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ItemPreparing Preservice Teachers with Technological Skills Through Virtual Field Experiences in North Carolina Educator Preparation Programs: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study(2023-11) Chapman, AmandaThe problem is many educator preparation programs (EPPs) in the U.S. may not be adequately using virtual field experiences (VFEs) to prepare their preservice teachers (PSTs) with the knowledge and skills needed for the future of learning in the Industrial Revolution (I.R.) 4.0. An examination of relevant literature identified five types of VFEs that could be used to provide PSTs with the technological skills needed for their future classrooms. Despite an increase in sporadic uses of VFEs due to the pandemic, there is a notable gap in research among state EPPs' use of VFEs. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory case study was to examine how North Carolina EPPs utilize the identified types of VFEs to prepare their PSTs with knowledge and experience using digital tools and innovative technologies. The study was conducted to utilize Kolb's experiential and Brown et al.'s situated cognition learning theories as the theoretical framework. Research questions focused on prevalence, types, and digital tools utilized in VFEs within North Carolina EPPs. Purposeful sampling was employed to select one field experience expert from each in-state public and private approved EPP in North Carolina. The qualitative case study comprised 16 participants, all of whom completed the questionnaire and 2 of whom participated in a semi-structured interview. The analysis involved coding the information for themes and interpretations, which revealed that despite the surge of VFE use during the pandemic, many EPPs have returned to traditional in-person field experiences, indicating the need for further research on VFE integration and use in EPPs. Keywords: A.R. (Augmented Reality), digital competence, digital tools, educator preparation programs, mixed reality, North Carolina, online teaching, preservice teachers, simulations, telepresence technologies, V.R. (Virtual Reality), videoconferencing, virtual field experiences ItemTeacher Perceptions of Technology in Algebra Classes: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study(2023-02-15) Demirors, IsmailTeacher perceptions are crucial in integrating technology in high school algebra classes. The problem was the limited inclusion of technology in algebra classes because of the traditional approach to teaching algebra. There is a gap in the literature regarding the influences of teachers' fixed or growth mindsets on their perceptions. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory case study was to explore how teachers' mindsets influence their attitudes toward the inclusion of technology in high school algebra classes at one school district in New Jersey. Self-perception theory (SPT) and the technology acceptance model (TAM) were combined in the current study to analyze teacher mindset influences on their perceptions of integrating technology in high school algebra classes. Research questions sought to answer possible influences of teachers' mindsets on teacher perceptions of the inclusion of technology in high school algebra classes. The research design was a qualitative exploratory case study with a target population comprising 65 math teachers working for a New Jersey school district. Eighteen teachers who taught algebra were selected. NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software, was used to conduct a thematic analysis of data from focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The thematic analysis closely examined common themes, topics, and ideas. The findings revealed the influence of fixed and growth mindsets on teacher perceptions. While teachers with a fixed mindset perceived technology inclusion negatively, teachers with a growth mindset perceived technology inclusion positively. Educational leaders should improve professional developments that address mindsets. ItemTeachers’ Use of Mobile Learning Tools Aligned with Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK): A Quantitative Study(2023-07) Mohamed, AsmaaAfter COVID 19 pandemic started, United States public schools pursued alternative learning options. Schools began teaching virtually, so schools could reopen safely. Eventually, some schools preferred to continue with the virtual learning option and the face-to-face option with safety measures. The problem is that many teachers shifted from traditional to virtual teaching without proper training for the TPACK framework, which is the base for virtual learning. There is a gap in literature regarding the virtual teacher’s knowledge of the TPACK framework and their usage of mobile learning (M-Learning) tools. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the virtual teachers’ TPACK framework knowledge (independent variable), and its relation to the use of M-Learning tools in virtual classes (dependent variable) in current virtual schools. Four elements of the TPACK theory, PK, PCK, TPK, and TCK, were examined to confirm the correlation between the elements and M- learning tools usage was functioned as the theoretical framework of the study and help address the four research questions. A sample population of 35 virtual teachers working during the academic 2022-23 school year were recruited for the study. Two electronic questionnaires were used to collect responses from participants and analyzed utilizing Kindal-Tau test. The results indicated a positive statistical correlation between M-learning tools usage levels and only one of the tested TPACK elements.