Beginning preservice teachers' perceptions of computer integration
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The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of beginning preservice teachers about computer integration and how those perceptions have developed. Having an understanding of these students’ perceptions about computer integration before they begin their preservice training will help teacher education programs plan developmentally appropriate programs for teachers of tomorrow. This qualitative inquiry was guided by two research questions: 1) What are early preservice teachers’ perceptions about computer integration? 2) How did these perceptions develop? A total of five undergraduate students who identified education to be their major, but not yet admitted into a teacher education program, participated in this study. Selection of the participants was also based on criterion sampling strategies designed to reflect the national demographics of undergraduate teacher education programs as reported by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The analysis of the data resulted in the emergence of four general themes related to preservice teachers’ perceptions about computer integration: 1) the participants’ definitions of computer integration; 2) the descriptions of the participants’ vision of computer integration into their future classrooms; 3) the educational value of computer integration; and 4) the requirements that exist to encourage the integration of computers into teaching and learning. All of the participants explained that their perceptions developed as the result of their past experiences with computer integration.