Technology's role in field experiences for preservice teacher training

Emily Hixon, Hyo Jeong So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of how technology has been used to enhance or replace field experiences in preservice teacher preparation programs, and discuss the benefits and limitations of traditional and technology-enhanced/virtual field experience approaches. In this paper, three types of technology-enhanced field experiences are discussed: Type I-concrete, direct experience in reality; Type II-vicarious, indirect experience with reality; and Type III-abstract, experience with model of reality. Five specific benefits of technology use in field experiences are identified, namely a) exposure to various teaching/learning environments, b) creation of shared experiences, c) promoting reflectivity, d) preparing students cognitively, and e) learning about technology integration. Several limitations of technology-integrated field experiences are also discussed, including (a) lack of interaction with teachers and students, (b) limited reality and complexity, (c) availability of relevant cases, and (d) technical problems. In conclusion, it is suggested that the overall goals and objectives for a specific field experience must be the focus when field experience options are being explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-304
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Distance education
  • Educational technology
  • Field experiences
  • Preservice teacher education
  • Teacher education programs


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