Most Recent Articles

The Role of Photoblogs in Social Studies Classroom: Learning About the People of the Civil War

by Elizabeth Barrow, Janice Anderson & Martinette Horner
Full Article Show Abstract

Using the of Humans of New York photoblog concept, the exemplar lesson plan described in this article incorporated technology and the replacement, amplification, and transformation framework to modify a traditional social studies lesson on the American Civil War into an engaging and inquiry-based lessonStudents researched individuals who lived during the American Civil War and created their own digital storyboard of Humans of the Civil War.  This lesson idea uses available technology to engage students in more meaningful instruction that goes beyond lectures.  Doing so allows teachers to transform their lessons using technology in authentic ways that help students become more active agents in their learning.  This lesson requires students to make strategic decisions about what is important to know about historical figures and how best to tell their story while also learning about the war.

Supporting Change in Teacher Practice: Examining Shifts of Teachers’ Professional Development Preferences and Needs for Technology Integration

by Yin-Chan Liao, Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Michael Karlin, Krista Glazewski & Thomas Brush
Full Article Show Abstract

Studies have shown that when K-12 school districts implement a new technology initiative, it is not always accompanied by effective teacher professional development (PD).  Many teachers have indicated that effective technology PD experiences should incorporate their individual PD needs.  The authors surveyed technology-using K-12 teachers at two points (2009 and 2015) to examine what they perceived as useful technology PD with regard to content and format.  Specifically, since technology changes quickly, we sought to examine whether there were any changes to what teachers perceived as useful content and format for technology PD.  Over 6 years, more teachers reported that personalized technology PD tended to be more effective.  Although some things remained consistent regarding content (e.g., utilizing Web 2.0 resources continued to be preferred PD content by teachers in both years), other content preferences changed (e.g., mobile applications and pedagogical-focused knowledge and skills).  Regarding PD format, the authors found that in 2015 more teachers perceived online and face-to-face workshops, personal learning networks, and conferences as useful.  Finally, teacher-led PD and in-class support were suggested as useful by more teachers in 2015.  Thus, more personalized, sustained, and situated PD is needed to effectively support K-12 teacher technology integration.

Making and Missing Connections: Exploring Twitter Chats as a Learning Tool in a Preservice Teacher Education Course

by Betina Hsieh
Full Article Show Abstract

Research on social media use in education indicates that network-based connections can enable powerful teacher learning opportunities. Using a connectivist theoretical framework (Siemens, 2005), this study focuses on secondary teacher candidates (TCs) who completed, archived, and reflected upon 1-hour Twitter chats (N = 39) to explore the promise and pitfalls in integrating optional Twitter chats as a professional learning and networking tool in a semester-long teacher education course. While many TCs reported that their Twitter chat experiences allowed them to bridge physical and experiential distance and benefit from educator networks, some TCs experienced miscues that left them feeling on the periphery of these chats, able to gather resources but not to establish a sense of connection. For most participating TCs, their Twitter chat experience changed their perspectives toward Twitter as a professional learning tool, opening the door to future exploration of Twitter as a tool for professional networking. The results of this study indicate the promise of integrating Twitter chats as a professional learning tool, but also demonstrate the importance of anticipating common miscues and explicitly addressing the nature, structure, and purpose of Twitter chats to strengthen opportunities for TCs to establish ongoing professional connections using this medium.

Most Read