English/Language Arts Education
As national teacher education and government organizations continue to endorse technology integration in K-12 settings, university doctoral programs in English education face a complex task. They are being called upon to prepare scholars who will contribute meaningfully to the latest corpus of research and also to prepare teacher educators who will be conversant in both traditional academic areas, as well as the cutting edge of the latest technology-enhanced (and frequently media-based) pedagogical and communicative tools. How should doctoral programs prepare students for such complex leadership roles? In answer to this question, this article presents a scenario describing effective technology integration in doctoral English education. It suggests specific ways of integrating technology into the three components of a doctoral English education program: coursework and comprehensive exams, teaching practicum, and research and dissertation.
The preparation of preservice teachers to use technology is one of the most critical issues facing teacher education programs. In response to the growing need for technological literacy, the University of Northern Colorado created a second methods course, Tools and Technology of Secondary Mathematics. The goals of the course include (a) providing students with the opportunity to learn specific technological resources in mathematical contexts, (b) focusing student attention on how and when to use technology appropriately in mathematics classrooms, and (c) giving opportunities for students to apply their knowledge of technology and its uses in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Three example activities are presented to illustrate these instructional goals of the course.
Social Studies Education
With the importance of imagery in our culture and the increasing access to both digital images and the tools used to manipulate them, it is important that social studies teacher educators prepare preservice teachers to provide their students with opportunities to develop a critical lens through which to view images. As we strive to encourage the development of effective citizens, the critical examination of images can be an effective vehicle to help students critically evaluate a variety of sources. This paper examines historic and more recent trends in image manipulation and provides an initial framework for discussing the current issues surrounding photo manipulation in the media. Descriptions are also provided of exercises in image manipulation focused on perspective in the social studies.
This study considers the enrichment of social studies methods through the integration of videoconferencing in a telecollaborative format. The purpose in developing this study was threefold: (a) to describe the perspectives of teacher candidates while participating in a telecollaborative social studies methods course experience, (b) to determine in what manner videoconferencing could enhance a methods course, and (c) to determine if telecollaboration could be successfully and seamlessly integrated within the course. Following a review of the literature, the program is described and teacher candidate perceptions are shared. Findings reveal limitations and challenges for social studies methods instructors. Suggestions for future telecollaborative experiences are provided.
The study examined the role student, teacher/classroom, and school characteristics play on the “digital divide” in access and utilization of various technology tools among elementary school students. Survey data was collected from 1,027 fourth- and fifth-grade students in 48 classrooms in northeastern Ohio. A two-level hierarchical linear model (Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002) was used to examine the extent to which teacher/classroom, school, and home variables can predict the average classroom usage of specific technology tools. Data analysis in this study by specific type of computer tools showed that, in general, students tend to use technology tools for individual/personal practices rather than for instructional activities. Students’ usage of word processing, interactive, and productivity tools was significantly lower in schools located in urban and rural areas than those in suburban communities. The results also indicated that school location, school technological support, and teachers’ beliefs about technology were significant predictors of the classroom student usage-gap of productivity tools between those who have and those who do not have access to computers at home. Teachers’ level of experience was also found to relate significantly to the students’ usage of computer tools.
Many teacher educators lack the skills necessary to model effective technology use in their university courses. An effective faculty development program is critical in addressing this concern. This project focused on the development and implementation of a professional development program to assist faculty members in the integration of technology into courses taken by teacher education students. The article describes the evolution of this program over a 3-year period. During the first year, seven ways were identified to enhance the professional development experience including depth, hands-on practice, project-based approach, modeling, examples, ongoing assessment, and timesavers. These ideas were implemented in the second and third years. The workshop format was found to be an effective professional development tool. However, some faculty members required support beyond the workshops. The third year placed emphasis on addressing the individual needs of faculty members and providing expanded professional development opportunities such as mentoring and professional sharing. As a result of the professional development program, faculty members designed course syllabi that demonstrated technology use, integrated technology into their courses, and became better prepared to meet the challenge of integrating technology to enhance student learning.