The use of Internet in Teacher Education

The potential of Internet usage for empowerment of trainee teachers has been enlightened by a succession of reports that the technology is positively accepted in teacher training programs throughout the world. According to Wright et al. (2002), pre-service teachers reported that they still are prepared to implement technology in lesson plans even though they have limited technological resources in the classroom. Furthermore, they were well-trained and entered the training program with full enthusiasm (Wright et al., 2002). Despite of the positive insights, a study by Birgin et al. (2010) revealed that the first year pre-service teachers used computer and the Internet less for learning purposes. It was suggested that teacher education programs should emphasize more on encouraging the trainee teachers to complement the integration of technology and learning process (Birgin et al., 2010).

Past research suggested that Malaysian trainee teachers use the Internet for various purposes, such as for seeking learning information through search engines (Lau et al.,2010), emailing and resourcing through Telnet, World Wide Web and Newsgroups (A.Razak and Shanmugam, 2010), social activities, seeking information and other leisure activities (Luan et al., 2005). Lau et al. (2010) found that the frequency of using search engines through the Internet differed significantly for different training program. Luan et al. (2005) reported a positive finding from their study on Malaysian pre-service teachers in one public university. It was found that majority of them used the Internet for many reasons, as well as showing positive attitudes toward this technology (Luan et al., 2005). In this regards, the use of Internet for teaching and learning purposes is mostly presumed to be positively accepted by the trainee teachers in Malaysia. An intriguing finding by Teo et al. (2009) showed that the Malaysian pre-service teachers had more positive attitudes towards computer and internet use. They also perceived computers to be easier to use and more useful (Teo et al., 2009). A.Razak and Shanmugam (2010) also reported positive attitudes towards the Internet use as resourcing tools among the trainee teachers.

However, throughout this body of existing research, there are a number of unanswered questions regarding how effective use of Internet in teacher training programs can successfully be achieved. Furthermore, despite of the various studies on ICT integration in education, there is still lacking of research to study specifically the perceptions on Internet usage among trainee teachers.

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