English/Language Arts Education
This article describes how students have made use of technology tools in several critical literacy activities that help to achieve the paramount goals of language and literacy education to enable students to develop critical consciousness and community agency through literacy. The technologies helped students define intertextual connections, pose questions about the basis for meaning, integrate multiple voices and perspectives, and adopt a collaborative inquiry stance. The technology tools include software programs for video editing, hyperlinked knowledge bases, and asynchronous virtual communication. Examples of technology projects are embedded as links in this article.
National science and mathematics standards stress the importance of integrating technology use into those fields of study at all levels of education. In order to fulfill these directives, it is necessary to introduce both in-service and preservice teachers to various forms of technology while modeling its appropriate use in investigating “real world” problems and situations. Using the conservation of mechanical energy of a falling and bouncing ball as its context, this paper describes how inexpensive video analysis technology makes possible the investigation of numerous types of motion with detail and precision that would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, without the use of this technology.
Social Studies Education
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 article describes how the Problem of the Week Environment at the Math Forum online mathematics resource allows K-8 preservice teachers who are enrolled in mathematics content problem solving-classes to experience the process of reading, evaluating, and replying to young problem solvers’ work with thoughtful comments and effective hints. This online project includes the training of college-student mentors, the assignment of problems, and the approval of replies. This article focuses on the twofold purpose of the mentoring project: first, to give preservice teachers a special type of field experience by guiding K-8 students to write better solutions via questions and helpful suggestions; and second, to allow preservice teachers the opportunity to reflect upon the variety and richness of approaches generated by a rich mathematical problem.
We are teacher educators (in elementary science and mathematics) who are enthusiastic about technology as a teaching tool – though it is as new to us as it is to our university colleagues. We recently led a United States Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grant project entitled TechLinks. In an effort to encourage peer faculty members to connect methods instruction with current technology initiatives (namely the International Society for Technology Education [ISTE], 2000, and the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], 1997), TechLinks provided faculty fellowships – $1,000 for equipment and materials and a technology assistant who provided just-in-time learning for up to six interested faculty members each year. This development money helped to generate a community of teacher educators who not only began to appreciate the power of teaching with technology but recognized new-found confidence in technology knowledge and skills. As members of this group ourselves, we developed a number of ideas for integrating technology into science and mathematics methods courses. We created a number of course assignments that incorporated technology teaching applications – helping future teachers learn about good science and mathematics teaching methods and new technology tools simultaneously. This article is intended to share examples of successful technology applications with others and to propose the usefulness of the Flick and Bell (2000) guidelines.