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Incorporating Multiple Technologies Into Teacher Education: A Case of Developing Preservice Teachers’ Understandings in Teaching Statistics With Technology

by Jennifer N. Lovett & Hollylynne S. Lee
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The purpose of this paper is to present a multitechnology-enabled lesson used with secondary preservice mathematics teachers to develop their technological pedagogical statistical knowledge. This lesson engages preservice teachers in a statistics lesson aimed at developing their reasoning about the measurement units of data using TinkerPlots and then engages them in reasoning about students’ approaches to the task. A description of the lesson, preservice teachers’ approaches, and how they reasoned about sixth graders’ strategies are included. The authors further discuss the affordances of the specific technologies used in creating the learning opportunities for these preservice teachers and implications for teacher education.

Technology-Supported Science Instruction Through Integrated STEM Guitar Building: The Case for STEM and Non-STEM Instructor Success

by Sean Hauze & Debbie French
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With a national emphasis on integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-16 courses, incorporating technology in a meaningful way is critical. This research examines whether STEM and non-STEM teachers were able to incorporate technology in STEM courses successfully with sufficient professional development. The teachers in this study consisted of faculty from middle schools, high schools, and colleges recruited for STEM Guitar Building institutes held between 2013 and 2016. Each teacher participated in a 50-hour professional development opportunity in the manufacture of a solid-body electric guitar and received instruction on how to teach integrated STEM Modular Learning Activities (MLAs), which are aligned with the Common Core mathematics standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The data collected include pre- and postassessment from 769 students in three grade bands (grades 6-8, 9-12, and undergraduate level from 15 states). The results showed statistically significant gains at the p < 0.05 level across all 12 of the core MLAs, with no statistically significant difference between STEM and non-STEM instructors for all except two MLAs. The two MLAs that did reveal a statistically significant difference were more technical—Set Up and Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing Systems (CAD/CAM). These results show non-STEM and STEM teachers alike in this study were able to successfully incorporate technology in NGSS-aligned integrated STEM lessons, as evidenced by student learning gains.

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

by Betina Hsieh
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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.

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

by Elizabeth Barrow, Janice Anderson & Martinette Horner
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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.