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Purpose of study: The need to train teachers with significantly enhanced clinical skills as well as mentored school-embedded experiences cannot be overemphasized. Recently, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education ( NCATE) Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation, Partnerships and Improved Student Learning (2010) reiterated the need to give aspiring teachers the opportunity to integrate theory with practice; develop good management and pedagogical skills; make professional decisions about practice; and understand and integrate the standards of their professional community (Goodman, 2002; Larson, 2005; Mantle-Bromley, 2002; NCATE, 2010: Su, 2002). These expectations for teacher education have placed renewed emphasis on professional development schools (PDSs) to provide authentic context for teacher preparation including technology learning and utilization. Today's preservice teachers need to understand not only how to use technology but also how technology changes the way content knowledge is taught. Teacher education programs have been identified as a major avenue to prepare teachers to use technology while professional development schools are positioned to equip these teachers with practical experience of using technology in real classrooms (Larson, 2005). However, in an evolving PDS partnership that is still saddled with organizational and logistic problems, the mentoring experiences that the preservice teachers receive in the area of technology integration depends largely on the comfort levels of the mentor teachers, the technologies available to them and the individual needs of the targeted students (Garin, Cruzado-Guerrero & Sabra, 2007). The purpose of this paper was to examine the technology learning experiences of preservice teachers who were placed in four urban-based elementary schools, designated as PDS for their field experience component. Two research questions guided the study (1) what were the technology learning experiences of preservice teachers in four urban based PDS? (2) What factors, if any, impacted these experiences?


Paper presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Vancouver, Canada.

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