Colleges with teacher education programs have struggled to integrate technology into the curriculum. While access to technology has increased and support for technology usage is present, technology integration has not dramatically changed within the majority of classrooms (Cuban, 2001; Opperheimer, 1997; Stenson & Bagwell, 1999). Education faculty members should model effective technology integration within their classrooms in order for their preservice educators to see examples of how to incorporate technology into teaching and learning. Teachers tend to teach the way that they were taught (Judson & Swanda, 2001; Lortie, 1975). Without seeing how to integrate technology use across content areas, preservice educators struggle to make meaningful connections about how to integrate technology to enhance student learning (Hammond, 2007).
The primary focus of this study was to investigate how effectively one small, private university integrated educational technology into the classroom setting after the access to technology increased. It was believed that a new facility with accessible and high quality technology had the potential to enhance technology being incorporated throughout the professional core. Therefore, this study examined if the actual teaching methods were affected after access to technology increased. The researcher examined the change in how professional core courses were taught from the professors' points of view. Then preservice educators were asked if the increased access to technology altered how education faculty members' manner of instruction.
Increased access to education technology impacted faculty members' teaching methods. While their syllabi did not demonstrate how the new facilities affected education faculty teaching methods, the faculty interviews did. The professors continued to model how to use the equipment, what to use the equipment for, and how to use technology to teach the content. In addition, the researcher found an increased amount of classroom time was used to demonstrate educational technology was integrated as a communication tool, resource, or productivity tool.
Differences in technology integration occurred after moving to the new facility. Education faculty members' personal computer use increased as evidenced in the LoTi survey and education faculty interviews. Faculty interviews showed that education faculty members' current instructional practices benefited from increased access to educational technology in the classrooms and the availability of the education computer lab. Interview results also showed that faculty members benefited from the synergy of similar software having been installed in offices, classrooms, and the computer lab.
The preservice educators recognized that educational technology was used more often and for more purposes in the new building. They learned how to use educational technology because their education professors had modeled it. The education computer lab with the SMARTBoard provided greater access to hardware and software than was previously available.
In contrast to other studies that investigated how change occurs when educational technology is introduced, this study noted three important contributing factors to increased educational technology use in the classroom: time, access, and collaboration. Greater access led to increased time and collaboration among preservice educators and education faculty members.