T. Seifert, Z. Zelkovich

Kibutzim College of Education (ISRAEL)
As a result of the accelerated technological development that occurs all around us in the digital age, we are required to adapt to frequent changes in our environment. The majority of teaching staff in teacher education programs was not born into the digital-informational revolution, and so must undergo training themselves to prepare for digital independence and proficiency. The education system must therefore modify its teaching methods for the oncoming wave of digitally-proficient students, their skills, experiences and needs. This study provides an overview of the means by which lecturers of various disciplines, pedagogical instructors and educators in the field of digital education approach the technological-pedagogical changes that inevitably occur in their field. 86 educators and 186 students responded to an online questionnaire, with items tailored to each group. The questionnaire included quantitative as well as qualitative open-ended questions. In addition, 11 interviews were conducted. Data analysis was performed with both quantitative and qualitative tools.

The research findings illustrate that about one quarter of the students attest that they still find it difficult to cope with technological changes. About one third of them consider the IT integration as a challenge and deal with it gradually. The rest indicate they experience a minor level of coping and even pleasure. The quantitative findings indicate that most lecturers and students are open to technology. They enjoy learning about technology, are interested in using technology in their daily life and want to learn how to benefit from new technologies.

The quantitative data analysis shows that both the students and the lecturers point out that they have changed their work environments in recent years and that they are coping with changes in their day-by-day life to a reasonable extent. Most of the students and lecturers maintain that lecturers should educate for change and implement IT-integrated teaching. Few of the lecturers are not sure "education for change" is necessary. According to them, modelling of the lecturer during the teaching process is sufficient and change will transpire by itself. Numerous lecturers still encounter difficulties in assisting students to deal with changes. In order to render the process of dealing with changes easier, lecturers and students suggest ways for the inculcation of IT. Most of them believe that pedagogical changes have transpired following the technical changes. However, in practice, the educational paradigm in their work has not changed considerably. It seems most lecturers and students are insufficiently aware of the difference between traditional and innovative pedagogy and between technological and pedagogical changes and they relate technological changes to pedagogical changes.

To sum up, the findings illustrate an understanding of and openness to accelerated changes, mainly regarding acquaintance with and mastery of technological tools and new environments. Lecturers and students do not have enough knowledge about essential pedagogical changes and about the skills they will require in order to cope with the new reality. The present study found that teacher education programs should be oriented at coping with technological changes and pedagogical processes, starting from the level of college lecturers, through pre-service teachers who will be the future teachers and up to learners in class.