Teacher preparation programs offer students a variety of digital learning opportunities that include courses in educational and instructional technology, integration of technology into content, and hands-on integration of technology during field placement. To better understand field placement experiences in a technology-rich environment, Dr. Nicholas Lux and Dr. Christine Lux, both Assistant Professors at the Department of Education of Montana State University, conducted a qualitative study at a laboratory preschool (accredited by both the state education department and the National Association for the Education of Young Children-NAEYC) serving children 3 to 6 years. Data sources used for the two-semester investigation include a reflective blog after every visit to the pre-school TechClub and transcriptions of final reflection presentations. Findings indicate that preservice teachers are positively influenced by exposure to a technology-rich environment in the Tech Club. Study recommendations include two strategies to provide a meaningful technology-rich early field experience in an early childhood setting: Provide preservice teachers opportunities to learn and practice developmentally appropriate technology skills in meaningful and authentic contexts, and provide high-quality technology integration instruction in teacher preparation programs.
Lux, N., & Lux, C. (2015). The influence of technology-rich early childhood field experiences on preservice teachers. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 23(2), 213-240.