Preservice teachers' ability to identify technology standards: does curriculum matter?

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With the unveiling of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010, both preservice and inservice K12 teachers in the United States are expected to create a classroom environment that fosters the

With the unveiling of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010, both preservice and inservice K12 teachers in the United States are expected to create a classroom environment that fosters the creation of digital citizens. However, it is unclear whether or not teacher education programs build this direct instruction, or any other method of introducing students to the National Education Technology Standards (NETS), "a standard of excellence and best practices in learning, teaching and leading with technology in education," into their curriculum (International Society for Technology in Education, 2012). As with most teaching skills, the NETS and standards-based technology integration must be learned through exposure during the teacher preparation curriculum, either through modeling, direct instruction or assignments constructed to encourage standards-based technology integration. This study attempted to determine the extent to which preservice teachers at Arizona State University (ASU) enrolled in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) can recognize the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and to what extent preservice teachers are exposed to technology integration in accordance with the NETS-T standards in their preparation curriculum in order to answer the questions of whether or not teacher education curriculum provides students an opportunity to learn and apply the NETS-T and if preservice teachers in core teacher preparation program courses that include objectives that integrate technology are more likely to be able to identify NETS-T standards than those in courses that do not include these elements In order to answer these questions, a mixed-method design study was utilized to gather data from an electronic survey, one-on-one interviews with students, faculty, and administrators, and document analysis of core course objectives and curriculum goals in the teacher certification program at ASU. The data was analyzed in order to determine the relationship between the preservice teachers, the NETS-T standards, and the role technology plays in the curriculum of the teacher preparation program. Results of the analysis indicate that preservice teachers have a minimum NETS-T awareness at the Literacy level, indicating that they can use technology skills when prompted and explore technology independently.