The purpose of this paper is to explore an online field experience between technology facilitator candidates in the USA and K‐12 teachers in Namibia, to improve candidates' understanding of diversity and equity issues in the successful incorporation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching and learning.
A classroom‐based, exploratory action‐research methodology was used. US graduate students in an educational technology course were expected to gain knowledge, skills, and understanding by mentoring (via online communications technologies) Namibian primary and secondary schools teachers in a technology‐integration task.
Through this effective multicultural field experience for technology facilitator candidates, US participants learned about the digital divide as it exists in developing nations, and the impact of socio‐economic and technological inequities on the incorporation of ICTs in teaching and learning.
The results of this pilot study warrant further studies which explore this method in a broader population and across a wider range of educational settings. As developing nations increase their access to ICTs, difficulties faced in this study should be minimized in future studies.
The paper suggests an effective, diverse, technology‐embedded field experience for school professionals preparing to become technology facilitators. Programs that cater to full‐time teachers working in schools which do not meet the diversity requirements set by accrediting organizations such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education may consider this approach.
Online international field experiences have the potential to enhance US participants' ability to demonstrate technology facilitator standards in the context of diverse school settings, backgrounds and populations, as well as to aid teachers in a developing country in technology integration knowledge and skills.
Wilder, H., Pixy Ferris, S. and An, H. (2010), "Exploring international multicultural field experiences in educational technology", Multicultural Education & Technology Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 30-42. https://doi.org/10.1108/17504971011034719Download as .RIS
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