Sunday, May 26, 2013

iPads Pre-service teachers and Technology Integration

We are now summarizing our first (funded) year of Tech EDGE- Educating in Digital and Global Environments. The premise for Tech EDGE was to create a new generation of teachers for the 21st century by combining professional development for Teacher Education faculty, cooperating teachers and preservice teachers while providing access to devices in our case iPads.

While we have a lot of data about different aspects of the projects I would like to start by sharing the results of a Technology Pedagogical Content Knowledge instrument that Angie Wassenmiller created two years ago. The results for the preservice teachers stunned me- so much that I had to check it multiple times. The chart shows the difference between the cohort graduating in 2011 and the cohort graduating in 2013. The average difference is an effect size of more than 2 standard deviations (presented as the error bars). This is a huge difference far outstripping what we initially expected.

I do not claim that the project is the sole reason for this change, in effect I believe that the project accelerated many processes that were already operating and gave substance and direction to the efforts of many individual teachers, teacher educators and preservice teachers. Part of the success was our ability to move all elements of our program including practicum. Another part was the integration of iPads. iPads were most visible in our Reading Center where all preservice teachers were able to use them intensively. I would argue that the devices do matter- and they make integration much more effective and impactful.

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