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.
Incorporating technology in classrooms to promote student learning is an ongoing instructional challenge. Teacher professional development (PD) is a central component of teacher education to support student use of technology and can improve student learning, but PD has had mixed results. In this study, researchers investigated a PD program designed to prepare a cohort of middle school social studies teachers to teach with an online resource, the Smithsonian Learning Lab. They examined how an iterative, design-based approach used teacher feedback to develop learning opportunities in the PD. Using the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge framework (TPACK), they found that through four iterations of 1-day PD workshops, PDs afforded teachers increasingly individualized and meaningful opportunities to learn. Teacher feedback emerged as a central component in the changes and development of the PD series. Through the course of the PD, teacher knowledge increased across five of seven TPACK domains.
Early field experiences, or those that come early in a teacher’s preparation before more formalized opportunities like practicum and student teaching, can provide a venue for pre service teachers to practice technology-specific instructional decision-making and reflective practice. Although research exists on the potential roles of field experiences in teacher education, little research exists on early field experiences, especially those taking place in informal contexts. Moreover, little research exists examining how those early field experiences in informal spaces might shape preservice teachers’ use of digital learning tools. To address this gap, an inquiry was conducted to better understand teachers’ early field work experiences in informal science contexts and the use of formative assessment technologies. Researchers used a mixed methods design to examine how early field experiences might support authentic and robust opportunities for teachers in training. Results suggested that technology-focused early field experiences can serve as confirmatory events for preservice teachers, afford them opportunities to apply theory and content knowledge to practice, and contend with issues related to technology integration, instructional planning, classroom management, and even attendance within an informal context. Findings could be used to improve the design of early field experiences for preservice teachers, and facilitate the scaffolding of the opportunities to help them better integrate technologies into those experiences.
This study provides insight into preservice teachers’ experiences with integrating technology into lessons with children who had mild learning disabilities. Participants included 14 junior early childhood education majors enrolled in a special education course with a fieldwork component. The researchers collected and analyzed lesson plans, journal entries, focus group interviews, and field notes. The findings illustrated preservice teachers’ use of iPad apps during fieldwork, identified their technology-related instructional decisions, and determined how those choices exhibited emerging dimensions of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK). The preservice teachers combined their knowledge of pedagogy, student understanding of content, and emerging knowledge of iPad apps to effectively develop and conduct lessons in various content areas. Interviews with the students supported the social validity of the iPad implementation.
Many school districts across the United States now offer online K-12 education, and the proportion of all students in higher education taking at least one online course is at an all-time high of 32% (Allen & Seaman, 2013). With the evolution of online teaching and learning, teacher preparation programs must establish and offer online student teaching placements. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the experiences of seven secondary preservice teachers who completed student teaching in dual settings, online and on campus. Student teachers valued not having to write the curriculum for online classes, stated that classroom disturbances were limited online, identified valuable online tools and resources to differentiate their lessons, and reported high parental involvement with online classes. Student teachers, however, struggled to motivate their online students and manage their time efficiently. Recommendations on how to get started and improve online student teaching are provided.
Engagement in game design tasks can help preservice teachers develop pedagogical and technical skills for teaching and promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Through the design process, preservice teachers not only exercise critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, but also learn about an instructional method to support their future students’ problem-solving skills. Becoming comfortable with games and game design, however, requires firsthand design experiences, which teacher education programs hardly provide. Given the limited opportunities and research, this study attempted to gain insight into the implementation of a game design workshop to teach preservice teachers how to integrate game design in their future practices. In this exploratory case study, we analyzed reflections and lesson plans from four preservice teachers who participated in a game design workshop. Overall, the preservice teachers found the workshop to be effective in teaching them the intricacies of the game design process. However, both the participants’ learning experiences during the workshop and the level of pedagogical elements present in their lesson plans varied depending on their technology knowledge and teaching context.
Technology is increasingly positioned by policy makers as a necessary part of 21st-century schools. However, it is not always clear how well preparation programs in educational technology truly prepare educators for such work. In this study, the author critically analyzed official standards documentation for an educational technology specialist program in order to determine the degree to which preservice educators are being prepared for what is expected of them. The author articulated a framework called critical software studies, which seeks to unpack the way software, which is what comprises modern technologies, demands a kind of scrutiny few acknowledge and consider when preparing future educators. The author concluded that the standards themselves do not take a critical stance with regard to technology, but rather presuppose technology as something neutral and purely functional. Recommendations to improve standards and programs are then made to different stakeholders in teacher education.
