Editorials

Reflections on Preparing Educators to Evaluate the Efficacy of Educational Technology: An Interview With Joseph South

by Glen Bull, J. Michael Spector, Kay Persichitte & Ellen Meiers
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Joseph South, an educational researcher, technology consultant, and former director of the U.S. Office of Educational Technology participated in a research initiative on Educational Technology Efficacy Research organized by the Jefferson Education Accelerator, Digital Promise, and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. The working group in which he participated, one of 10, focused on preparing future teachers and educational leaders to make effective decisions related to evaluation of educational technology products and selection of appropriate technology tools.  South responded to interview questions developed by members of Working Group E of the Jefferson Education Accelerator initiative on the Efficacy of Educational Technology Research.

English/Language Arts Education

Teachers’ Engagement With New Literacies: Support for Implementing Technology in the English/Language Arts Classroom

by Melody Zoch, Joy Myers & Jennifer Belcher
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This qualitative study examined in-service teachers who were enrolled in a graduate level course that focused on new literacies and the integration of technology with literacy. They also taught children enrolled in a summer writing camp as part of the course. The authors  followed the teachers into their classrooms once the graduate course ended to see if and how they were integrating technology. The primary focus of this article is on ways some of the teachers began to integrate technology into their instruction. An additional finding was that testing was perceived to be an especially challenging barrier to technology integration.

Mathematics Education

The Presentation of Technology for Teaching and Learning Mathematics in Textbooks: Content Courses for Elementary Teachers

by Dustin Jones, Victoria Hollas & Mark Klespis
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This article presents an overview of the ways technology is presented in textbooks written for mathematics content courses for prospective elementary teachers. Six popular textbooks comprising a total of more than 5,000 pages were examined, and 1,055 distinct references to technology were identified. These references are coded according to location within the textbook, role of technology, and type of technology. The treatment of technology varied across the textbooks in the sample. The number of references to technology ranged from 71 to 451. Two textbooks mentioned technology on less than 10% of the pages, while one mentioned technology on over one fourth of the pages. For each textbook, the majority of references were to mathematical action technologies. Across the sample, calculators, websites, and e-manipulatives were most frequently mentioned. Examples of textbook activities that may influence the development of technological pedagogical content knowledge in prospective elementary teachers are provided. Recommendations are made for future directions in curriculum development and research to address the challenge of preparing teachers to effectively teach mathematics in the digital age.

Science Education

Content Analysis of Science Teacher Representations in Google Images

by Daniel Bergman
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Teacher images can impact numerous perceptions in educational settings, as well as through popular media. The portrayal of effective science teaching is especially challenging to specify, given the complex nature of science inquiry and other standards-based practices. The present study examined the litany of representations of science teachers available via a Google Images search. Initial data collected included image type (photograph, cartoon/clip art, text/graphic) and demographic information of the depicted science teachers. Common themes were detected and documented, including science teachers’ attire, actions, materials and equipment, and interactions with students. The potential impact of these images is discussed, including comparisons with science education literature. Implications include ways science teacher educators can use these images to foster reflection and dialogue among preservice and in-service teachers. Furthermore, an examination of stereotypes may need to be addressed and overcome in order to recruit, prepare, and support science teachers successfully.

General

TPACK in Special Education: Preservice Teacher Decision Making While Integrating iPads Into Instruction

by Susan Anderson, Robin Griffith & Lindy Crawford
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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.

Current Practice

Building Reflective Practice Through an Online Diversity Simulation in an Undergraduate Teacher Education Program

by Jamie Manburg, Rashid Moore, David Griffin & Marvin Seperson
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This paper discusses preservice teachers’ perceptions of an online, in-house diversity simulation in an undergraduate teacher education program conducted over a 3-year period. The diversity simulation was a nontraditional capstone experience for 193 preservice teachers in majors ranging from early childhood to secondary education. The diversity simulation included scenarios at the kindergarten, middle school, and high school levels, allowing participating preservice teachers to assume leadership positions during the simulation. Results of an anonymous survey indicated that the preservice teachers found that the diversity simulation provided realistic scenarios and promoted creative thinking and team building. Preservice teachers were also asked to write a final critique essay of the simulation experience. Qualitative themes emerged from an analysis of the essays that were consistent with previous research on simulations. Such themes included self-efficacy, emerging professional identity, empathy, leadership, knowledge base, collaboration, ethics, and critical thinking.