Information and communication technology has been accepted as a powerful tool that transforms education. The emergence of new and innovative uses of technology provides new approaches to social studies teaching. Many governments have invested vast amounts of money to enhance schools with technology and provide them with Internet access to encourage teachers to use these new approaches. However, numerous barriers still need to be considered carefully when technology is used for teaching and learning purposes. This study investigates the views of Turkish social studies teachers about barriers for technology integration into the teaching-learning process. The authors applied a quantitative survey model and administered a 34-item survey to 171 social studies teachers in Turkey. The findings indicated that the most highly identified barriers were mainly external obstacles, such as a lack of technology, restricted Internet access, and a lack of administrative and technical support. Moreover, findings showed no statistical difference between female and male teachers’ perceived barriers, while they found a statistically significant difference between teachers who attended technology-related professional development and those who did not.
The practice of critical citizenship requires an authentic investigation into issues surrounding the exercise of power in our world. However, while young people increasingly engage with others and with the world through social media, this authentic meeting place has traditionally not been the location of a critical analysis within the context of citizenship. This paper seeks to identify a rational for and develop a process by which social media becomes both a site of contestation and empowerment in the project of critical citizenship. It seeks to place this work of criticality not in a world thrust upon young people, but rather, within the social media world of young people.
The importance of the early field experience in the curriculum of teacher education is often underappreciated. Ostensibly, the early field experience provides teacher candidates with the first opportunity to look closely at teaching and learning from the perspective of a classroom educator. Yet, little is know about what kinds of early field experiences facilitate teacher learning. In this study, the authors examined the use of video representations during an early field experience to advance preservice social studies teachers’ skills as careful observers of classroom practice. Findings suggest that video representations helped preservice teachers in an early field experience isolate elements of teaching and learning; contrast classroom practices with existing beliefs about classroom practice; and prime their situational and pedagogical imaginations.
Integrating unfamiliar technology in the classroom often requires ample technological resources and professional development. However, these resources are often not available. This case study of qualitative data combined with pretest or posttest student data illustrates how one pair of coteachers autonomously planned for and implemented a digital tool for persuasive writing into their fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms without external supports. Findings revealed the decisions teachers made to integrate the tool into their social studies curriculum and what influenced those decisions, implementation, and student outcomes. Within the context of this case study, the authors provide suggestions for teachers to improve student learning when integrating technology in the classroom. Future research is also discussed.