This study examines the use of a digital video annotation tool used by beginning in-service secondary science and mathematics teachers in the Teacher Induction Network (TIN). TIN is an online induction program in its ninth year of existence and has served over 180 teachers. The need to provide spaces for beginning teachers to reflect on their practice and seek support of their colleagues is critical to their professional growth. The current study specifically examines the social interactions and potential supports of a video annotation tool (VideoANT) to promote collaborative interactions toward the development of reflective practices. Results suggest that in the absence of additional scaffolding, teachers overwhelmingly used VideoANT to respond to their peers’ teaching practices with praise and agreement. Given the aims and objectives of the induction course, this finding indicates the need to give beginning teachers specific supports and scaffolds to further their development as reflective practitioners. This study adds to the literature on online video clubs for teacher education and identifies changes intended to improve the current design of the video activity in TIN.
Twitter has demonstrated potential to facilitate learning at the university level, and K-12 educators’ use of the microblogging service Twitter to facilitate professional development appears to be on the rise. Research on microblogging as a part of teacher education is, however, limited. This paper investigates the use of Twitter by preservice teachers (N = 20) in a face-to-face undergraduate teacher education course taught by the author. The participants completed student teaching the subsequent semester, after which a survey was conducted to explore whether they had continued to use Twitter for professional purposes and why or why not. In reflections upon the fall semester’s experience, preservice teachers noted several benefits to the use of Twitter in the course, including support of resource sharing, communication, and connection with educators both inside and outside of the class. During the spring semester, the majority of participants stopped professional Twitter activity, with many citing a lack of time. Those who continued use in the spring most commonly did so to gather teaching resources. The majority of participants maintained a positive opinion of Twitter’s educational potential and indicated intentions to utilize it for professional purposes, including classroom applications, in the future.
In highlighting the importance of problem-based learning in the development of 21st century skills, An (2013) identified the challenges faced by novice teachers in its implementation and suggested strategies to support them. This commentary explores two aspects mentioned in the article, assessment and the role of collaboration, and argues that they need greater critical consideration if the implementation of problem-based learning is to be effective. The role digital technologies can play is discussed and some implications for teacher education are considered.
This study presents a refined technological pedagogical content knowledge (also known as TPACK) based instructional design model, which was revised using findings from the implementation study of a prior model. The refined model was applied in a technology integration course with 38 preservice teachers. A case study approach was used in this implementation study. Data were collected from the participants’ discussion worksheets and lesson plans, along with associated artifacts and the researchers’ field observation notes. Data analysis results revealed that (a) preservice teachers’ had an entry-level understanding of TPACK through discussions on the meaning of TPACK and evaluations of technology-integrated teaching examples; (b) designing several technology-integrated lesson plans improved preservice teachers’ teaching-related knowledge and facilitated their TPACK learning; and (c) preservice teachers’ use of technology was more teacher centered than student centered. Findings, suggestions, and future research possibilities are also discussed.
As tablet technologies continue to evolve, the emergence of educational applications (apps) is impacting the work of teacher educators. Beyond online lists of best apps for education and recommendations from colleagues, teacher educators have few resources available to support their teaching of how to select educational apps. In response, this article puts forward a framework for choosing educational apps based on their purpose, content, and value. The framework first classifies educational apps into four categories before delineating them into smaller subcategories. A sample of apps that are representative to each category and subcategory are included. This framework provides teacher educators with a much-needed resource to support their instruction of educational apps.
With the increasing ubiquity of new technologies, many claims are being made about their potential to transform tertiary education. In order for this transformation to be realized, however, a range of issues needs to be addressed. Research evidence suggests that motivation is an important consideration for online learners. This paper reports on one aspect of a case study situated within a larger study that investigates the nature of motivation to learn of preservice teachers in an online environment. Using self-determination theory as an analytical framework, the focus here is on the underlying concepts of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The ways in which certain social and contextual factors can foster perceptions of these needs being met are explored. These factors are known to have a supportive effect on learner motivation. Most prominent among these were the relevance of the learning activity, the provision of clear guidelines, and the ongoing support and feedback from the lecturer that was responsive to learners’ needs. Supportive, caring relationships were also important.
