Exploring Gender Differences in How Preservice Teachers Learn New Technology
Abstract: Gender differences in preferred learning strategies for learning new software could indirectly and negatively influence the successful integration of technology in the classroom by preservice teachers. In this study, we compared four learning strategies (collaboration, authentic tasks, formal instruction, exploratory learning) between male (n=25) and female (n=49) preservice teachers. Female preservice teachers rated collaborative and authentic learning approaches as being significantly more helpful in learning new software than male preservice teachers. Specific preferences for females included working with a friend, attending workshops and systematic trial and error. No significant gender differences were observed for formal and exploratory learning strategies. Overall, males and female preservice teachers were more alike than different with respect to their learning strategy preferences. Collaborative and authentic learning opportunities appears to work best for all students.