The role of relevance in future teachers’ utility value and interest toward technology


Seeing the relevance of tasks for future use is important for developing value and interest in them. We employed a pre- and post-test quasi-experimental design using a mixed-methods approach to examine if reflecting on the relevance of technology to future teaching practices influences elementary and secondary preservice teachers’ utility value and interest toward technology integration. The findings from 111 preservice teachers revealed that reflecting on the connections of technology to future teaching increased their maintained interest in technology integration regardless of their situational interest levels. Reflections also helped them recognize technology-supported classroom management strategies in their current implementations. Differences observed between elementary and secondary preservice teachers highlighted a need for helping secondary preservice teachers develop higher interest and deeper understanding of utility values of technologies for future practices. Results also underscored the importance of emphasizing various benefits of technology regarding collaboration, assessment, and self-paced learning—utility values that were minimally observed in the study.

Educational Technology Research and Development