This study offers a new way to assess TPACK within the context of a graduate program revitalized to focus on new literacies. Whereas previous studies have focused on teacher lesson planning or modeling best practices, our research examines TPACK by exploring the Creative Synthesis Projects of graduates from our program. These projects reveal the manner in which the teachers synthesized personal and professional insights gained over the course of graduate study. Portraits of four teachers provide a holistic understanding of the evolving nature of teacher professional knowledge, especially within the context of prolonged, authentic inquiry and reflection.
Technology plays an integral role in the English Language Arts (ELA) classroom today, yet teachers and teacher educators continue to develop understandings of how technology influences pedagogy. This qualitative study explored how and why two ELA teachers used different technologies in the secondary English classroom to plan for and deliver instruction. Analysis revealed that the English teachers, one novice and one experienced teacher, valued integrating technologies into their instruction and experienced similar challenges in that integration. The novice teacher believed that technologies played a primary role and centered her instruction on the available technologies, while the experienced teacher viewed technologies as having a secondary role, choosing to integrating technologies only if they added to her instruction.
This study investigates the use of interactive video in teacher education as a way of laying the cognitive groundwork for developing teacher self-reflection. Two interactive video approaches were designed to help early preservice teachers (novices) align what they observed in classroom teaching videos of other preservice teachers with what experienced teacher-educators (experts) observed in the same videos. The first approach of video coding, based on qualitative research methods, required preservice teachers to write their own observations when viewing short video clips before being shown the observations written by experts who had viewed the same clips. The novices then compared their observations to those of the experts before viewing and coding the next video clip. Both experts and novices coded the video clips, which came from a middle-school language arts class and an elementary mathematics class, for instances of classroom management and student questioning. The second approach of guided video viewing involved preservice teachers reading experts’ written observations while viewing the same video clips used in video coding but not writing their own observations. On a written classroom observation posttest, the video viewing group performed better than the video coding group and significantly better than a no-video control group.
Designing problem-based learning (PBL), especially blended PBL, is very different from designing traditional teacher-centered instruction and requires a new set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. To be successful, teachers must step out of their comfort zone, adopt new roles and responsibilities, and develop new knowledge and skills required in PBL environments as well as technology integration skills. The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine the difficulties and challenges that PBL novices faced as they designed their first blended PBL in an online environment, (b) to explore effective strategies for supporting PBL novices in the design process, and (c) to examine the impact of PBL design experience on PBL novices’ perceptions of PBL. The researcher collected qualitative data from multiple sources, including an online survey, initial design documents, feedback meeting notes, revised design documents, and reflection papers. The findings of this study provide practical insights into how to support PBL novices in designing blended PBL. The implications for teacher professional development, especially online professional development, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
A national survey of high school principals (N = 683) was used to assess the acceptability of job applicant qualifications that included degrees earned either online, partly online, or in a traditional-residential teacher-training program. The applicants with coursework taken in a traditional-residential setting were overwhelmingly preferred over applicants holding a degree earned partly or wholly online. Chi-square analyses were used to examine the relationships among applicant selection and respondents’ demographic characteristics, their explanations for applicant selection, and background information. Results indicated that applicant selection significantly differed by gender, school type (public vs. private), opinions on hiring criteria, and experience with online classes. Further analysis indicated that online courses were perceived as not presenting sufficient opportunity for students to develop important social skills through interaction with other students and mentors.
The researchers in this study undertook development of a webquest evaluation rubric and investigated its reliability. The rubric was created using the strengths of the currently available webquest rubrics with improvements based on the comments provided in the literature and feedback received from educators. After the rubric was created, 23 participants were given a week to evaluate three preselected webquests using the latest version of the rubric. A month later, the evaluators were asked to reevaluate the same webquests. The statistical analyses conducted on this rubric demonstrated high levels of reliability.
