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Volume 16  Issue 3  

Integrating Geospatial Technologies Into Existing Teacher Education Coursework: Theoretical and Practical Notes from the Field

by Stacey Kerr
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Although instruction related to learning management systems and other educational applications in teacher education programs has increased, the potential of geospatial technologies has yet to be widely explored and considered in the teacher education literature, despite its ability to function as an engaging pedagogical tool with teacher candidates.  This practitioner article discusses uses of geospatial technologies in a social studies teacher education program as a way of demonstrating how other teacher educators might use geospatial technologies to prompt teacher candidates to new ways of thinking about pedagogy and the world at large.  An overview is provided of the value and relevance of integrating geospatial technologies within teacher education, followed by three examples of how geospatial technologies have been included in existing teacher education courses.  In each example the activity and its connection to geospatial technologies are described, as well as the assessment and experience of teacher candidates.  Teacher educators, especially those with limited experience in geospatial technology use, are provided with exemplar ways they might integrate geospatial technologies into the courses they teach—whether it be a course on methods, curriculum, a content area, or beyond.

 

Volume 16  Issue 3  

A Curriculum-Linked Professional Development Approach to Support Teachers’ Adoption of Web GIS Tectonics Investigations

by Alec Bodzin, David Anastasio, Dork Sahagian & Jill Burrows Henry
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A curriculum-linked professional development approach designed to support middle level science teachers’ understandings about tectonics and geospatial pedagogical content knowledge was developed.  This approach takes into account limited face-to-face professional development time and instead provides pedagogical support within the design of a Web-based curriculum with extensive teacher support materials.  This paper illustrates how curriculum design can provide teachers with supports for content (e.g., tectonics) and geospatial instruction with Web GIS. The effectiveness of the approach is presented with a focus on how the curriculum implementation of the Web GIS tectonics investigations and the curriculum support materials provided teachers with the professional growth required for successful curriculum implementation.

Volume 16  Issue 2  

Technological Modeling: Faculty Use of Technologies in Preservice Teacher Education from 2004 to 2012

by Joan E. Hughes, Sa Liu & Mihyun Lim
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This 7-year, cross-sectional study of a 1:1 laptop teacher preparatory program in the United States examined the nature and change in faculty technological modeling. Using survey methods, preservice teachers (n = 932) reported their faculty’s use of technological activities in coursework. Through descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and qualitative analysis, researchers found change in the number of faculty members incorporating presentation, word processing, email, learning management systems, and digital video activities in coursework. Emergent activities with low but increasing use included digital audio, social networking, text messaging, and blog activities. Less widely reported activities included social bookmarking, desktop publishing, webpage creation, and games. Overall results indicated all students did not report similar faculty technological modeling, which also meant that students had divergent technological experiences from which to base their future teaching. The discussion outlines an expansion of educational technology integration across teacher education methods/content courses to increase systematic and contemporary coverage of technological advancements in education through codeveloped curriculum and coteaching by educational technology and teacher education faculty.

Volume 15  Issue 3  

Riding the Wave of Social Networking in the Context of Preservice Teacher Education

by Kate Highfield & Marina Papic
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This study examined the use of one online social networking tool, NING™, in teacher education, highlighting preservice teachers’ engagement and perceptions of the tool. Data obtained from 91 preservice teachers suggest that they found the multimodal platform useful as a tool to build pedagogic and content knowledge. Responses to surveys and online forums indicated potential benefits of social networking in higher education with preservice teachers indicating that this tool enabled increased control of their learning. Personalization and capacity to control and contribute multimodal responses were seen as effective in developing a learning community in a diverse cohort of higher education students.