They Think What? An Investigation of Preschoolers’ Digital Technology and Media Skills and Teacher Candidates’ Beliefs
Abstract: Digital technologies and media (DTM) have become commonplace in our lives. As a result, young children are using DTM more often and are likely entering school with enhanced skills. Yet, schools often do not take full advantage of DTM in the classroom for a variety of reasons, such as teacher beliefs regarding the value of DTM and the DTM skills of their students. This study explored the latter by first documenting preschooler iPad skills and then determining teacher candidate beliefs about preschoolers’ iPad skills. Preschooler data was collected using an iPad skills assessment, and teacher candidate data was collected using a survey instrument. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Most preschoolers were able to complete each of the iPad skills, and even though teacher candidates generally agreed, statistically significant differences emerged between candidates’ beliefs and preschoolers’ demonstrated skills.