Student teachers' perspectives of the internet's and internet tools' educational contributions and future usage Conference Paper uri icon


  • Technology development in schools has become one of researchers’ concerns (Atkins & Vasu, 2000). But to use technology teachers have to believe that they have the skills to do it and that technology, besides contributing to higher-level goals, is not an impediment to other higher-level goals which teachers deem important (Zhao & Cziko, 2001). Teachers’ education concerning ICT is thus at the center of attention of researchers and educators (Hargrave & Shu, 2000; Ponte, 2002). We have previously reported our university’s student teachers’ favorable opinions about the Internet, and limited actual use of it (Almeida et al, 2002). In this paper we will report on our student teachers’ perspectives on (1)specific Internet tools’ contribution to students’ learning, (2)Internet’s contribution to a set of stated educational goals, and (3)their own Internet future usage. Our data stem from a questionnaire which was anonymously answered by 189 from our 2000/2001 academic year 360-student teacher population: 159 females and 30 males distributed by 9 preservice programs. Analyzing information and working individually were the competences most indicated as profiting from Internet usage. Browsers were indicated as contributing a lot to students’ learning. Electronic discussion lists, on-line forums, and web page construction software were the ones most indicated as not being known about. Perspectives for future Internet usage are consistent with views of the Internet’s contributions: browsers and e-mail, finding bibliography, information, ideas and software for classes, showing Internet materials to students, are the ones most indicated to be used frequently. On-line chat, page construction, having Internet in the classroom, and communicating with other schools are not indicated by most student teachers as a frequent possibility. Most student teachers indicated e-discussion lists and on-line forums as something which they either would never or rarely use in the future, or did not know about. We believe that these results will enlighten us to help teachers create learning communities embedded in opportunities in which students can learn at their individual pace interacting and exchanging knowledge among themselves and with other social agents.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002