This article describes a recent collective case study of English language arts methods students at a large university in the southwestern United States who created literacy-based welcome videos addressed to future students. By crafting “This is my Story” videos, preservice teachers practiced technology implementation with traditionally print-based approaches, integrating multimodal media text creation and biographical narration. Digital autobiographies support preservice teachers’ ability to interrogate their own contexts in ways that prepare them to facilitate diverse literacy communities in which all voices have value. Findings suggest that purposeful applications of technology can help English teacher candidates cultivate literacy identities and hone digital literacies as part of their teacher preparation.
The body of peer-reviewed research investigating literacy preservice teacher education is vast and broadcast widely in a variety of journals. What if there was a single, searchable, interactive platform where the literature was collected and synthesized? How might such a database inform research, practice, and policy? These were the questions faculty and graduate students from a large university in the Southwestern US set out to answer in 2015. Four years later, the authors introduce CITE-ITEL, a Critical, Interactive, Transparent, and Evolving review of literature on Initial Teacher Education in Literacy, an effort toward answering these important questions. The purposes of this paper are to share the methodology guiding the development of CITE-ITEL, to review some of the initial findings from the systematic review of the literature from 2000-2018, to describe the user experience of the CITE-ITEL database, and to propose future possibilities for CITE-ITEL and similar databases.
A model of connected teaching is needed to complement the model of connected learning. This special issue of Contemporary Issues in English Language Arts Teacher Education shares some innovative strategies teacher educators are using to prepare teachers to become connected educators. Each of the articles in this issue engages with the connected learning perspective of technology and education by focusing on an expansive ecology of learning and positioning tools as valuable insofar as they contribute to that ecology.