This study explored computer animation vignettes as a replacement for live-action video scenarios of classroom behavior situations previously used as an instructional resource in teacher education courses in classroom management strategies. The focus of the research was to determine if the embedded behavioral information perceived in a live-action video version of classroom management situations was the same as a 3-D computer animation version of the same content. Preservice teachers (N = 55) were randomly assigned to watch the video or an animated vignette and to complete a questionnaire. The results indicated there were no differences between the groups in identifying the critical behaviors. These findings have significant implications for the development of instructional resources and expanding learning environments to support all levels of teaching and learning. Rapidly advancing animation technology may offer multiple advantages or viable alternatives to staged actors and static content of live-action video in creating dynamic professional learning experiences.
This qualitative research study is an exploration of the merit and shortcomings of using a combination of the music software GarageBand™ and an electronic bulletin board to facilitate musical and peer learning in a 3-month elementary music methods curriculum and instruction course. A pedagogical objective of this assignment was to increase the interaction among preservice teachers for the purpose of improving the following: (a) their understanding of musical vernacular, genres, and cultures; (b) their appreciation of the relationships among personal, social, and cultural identities; and (c) an introduction to digital learning technologies as a platform for community building. Specifically, sharing their playlists online (as well as their thoughts, feelings, and images about these musical selections) encouraged reflective practice and a process of peer learning, providing opportunities for students to learn about their peers and broaden their participation in a community of inquiry.
Although the term data-driven decision making (DDDM) is relatively new (Moss, 2007), the underlying concept of DDDM is not. For example, the practices of formative assessment and computer-managed instruction have historically involved the use of student performance data to guide what happens next in the instructional sequence (Morrison, Kemp, & Ross, 2001). Like many of its sister fields, such as knowledge management, DDDM implementation is reliant on technology, but requires many other components to be successful. This article reports on an exploratory study of preservice teachers’ use of a web-based online tool designed to collect and display student level data. A primary purpose of the data displayed is to facilitate just-in-time formative assessment for instructional decision-making. Findings illuminate the barriers to implementing DDDM in actual classroom practice: a confluence of curricular policy as well as technology and teacher heuristics that result in variations in data interpretation that involve issues with both skill and perspective-taking on the data sets. Recommendations for school leaders and teacher educators alike include the need for the coherent alignment of pedagogy, policy, and supports.
Analysis of baseline attitudinal data gathered from a National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers project uncovered large contrasts between the perceptions of practicing professionals and students toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and careers (Tyler-Wood, Knezek, & Christensen, 2010). These findings have been reconfirmed in a second year analysis based on new data and are reported in this paper. The pattern of findings suggests that university teacher preparation candidates hold attitudes similar to middle school students, while the faculty (the educators of teacher preparation candidates) have attitudes similar to STEM education professionals. Additional findings based on disaggregated data are reported. For example, middle school students appear to have more positive perceptions of science, mathematics, and engineering than do the university preservice teachers surveyed, who are destined to be middle school teachers.
Virtual schooling, or the practice of offering K-12 courses via distance technologies, has rapidly increased in popularity since its beginning in 1994. Although effective interaction with and support for students in these environments requires a unique set of skills and experiences, teacher education programs rarely include teaching and facilitation competencies for virtual school education. Even less has been offered in terms of virtual field experience. A pilot virtual field experience enabled teacher candidates to observe how a high school science course was taught by an exemplary teacher using blended technologies. Key findings show that the virtual field experience helped to clarify misconceptions, preconceptions, and concerns and led to a better understanding of Virtual School teaching skills and teacher’s role as well as the supportive role of technology. Teacher candidates also reported an increased interest in Virtual School and learning goals at the end of the experience. Five key elements were also identified as contributive to the successful experience. The elements were putting the “virtual” in the virtual early field experience, increasing awareness through external and internal informational gathering methods, including self-paced and guided observation, providing guided hands-on experiential learning, and including on-site observation.
The paper discusses the implications of the current phenomenon of adolescent engagement in digital spaces. Young people are increasingly active Web 2.0 users, and their interactions through these technologies are altering their social identities, styles of learning, and exchanges with others around the world. The paper argues for more research to investigate this phenomenon through the use of virtual ethnography and identifies the ethical challenges that lie therein. It raises questions for school education and presents an argument for studying the area in culturally sensitive ways that privilege adolescents’ voices.
