English/Language Arts Education
Although increasingly encouraged to incorporate digital media into classrooms to prepare students for engaged participation in a digital world, teachers are often taken by surprise when paradigm clashes arise between traditional school expectations and the affordances of these new spaces. Through data gathered from ethnographic methodologies during a rich teacher-researcher partnership, this research foregrounds tangles that emerged when a high school English teacher and a partnering researcher adopted new media tools and pedagogies in two traditional English classes. They concluded that each tangle found its genesis in two competing urges teachers experience when engaging in pedagogical design: the desire to maintain traditional English class norms and the desire to reshape and reimagine it. This collision of strategies and tactics emerged in five distinct categories: vantage points, genres, boundaries, tasks, and expectations. These results indicate a need for greater awareness of the difficulties in the maintenance of new classroom spaces; attention to the complex negotiations required when teachers juggle technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge; and the need for teacher education to create more space for future teachers to work with these tensions through reflection upon collaborative pedagogical design practices in authentic classroom environments.
Online teacher professional development is becoming more prevalent as the ability to harness technology to bring teachers and resources together becomes easier. Research is needed, however, to determine the effectiveness of models and to share practices that increase teacher knowledge of content and pedagogy. This study examines how a hybrid professional development model impacted secondary teachers’ implementation of handheld graphing technology through an analysis of the participants’ perceived growth in skill with the technology and their perceived ability to provide support to other teachers using the same technology. Participant surveys as well as follow-up observations and interviews of selected participants indicated an increase in handheld graphing technology use prompted by participation in the professional development workshop.
This study describes a personal science story podcasting assignment that was developed to help preservice teachers reflect on their use of everyday and academic vocabulary in the context of science, as well as how to communicate effectively with their students. Podcasting assignments were collected from 16 elementary education candidates and nine Master of Arts in Teaching candidates. The kinds of personal science stories they wrote were categorized, along with the extent to which they used the podcasts to demonstrate their understandings of the contexts of their students and the relationship between academic and everyday vocabulary.
Social Studies Education
This exploratory study examines the use of 3D technology by teachers and students in four middle school history/social studies classrooms. As part of a university-developed 3D Printing 4 Teaching & Learning project, teachers integrated 3D modeling and printing into curriculum topics in world geography, U.S. history, and government/civics. Multiple sets of data were collected documenting classroom implementation of 3D technology. Seven key insights emerged: Teachers and students initially found it challenging to imagine ways to use 3D printed physical objects to represent social science concepts; students found 3D printing projects were a positive, self-fulfilling way to show their ideas about history topics; teachers and students found the 3D modeling program difficult to use; 3D modeling and printing altered the teacher-as-expert/student-as-novice relationship; 3D modeling and printing changed how teaching and learning happened in history/social studies classrooms; partnering with content and technical experts was an important element of success; and some teachers shifted their thinking about the value of using 3D printing in history/social studies classes. These insights can help facilitate the integration of 3D technologies in history/social studies classrooms.
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.
Instructional technology has become a crucial component of public education. Reflected in the college and career-ready standards being implemented across the United States, an emphasis has been placed on preparing students with both the literacy and technology skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce. Though a growing body of research has studied the theory and best practices for developing students’ disciplinary literacy skills in the high school classroom, research that investigates the ways preservice secondary teachers use instructional technology during their student-teaching internship is an emerging area of study. In this paper the researchers explained how they used the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition framework as a guide for analyzing the ways preservice English and social studies teachers used technology while completing their internship and reported those findings. The article concludes with recommendations for developing preservice teachers’ use of instructional technology during their teacher education program.