Technology preparation and K-6 elementary education teachers in University System of New Hampshire post-secondary programs and technology utilization in the New Hampshire K-6 classroom: a study of alignment
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is alignment between post-secondary institutions' technology training preparation of teachers and the use of technology in K-6 schools in the State of New Hampshire. For the purpose of the study, alignment is defined as the correlation of specific technology preparation for teachers to technology utilization in the classroom in order to determine whether training is consistent. A mixed methods approach was taken to gain a better understanding of whether alignment exists between technology training of teacher candidates in kindergarten through 6th grade (K-6) elementary education teacher certification programs in University System of New Hampshire institutions and technology regularly being used to support instruction in K-6 classrooms. The results of this study indicate that technology training of/for teacher candidates in K-6 elementary education post-secondary teacher preparation programs is occurring at clinical sites during student teaching and field placement and is not embedded in teacher preparation program coursework. The examination of technologies teacher candidates are being trained to use revealed that post-secondary institutions are dependent upon field placement sites and supervising teachers to train teacher candidates in the use of technology. Technology training is ultimately impacted by availability of technology at individual field sites as well as the knowledge, skills, and abilities of supervising teachers. The reliance on field sites places significant expectations on supervising teachers to provide technology training and support. Post-secondary technology training is not based on technology proficiency around devices, but on the use of technology as a supplemental tool to effective teaching. Alignment of philosophy of technology utilization is discussed, and practical implications of the study for post-secondary institutions are considered.