Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Individually Designed


Dianne Hoff

Second Committee Member

Abigail Garthwait

Third Committee Member

Sandra Caron


The technological generation gap is a societal phenomenon that also reaches into school classrooms. Typically when the generation gap in technology is discussed it puts students on one side of the gap and teachers on the other, with a clear demarcation implied based on age and assumed experience. This assumption does not account for the emergence of teachers who themselves are considered digital natives, adding a potential gap between younger and more experienced teachers. This study explores the experiences of student teachers who are just entering the field and who, from a technological standpoint, have one foot on each bank of that generational chasm. It reveals their perceptions of the technological generation gap and the challenges they faced in infusing innovative uses of technology into their teaching. For this study, innovative uses of technology included, but were not limited to: blogging; creation of websites, webquests, wikis, podcasts; and the use of a myriad of technological devices such as lcd projectors in conjunction with laptops, cellphones, and mp3 players. Qualitative methods encouraged an in-depth exploration and analysis of the experiences and beliefs of nine recent interns who taught at the middle or high school level, and eight college of education professionals specializing in teacher preparation. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted and the transcripts were analyzed using an inductive method of analysis. For organizational clarity, the data were first sorted by research question, and then by category within each research question. The findings present three themes associated with the implementation of innovative uses of technology by student teachers. First, the need for infusing technologically-based pedagogical practices throughout teacher preparation courses. Creating educational opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn both from university faculty and from each other would expand their knowledge, skill and confidence and knowledge in how to use and integrate technology. Second, diverse factors have an impact on the innovative uses of technology in schools. This theme revealed gaps between technologically rich schools and schools lacking technology, which has implications for relevant instruction. Third, the complexity of the technological generation gap goes far beyond a linear progression with divisions by age. It also manifests itself according to work experience, willingness to embrace new ideas, access to the technology, and acceptable behavior norms for technology use. This study presents implications for teacher preparation programs and school districts, which will need to incorporate technological advances that will prepare students for the global environment in which they will live and work as adults. It will take an infusion of creativity, a financial commitment, and a willingness among educators to embrace new technologies if we hope to advance best practices in teaching for 21st Century learners.