Date of Award

2-2-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Valeri R. Helterbran, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Crystal Machado, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Meghan Twiest , Ed.D.

Abstract

The prevalent use mobile learning technology and the nearly universal access to the Internet have transformed educators' perspectives of how students learn and how teachers teach. In an educational climate where teacher effectiveness is tied to student achievement, it is necessary for teacher educators to identify and respond to factors that contribute to the development of preservice teachers' creativity and effective use of mobile learning technology. This qualitative study focused on examining preservice teachers' perceptions of the ways creativity is displayed within their instructional practices when mobile learning technology is utilized. The study participants included 30 preservice teachers enrolled in a methods block of courses focusing on teaching in grades 1-4 within an Early Childhood PreK-4th Grade teacher education preparation program at a public university. The researcher utilized the Mobile Learning Technology and Creativity (MLTC) survey, focus group interviews, and collection of written methods courses assignments to collect data. The data gathered from the instruments suggested that preservice teachers, who are members of the current generation of students known as the Net Generation, perceive themselves to be prolific, knowledgeable, and creative users of mobile learning technology for improving their instructional practices through modification of existing resources. The data also suggested that they perceived the use of their mobile learning technology as significantly contributing to that creativity. Qualitative data gathered from the participants' responses to interview questions provided insight into preservice teachers' perceptions about their personal creative abilities, creativity within their instructional practices, and their uses of mobile learning technology. The findings of the data can be used to inform discussions concerning the development of curricula that will strengthen preservice teachers' creativity and applications of mobile learning technology for instructional practice.

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