Teachers' clinical experiences and attitudes toward technology inclusion
The purpose of this qualitative multisite case study is to examine participants' attitudes toward technology, types of technology available for participant use, and the extent to which technology is used by preservice and mentor teachers during clinical experiences. Research supports the benefit of improved attitudes toward technology integration as a byproduct of the technology inclusive clinical experience (Dawson & Dana, 2007). Niederhauser and Lindstrom (2007) found that preservice teachers' technology use during teacher training and clinical placement will be a model of the teachers' future technology use in the classroom. Bullock's (2004) qualitative research noted the connection between mentor attitude and how mentor attitude affected the success of preservice teachers' implementing technology in the classroom, and further exploration of this relationship seems warranted. This study contributes to the body of knowledge pertaining to how clinical experience affects attitude. Preservice teacher participants in this study clinical experiences affected their attitudes toward and usage of technology in the classroom. The participants underestimated the variety of technologies available and were pleasantly surprised to encounter several different types of technology. Participation by the preservice teachers in the clinical experience presented a greater level of timidity due to the disabling factors of technology availability, reliability and increased planning time. In the future the preservice teachers may be less likely to attempt the use of technology if disabling factors are present. The participants expected the use of technology to be simple and when confronted with the realities of technology use they came to the realization that incorporation of technology was not always as easy as it looks. The preservice participants attained a greater awareness of technology inequity between placement sites. The expectation for clinical experiences in the past has been that the preservice teachers learn from the mentor teachers, but in the current study, the preservice teachers were able to provide their mentor teachers with new technology knowledge and skills, creating a more collaborative clinical experience.