This study was conducted in response to several recent incidents in which teachers and student teachers were reprimanded for content they placed on the Internet. This study examined the Facebook postings of preservice elementary teachers to determine the extent to which these postings are congruent with expected dispositions. Profiles were analyzed to determine the appropriateness of the content, and when inappropriate, the nature of the behavior depicted on the site. Findings indicated that 32% of elementary education majors in this study had an unrestricted profile on Facebook, and only 22% of those profiles were devoid of inappropriate content. These numbers are likely conservative due to other networking sites that may be in use. The nature of the inappropriate behavior is cause for concern for teacher educators who are expected to teach and assess dispositions and who must decide whether or not a prospective teacher is ready for the ethical responsibility of teaching children.
This article presents a review of the research on technology integration in the area of literacy for individuals with mild disabilities. It describes relevant legislation, including how special education technology is impacted by the No Child Left Behind Act (2001). Included studies focus on research in the core content areas of reading and written language most likely to impact inclusive classrooms. In the area of reading, research has investigated such technologies as the use of computer-assisted instruction and text-to-speech synthesis in reading instruction. Written language research in special education technology has studied the use of word processors, text-to-speech synthesis, word prediction, and spelling and grammar checkers.
As the global community continues the transition from an industrialized factory model to an information and now participatory networked-based society, educational technology will play a pivotal role in preparing students for their futures. Many teacher preparation programs are failing to provide preservice teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to adopt and utilize technology effectively. This paper presents an enhanced technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) model that adds assistive technology as a means to promote inclusive educational practice for preservice teachers. This model offers substantive promise for improving learning outcomes for students with disabilities and other traditionally marginalized populations who receive the majority of their classroom instruction in general education settings. This paper extends the TPACK model by providing specific examples of how assistive technology and instructional technology are distinct yet overlapping constructs. Essential technology skills for preservice teachers and strategies supporting inclusive educational practice are identified.
This paper describes a framework for teacher knowledge for technology integration called technological pedagogical content knowledge (originally TPCK, now known as TPACK, or technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge). This framework builds on Lee Shulman’s construct of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to include technology knowledge. The development of TPACK by teachers is critical to effective teaching with technology. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the complex, ill-structured nature of teaching. The nature of technologies (both analog and digital) is considered, as well as how the inclusion of technology in pedagogy further complicates teaching. The TPACK framework for teacher knowledge is described in detail, as a complex interaction among three bodies of knowledge: Content, pedagogy, and technology. The interaction of these bodies of knowledge, both theoretically and in practice, produces the types of flexible knowledge needed to successfully integrate technology use into teaching.
With the increasing popularity and accessibility of the Internet and Internet-based technologies, along with the need for a diverse group of students to have alternative means to complete their education, there is a major push for K-12 schools to offer online courses, resulting in a growing number of online teachers. Using the Tailored Design survey methodology (Dillman, 2007), this study examines a national sample of 596 K-12 online teachers and measures their knowledge with respect to three key domains as described by the TPACK framework: technology, pedagogy, content, and the combination of each of these areas. Findings indicate that knowledge ratings are highest among the domains of pedagogy, content, and pedagogical content, indicating that responding online teachers felt very good about their knowledge related to these domains and were less confident when it comes to technology. Correlations among each of the domains within the TPACK framework revealed a small relationship between the domains of technology and pedagogy, as well as technology and content (.289 and .323, respectively). However, there was a large correlation between pedagogy and content (.690), calling into question the distinctiveness of these domains. This study presents a beginning approach to measuring and defining TPACK among an ever-increasing number of K-12 online teachers.
This interpretive case study explores an attempt to add an online component—the On-line Literacy Project—to a successful face-to-face professional development community. Participants were six members of the Literacy Project, which was carried out in the school board of a western Canadian city. The principal theoretical framework informing the study was Lave and Wegner’s (1991) community of practice. Analysis of data, collected over 7 months, showed that although participants acknowledged the potential of the Online Literacy Project the concept was poorly understood, received little support, and was not deemed relevant for a number of reasons, many of which are reported in the information and communication technology literature. However, a number of distinctive factors emerged in this study that serve as cautions for others interested in similar professional development endeavors.
