Technology-integrated materials when used appropriately can enhance science teaching and learning. It is therefore the position of the Association for Science Teacher Education that the qualified science teacher educator should possess a strong knowledge base in understanding how implementing technology in science curricular contexts may be used to promote the teaching and learning of science. Technologies such as Web-based resources, real-time data collection with probeware, simulations, Geographic Information Systems, and real-time video-conferencing offer science teachers new opportunities for creating learning environments that meet the needs of diverse learners. Science teachers can promote student-centered, inquiry-based learning with activities involving technology-based materials. In addition, Internet-based telecommunications offer science teachers opportunities to expand their professional networks beyond the walls of the school building.
To effectively integrate technology in the preparation of science teachers, science teacher educators should:
- Identify and locate technology-based materials and resources and evaluate them for suitability for science instructional purposes.
- Understand how integrating technologies into science instruction can enhance science teaching and learning.
- Model technology-based science curricular activities with appropriate pedagogy.
- Design activities involving technology-integrated materials to promote student-centered, inquiry-based learning.
The following are examples of how technology-based materials may be used to promote science teaching and learning.
- Support student investigations with real-time data collection via hand-held or microcomputer-based probeware.
- Use scientific visualizations to show phenomena that cannot be seen with typical classroom resources.
- Use a simulation to explore a complex scientific phenomena.
- Use multimedia resources, such as animations, video clips, or still images to illustrate science content, concepts, or processes.
- Use distributed information sources such as real-time data, online databases, peer groups, and mentors/experts in many locations to investigate scientific questions.
- Use Web-based photojournals and virtual field trips to explore remote geographic locations.
- Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to visualize, manipulate, analyze, and display spatial data.
- Engage in a Web-based inquiry activity to investigate a scientifically oriented question.
- Use a spreadsheet or database to analyze a data set.
- Incorporate Web-based primary sources for guided explorations and information-gathering research tasks.
- Use telecommunication networks, such as a listserv or Web-based forum, to collaborate on a project or communicate conclusions from an investigation.
- Use modeling tools to build, test, and revise scientific explanations and represent scientific understandings.
Note: This position statement is congruent with the best technology integration practices from the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards, the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) Position Statement on the Use of Computers in Science Education, and the National Geography Standards.
Bodzin, A., and Cates, W. (2003). Enhancing preservice teachers’ understanding of Web-based scientific inquiry. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 14(4), 237-257.
Flick, L., & Bell, R. (2000). Preparing tomorrow’s science teachers to use technology: Guidelines for Science educators. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 1(1), 39-60.
Linn, M.C., Davis, E.A. & Bell. P. (2004). Internet Environments for Science Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
AETS Committee on Technology Enhancement in Science Teacher Education 2004
Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University, co-chair
John Park, North Carolina State University, co-chair
Len Annetta, North Carolina State University
Randy Bell, University of Virginia
Lynn Bell, University of Virginia
Craig Berg, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Michael Cullin, Lockhaven University
Karen Irving, Ohio State University
Cathleen Loving, Texas A&M University
Rebecca McNall, University of Kentucky
Bruce Munson, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Rick Pomeroy, University of California-Davis
Carol Stuessy, Texas A&M University