Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hare, Rufus

Committee Member

Adams, James

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development


Despite the advancements and availability of computers and digital technologies in today's schools and colleges, too many graduating K-8 teachers enter the teaching profession without the skills, knowledge, and experience to use technology as a teaching and learning tool. These issues directly affect whether teachers use technology in their schools. Too often preservice teachers lack the basic computer skills they need before they can use technology as a teaching and learning tool. Preservice teachers also need learning opportunities such as educational technology classes, faculty who model and demonstrate technology, and field placement schools with supervising teachers who use and encourage teaching with technology. Furthermore, preservice teachers need opportunities to acquire hands-on experience using hardware or software. A survey developed for this study collected demographic information about the participants and included sections about their technology skill levels, learning opportunities, and specific technologies preservice teachers used or did not use when student teaching. The survey was administered after the preservice teachers completed their student teaching requirements for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. This study suggests that preservice teachers lack the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to use technology as a teaching, learning, and administrative tool. The findings suggest that preservice teachers are low-level users of technology for educational purposes. Even though this generation of students uses digital technologies more than other generations, their technology use centers around communication, convenience, and entertainment. Many preservice teachers only use technology for educational purposes when it is required of them, and then only at the most basic levels. Several recommendations were developed from this study. Require teacher education candidates to take and pass a computer competency skills exam. Provide a compulsory digital technology course devoted to educational issues concerning teaching and learning. Require faculty to teach and model technology in technology rich classrooms and during preservice teachers’ methods classes. Require supervising teachers to use and model technology for student teachers during their student teaching experience. Require education students to have and use personal laptop computers during their professional, methods, and student teaching placements.