The development of community in educational settings is now recognized as a social and collaborative process that is an integral part of learning. As classrooms and communities extend beyond the traditional four walls, research related to online community development across media is of vital importance to teachers. The study reported in this paper furthers the research on the development of community by investigating how graduate student foreign language teachers develop and perceive community and how these perceptions or developments differ according to medium (chat, discussion board, or face-to-face class discussions). Additionally, it extends the research by bringing the cross-institutional element to the blended learning courses. The goal of the study is to explore and analyze the incorporation of technological tools into blended learning in order to assist other teachers in the creation of collaborative cross-institutional situations. Experience in these situations will assist instructors in modeling such communities for their students so that they will potentially benefit from a well-developed and well-understood sense of community, both with onsite peers and with peers at a distance.
This study examined the factors perceived by in-service teachers as either facilitating or impeding successful completion of online group work in a virtual graduate school of education program. Based on a quantified qualitative data analysis of open-ended questions, five facilitative factors were identified as (a) individual accountability, (b) affective team support, (c) the presence of a positive group leader, (d) consensus building skills, and (e) clear instructions. There were also seven impeding factors perceived by the teacher participants. Although four of the factors described a lack of the aforementioned facilitative factors, another three broached new, problematic issues that need to be further considered in online teacher education programs. At the conclusion of this article, recommendations are provided that online teacher educators might consider as they initiate group projects in online environments.
Systematic observation is a foundational skill teachers use in order to document children’s reading development and plan developmentally appropriate instruction. However, a variety of challenges make it difficult for teacher educators to help preservice teachers develop systematic observation skills. The purpose of this study is to tell two stories of two technologies (multimedia and video) used to help preservice literacy teachers develop systematic observation skills. These stories include descriptions of each technology and the results of sequential mixed methods studies used to examine the preservice teachers, development of systematic observation. Results indicate that the multimedia group showed similar or better performance than the video group for all measures. Discussion is offered to explore possible explanations for the findings and suggest further investigations.
Globalization has stretched the scope of the online learner population from a homogeneous profile of mostly adult, mostly employed, place-bound, goal-oriented, and intrinsically motivated to one that is heterogeneous, younger, dynamic, and responsive to rapid technological innovations. This paper describes the emerging characteristics of the online learner and ensuing pedagogical implications and suggests that exploratory and dialogical online learning pedagogical models are most effective for supporting and promoting these characteristics.
The pervasive nature of the Internet, both in society and in America’s schools, leads teacher educators to wonder how this dynamic tool is being utilized in the classroom and, especially, if it is benefiting students’ understanding. This study analyzed 127 Web sites self-reported by in-service teachers as excellent for teaching. From these data, a majority of K-12 educators view the Web either as a lesson planning tool or as a place to turn for additional information to teach a particular lesson. The majority of sites designed for use with students were passive in nature. This paper offers a qualitative data analysis of the attributes of the sites, as well as implications of the selected sites on K-12 teacher beliefs regarding student learning.
Slow motion animation (“slowmation”) is a new teaching approach that uses a simple animation process to engage learners in creating their own comprehensive animations of science concepts. In this paper, preservice elementary teachers used slowmation, a form of stop-motion animation, to make models of science concepts and take digital still photos as the models were manually manipulated in the horizontal plane. A range of materials can be used, and the animations are played in slow motion at two frames per second. Importantly, the preservice teachers provided pedagogical prompts, such as narration, diagrams, music, and factual text in their animations to help explain concepts. Preservice elementary teachers learned how to create slowmations in their science method course and then made their own comprehensive examples in an assignment to represent a science concept. Slowmation is a use of technology that generates a “real need” for preservice teachers to understand science content so that they can represent and explain it accurately in their animation.
Web-based learning has been proposed as a convenient way to provide professional development experiences. Despite quantitative evidence that online instruction is equivalent to traditional methods (Russell, 2001), the efficiency of this approach has not been extensively studied among teachers. This case report describes learning in an online biology course designed to help teachers prepare for science certification exams. A mixed methodology approach was utilized to analyze the manner in which course participants learned and how the online environment influenced this process. Concept maps scored by two different methods and objective pre- and postcourse examinations were contrasted as representations of assimilated knowledge, while unstructured interviews reflected participants’ perceptions of their experiences. Findings indicate that participants experienced gains in declarative knowledge, but little improvement with respect to more complex levels of understanding. Qualitative examination of concept maps demonstrated gaps in participants’ understandings of key course ideas. Engagement in the use of online resources varied according to participants’ attitudes toward online learning. Subjects also reported a lack of motivation to fully engage in the course due to busy schedules, lack of extrinsic rewards, and the absence of personal accountability.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of selected teacher education faculty members engaged in electronic portfolio development. The research questions driving this study were (a) What are the faculty members experiencing as they adopt eFolios? (b) How do these professors understand and make sense of the role eFolios play in teacher education? A phenomenological case study research design framed and guided the study. Six overlapping themes emerged from this study. Interpretation of the teacher’s voices revealed assertions that attempt to make sense of their collective experience. Implications of these five assertions are discussed.
