Editorial: Technology Leadership for the Teacher Education Initiative

by Sara Dexter, Mary Herring & Tommye Thomas
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Teacher education leaders must attend to leadership practices that set direction, develop people, and redesign their programs of teacher education in order to develop technology, pedagogy, and technology knowledge and skills in preservice teachers. A planning framework to be used at the 2012 National Technology Leadership Summit is presented here. It highlights focus group results from deans and other college of education leaders as to the context-specific products and processes they would need to create at the local level.

English/Language Arts Education

Use of Sound With Digital Text:  Moving Beyond Sound as an Add-On or Decoration

by Lynn Shanahan
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The purpose of this interpretive case study was to explore—through a close analysis of one class project—students’ use of audio signs and the teacher’s scaffolding of the use of audio signs. Two research questions guided this study: (a) In what ways did the fifth-grade students use audio signs, specifically transitions sounds, when constructing multimodal texts with different sign systems (e.g., visual, linguistic or audio signs)?; (b) In what ways did the classroom teacher shape the specific social cultural environment for audio sign use? The findings of this study argue for professional development opportunities for teachers where they not only learn how to use various software programs but also learn the content knowledge necessary for communicating with multiple signs such as audio.

Mathematics Education

Teachers’ Statistical Problem Solving with Dynamic Technology: Research Results Across Multiple Institutions

by Hollylynne Stohl Lee, Gladis Kersaint, Suzanne Harper, Shannon O. Driskell & Keith R. Leatham
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This study examined a random stratified sample (n = 62) of prospective teachers’ work across eight institutions on three tasks that utilized dynamic statistical software. The authors considered how teachers utilized their statistical knowledge and technological statistical knowledge to engage in cycles of investigation. This paper characterizes their problem solving and the ways they represented and explored data and discusses how teachers’ work with representations seems to inform their problem solving. Recommendations are included for ways mathematics teacher educators can engage teachers in developing their knowledge for doing and teaching statistics with technology.

Social Studies Education

Intercollegiate Collaboration: Connecting Social Studies Preservice Teachers at Two Universities

by Jeremy Hilburn & Brad Maguth
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This qualitative case study explored the collaboration between students in two social studies methods courses at different universities. The authors used technology to connect preservice teachers from teacher education programs that differ in terms of geography, size, and type of university. Using archived data from the courses, the authors found  that the intercollegiate collaboration enhanced the students’ methods experience by expanding learning opportunities through communities of social studies practice. Specifically, students had overall positive perceptions of the value of the collaboration, learned new teaching strategies and educational technologies, and also learned from multiple social studies methods instructors.  The implications of these findings for social studies methods instructors and students, particularly at small colleges/universities are discussed. The paper includes identification of  obstacles to implementation  and  recommended future lines of research in using technology for intercollegiate collaboration in social studies teacher education.

Current Practice

Software On Demand: An Early Childhood Numeracy Partnership

by Mike Egan & Randy Hengst
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In collaboration with preservice elementary teachers and in-service kindergarten teachers, the authors engaged in small-scale, demand-side production of educational software focused on numeracy skills.  That is, the authors built applications designed to address children’s specific learning needs as they surfaced in the classroom and were identified by the teachers.  Details about the design and rationale of the software, the collaborative development process, indications about its impact on teachers’ practice, and discussion about the potential of this approach to educational software production are shared.