An Exploratory Study: How Early Childhood Preservice Teachers Construct Their Understanding of Technology Integration in a Technology-Infused Social Studies Methods Course




Shah, Payal

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Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the education technology narrative asserted that“New tools hold great promise for teaching and learning, but only when they are used effectively, appropriately and intentionally”. In this dissertation, I explored how early childhood educationteachers construct their understanding of technology integration in a technology-infused social studies methods course. The preservice teachers came into the course expressing their attitudes towards technology as positive, negative, or mixed. In addition, they articulated their self-perceptions of technology skill as confident, unconfident, or both confident and unconfident. As they continued in this technologyinfused methods course, they experienced technology as a way to understand, engage, explore/examine, reflect, collaborate/share, and extend their knowledge about social studies. As they experienced different technologies throughout the course, preservice teachers recognized technology as a space for building a community of learners to share and generate knowledge and build learner agency. They also identified technology as a multimodal tool to support learning that simulates realistic experiences, provides creative outlets, and expands opportunities for learning. The preservice teachers described engaging with technology passively, actively, and critically by noticing, extending, and evaluating technology. In their lesson plans, they conceptualized using technology with children in many of the same ways they engaged in technology in the course. Specifically, they created experiences that encouraged young children to explore/examine, collaborate/share, and extend their learning.



Early childhood education