This paper describes the infusion of technology training into a university’s special education program for intern teachers. As the teachers participate in their core classes they have the opportunity to immediately consider and plan for incorporating technology into their teaching to assist their special needs students. Through their class activities and course assignments they demonstrate technology knowledge and skills that they are able to immediately transfer to their classrooms. The program, in response to an informal inquiry into technology use in the interns’ schools, is extending the partnerships with the schools to include technology training to benefit both the teachers and the students.
Beginning teachers face enormous challenges in their first year of teaching. High attrition rates of teachers within the first five years attest to the difficulties inherent in commencing professional life as a teacher. This paper describes the design of a Web site developed to overcome many of the problems of professional isolation encountered by beginning teachers. The Web site allows new teachers to access curriculum resources that are dynamically updated through RSS feeds, to communicate with each other and expert teacher mentors through discussion boards, and to reflect on practice through weblogs. The paper describes the theoretical foundations of the approach, the features of the site in detail, and the plan for evaluation of the site.
“Developing Acceptable Evidence in Educational Technology Research” (Schrum et al., 2005) and its precursor editorial, “A Proactive Approach to a Research Agenda for Educational Technology” (Bull, Knezek, Roblyer, Schrum, & Thompson, 2005), are unprecedented collaborative efforts by journal editors to influence research in our field. This response aims to highlight the inherent complexity within each of the four main issues addressed by Schrum et. al. and to expand the conversation. We appreciate both the editors’ efforts to be proactive with the problems and solutions as well as their open invitation to comment on their ideas for advancing the field. We look forward to continued dialogue.
As beginning teachers experience and process new information during their initial acts of teaching, reflection is an inherent part of the process. The following study was designed to explore technology as a tool for reflection by introducing first-year teachers to three technology tools designed to elicit and encourage their reflections on teaching: (a) electronic portfolios, (b) online discussion, and (c) videotaping teaching. Results indicate that the first-year teachers in this study found value in each of the tools, with videotaping teaching encouraging the most meaningful reflection on their teaching practice. Overall, the technology tools provided an avenue for reflection on teaching and a structure for novices to think and talk about their work.
This paper describes how the Web-based Inquiry for Learning Science (WBI) instrument was used with preservice elementary and secondary science teachers in science methods courses to enhance their understanding of Web-based scientific inquiry. The WBI instrument is designed to help teachers identify Web-based inquiry activities for learning science and classify those activities along a continuum from learner directed to materials directed for each of the five essential features of inquiry, as described in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, 2000). Implementations of WBI analysis activities in preservice science methods courses are discussed.
The Teacher as Software Developer is the name of a program integrating technology instruction, curriculum, and field experiences in teacher preparation. In an introductory education course for all undergraduate education students, a required technology lab links to a one-day-a-week prepracticum. Preservice students produce a Web site or “software” for their supervising teacher, who is their “client,” and the supervising classroom teacher directs them to authentic curriculum objectives. Preservice teachers learn about software while learning about teaching, lesson planning, curriculum, and technology. Supervising classroom teachers’ gain an opportunity to experience designing and using software with their own students and curriculum and access to the preservice student produced Web sites after the student has completed the lab. Evidence of the program’s success comes from student survey data and student reflections. Despite the program’s productivity, it remains an island of instructional technology.
This paper examines three questions regarding the use of computer technologies and education. The first question addresses the effects of computer technologies on student achievement, the second regards the effects of computer technologies on school climate, and the final question examines the cost efficacy of computer technologies in our nation’s schools. Using the most recent literature reviews, recent studies, and survey research that was not included in the most recent reviews, our synthesis of the data demonstrates an overall positive effect that computers have on student achievement and on the school environment. It also appears that using the latest computer technologies to keep the United States competitive in the global economy is cost effective.
