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USE OF TECHNOLOGY BY PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS ON SCHOOL PLACEMENT - AN IRISH PERSPECTIVE

A. Egan1, A. FitzGibbon2, K. Johnston2, E. Oldham2

1Marino Institute of Education (IRELAND)
2The University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin (IRELAND)
This paper reports on the use made of technology by a cohort of pre-service teachers during their school placement blocks. The pre-service teachers [n = 64] completed online surveys and individual interviews addressing many categories of usage while out on school placement blocks. The Technology Acceptance Model [TAM] theoretical framework provided a useful tool to measure attitudes, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and self-efficacy levels of the cohort. Quantitative data collected queried the types of technologies that were being used in classrooms, and how these technologies were being utilised. The qualitative data probed factors that impeded use of technology in the classroom and sought to establish whether these factors were external or internal to the pre-service teacher. The results show a reliance on transmissionist approaches to teaching, and use of traditional display technologies only [MS Powerpoint & Interactive Whiteboards] while on school placement. Factors that impeded technology use in the classroom included first order barriers [no technology available or functional] and second order barriers, where students were concerned over their own lack of technological self-efficacy; their own inability to use technology and the assessed nature of the school placement block, itself.