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Information and communication technology (ICT) literacy in teacher education : a case study of the University of British Columbia Guo, Ruth Xiaoqing

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to increase an understanding of the practices and issues of information and communications technology (ICT) literacy in the teacher education program at the University of British Columbia, Canada. I explored characteristics related to (ICT) literacy: A) program effects on ICT competencies; B) gender and ICT literacy; C) age and ICT literacy; D) attitudes toward technology and ICT literacy; and E) program effects on ICT use. Mixed methods were applied to analyse quantitative data and interpret interviews and observations in the program. The data were collected from large-scale pre- and post-program surveys of student teachers in the 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 years. A research team in the Faculty of Education at U.B.C. administered questionnaires to the teacher education students in September 2001 (n = 877) and 2003 (n=828) at the beginning of the academic year and post-program instruments were completed in May and June 2002 and 2004. Data included interviews with student teachers, observations of student teachers in courses, and videotapes of student teachers’ microteaching sessions for evidence of pedagogical integration. Findings from both quantitative analyses of this study suggest that the perception that both female and male students have of their ICT competencies significantly increased between the start and end of the program. Male students had significantly higher means than females at the start of their program. An increase of the female students was significantly higher than the increase of the males at the end of the program, but was not enough to offset the difference. Teacher candidates’ attitudes toward technology also changed significantly by the end of the program. Findings from this study revealed that the teacher candidates’ attitudes toward ICT and their ICT competencies were highly correlated. ICT competencies varied with attitudes. ICT competencies increase or decrease with changes of attitudes. No significant effects were found for a digital divide by age in this study. There were strong correlations between the students’ perceptions of their ICT competencies and their ICT uses in schools. Results from this study inform the pedagogy of integrating technology into curriculum and instruction and suggest further research on effective uses of ICT in teacher education.

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