This essay presents a vision for technology integration in teacher education that develops teachers into “technology integrationists,” or teachers who thoughtfully choose to integrate technology when it supports students’ subject matter learning. Four principles guide the design of technology learning experiences for preservice and in-service teachers to increase the likelihood that they will become technology integrationists. The principles are (a) connecting technology learning to professional knowledge; (b) privileging subject matter and pedagogical content connections; (c) using technology learning to challenge professional knowledge; and (d) teaching many technologies. The advantages and limitations of using these principles with preservice and in-service teachers are discussed. Future innovations in technology learning approaches in teacher education are outlined.
This paper describes the goals of critical multicultural education in the USA and identifies current challenges working to impede its infusion within technology teacher education programs. It offers both technology and multicultural teacher educators a model for infusion of both critical multicultural perspectives and technology into their respective curricula. This model is illustrated with an example that integrated video and Web technologies into a multicultural education course for preservice teachers. This paper calls for faculty members within technology education and critical multicultural education to engage actively in helping prepare students to become culturally responsive and technologically proficient teachers by modeling good practice in critical multicultural education and technology education.
This paper addresses the core goals for educators to stimulate participation across diversity (including life trajectories and culture) and motivate learners to engage in negotiation of meaning and knowledge building dialogue in the processes of networked learning. The paper reports on a Danish masters online course on networked learning for educators that attempted to realize these goals. The participating teacher learned important methods, including moderation, through experience, guided by a teacher educator whose instructional design was based on communities of practice for participants with different backgrounds, cultures, age, and prerequisites in a shared learning endeavor on the Web. The experience supports a twofold foundation for instructional design: the learning theoretical concept of Etienne Wenger (1998) and an orientation toward participant cultures in terms of experiences and competencies, in order to facilitate collaborative knowledge building online.
This article examines the similarities and differences for one course, Foundations of American Education, when offered in traditional face-to-face and online formats. The data analysis used both qualitative and quantitative measures. Several conclusions were reached: (a) for the course to be effective, the time that must be allotted for online teaching will remain an issue that instructors may struggle with as the workload is significantly higher; (b) for students, a familiarity with their own learning styles and the desire and motivation to shoulder responsibility for online learning will be major factors in their success; (c) while the instructor can, and should, design and monitor the course to ensure that all students are kept on track and participating, student time management and organizational skills will remain of paramount importance; and (d) students with more proficient reading and writing skills will perform better in online classes. Suggestions for further research include focusing on whether or not certain types of courses are more appropriate for online instruction and developing a repertoire of instructional strategies to accommodate a range of learning styles.
This paper describes how a teacher educator used a Computer Applications for Educator’s preservice education course to teach constructivist lesson planning to students who were in the process of planning lessons. It was hypothesized that by providing scaffolding and coaching during the planning process, preservice teachers could be guided to learn to produce constructivist lessons. This type of learning experience follows Vygotsky’s (1978) suggestion that constructivist teaching can be a social activity that involves “problem solving under [teacher] guidance” (p. 86). Because constructivist lesson planning requires creative thought that novice lesson planners often find difficult to do on the spot, the “Interactive Lesson Planner” was developed to provide scaffolding so that students would have speedy access to lesson resources via the Internet ( Holt, 2000; Klein, 1997; Mintrop, 2001). Students were also taught how to post their resulting lessons to the Internet. By doing so, students preserved their efforts so that they may be applied in the future to the student-teaching experience and as a way to market themselves online to potential employers. Because this approach follows John Dewey’s suggestion that the teaching and learning process should attempt to solve real-world problems, it was hypothesized that this would enhance motivation (Dewey, 1916). Seventy-five percent of students taught with this approach successfully applied constructivist lerning theory by completing a constructivist lesson on their own.
This article illustrates the path of the College of Education at Towson University to successfully integrate technology within coursework and thereby meet national technology standards. This discussion includes details about specific required instructional technology courses and a faculty development project that supports the ongoing use of technology throughout the teacher education program. A mentor/protégé faculty development model has been employed to assist university and school faculty to gain needed skills and abilities to integrate technology in teaching. A majority of the full-time university faculty has participated in this faculty development with technology process. As an outcome, teacher education students are experiencing widespread use of technology throughout the curriculum, including their internships within partner schools.