowledge. Survey data collected from 891 participants were analyzed using thematic coding, analyses of variance, and structural equation modeling. The full program redesign showed across-cohort growth in TPACK efficacy, technology knowledge, and technology integration frequency, suggesting the possibility of increasing preservice teachers’ technology integration through redesigning the teacher education program. Findings indicated that modeling by teacher educators and cooperating teachers positively impacted TPACK efficacy, technology knowledge, and technology integration frequency. Technology knowledge predicted technology integration frequency. TPACK efficacy empowered preservice teachers with confidence to integrate technology but did not predict technology integration frequency. Implications for teacher education programs are discussed.
The feedback provided to teachers by their supervisors, in preservice and in-service settings, is considered to be essential to teacher learning. Incorporating video records into these mentoring sessions has been shown to trigger the cognitive dissonance needed to help teachers explore the gaps between their intentions and their actual behaviors. However, while preservice teachers are increasingly asked to examine their teaching practice via video, their supervisors are not engaging in a parallel examination of their supervisory practice. Thus, university-based clinical supervisors who carry out critical conversations with teacher candidates do so without reflection about how they are performing in those conferences. At the same time, institutions of teacher education recognize the essential role supervisors play in the development of teacher candidate learning, yet are challenged as to how to provide professional development to supervisors. This paper describes an innovative response to this dilemma: an initiative in which clinical supervisors were invited to investigate their post-observation conversations using video in a self-development group. The research questions explored the impact on supervisors of viewing their own feedback sessions on video and sharing their video analysis in a peer group of fellow supervisors. Via an exploratory, qualitative design, and through document analysis, questionnaires, and transcriptions of the focus group conversation, results suggest video review is a promising approach for advancing supervisors’ self-awareness of their post-observation facilitation skills.