English/Language Arts Education
In this article the four pedagogical components outlined by the New London Group (1996)—situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing, and transformed practice—were used to focus attention on the case studies of three beginning teachers and their use of digital media (particularly the creation of a digital literacy autobiography) in an English language arts methods class and their subsequent and transformed use of digital media with their own students in the classroom. Their shifting perceptions of multiple literacies were explored, as well as how these shifts in thinking helped shape or transform their ideas about teaching and learning language arts. Through the analysis of the three case studies, four persistent themes were identified related to students’ use of digital media both in the program and in their teaching practice. Specifically, these themes focus on the performative, collaborative, and multimodal affordances of digital media, and they tap into the potential for using digital media as “identity texts” in student learning.
University researchers, teacher candidates, language and technology instructors, student learners, and families from diverse backgrounds partnered in an invitational teaching/learning experience—middle school student learners teaching their VIPs (very important persons) how to create stories and construct digital movies with reference to their family history. Prior to a university-based workshop, 2 weeks of structured activities using the Model of Digital Storytelling (Figg, 2005) focused on rich language development, oral history, and movie-making technology in a community-based summer enrichment program designed for underachieving student learners. Teacher candidates facilitated the workshop interaction between student learners and their VIPs. Data sources included interviews, exit surveys, reflective journals, research field notes, and student/parent-created artifacts. All participants were positively impacted through this digital storytelling process. Noted improvement of writing and technical skills, increased motivation due to VIP involvement, and greater awareness of future educational opportunities for student learners were among the key findings of this study.
This paper describes the results of a pilot study conducted in Ireland to examine the effectiveness of an online book review project. The project focused on the production of book reviews by primary school children in the form of digital video. The videos created were uploaded to a password protected website, which was available to the schools involved in the project. A total of six primary schools took part in the project, and children from infant level (4/5 years) up to sixth class (11/12 years) across the schools completed book reviews. The project was carried out over a 6-month period, and almost 100 book reviews were uploaded to the website. The primary aim of this study was to ascertain if and how the concept of online book reviews might be used in Irish classrooms.
This longitudinal study tracks primary participants over 3 years from their last year of university preservice teaching training through their second year of in-service teaching via surveys, interviews, and teaching observations. The study employs a descriptive case study design to examine the transfer of preservice content, pedagogy, and video technology learning into teaching practice. The study places the model case studies within the larger context of analyzed observational and artifact data from 7 years of preservice teachers’ learning about (re)anchored, video-centered engagement.
Social Studies Education
Writing personal narratives provides students with additional techniques for making deeper connections to subject matter. Content-related narrative development offers a departure from the traditional methods of teaching and learning and enables students to construe meaning individually and make deeper connections with subject matter content. By purposefully integrating storytelling into the curriculum, teachers promote academic- and self-efficacy, empowerment, and community-building opportunities and advance their own professional development. The Content-Related Digital Storytelling (CoRDS) model provides teachers with a pedagogical tool that works in concert with other subject matter approaches and allows students to access their analytical and creative faculties to demonstrate understanding or reveal gaps in their knowledge. When creative works that result from the CoRDS process are shared, they become authentic, reusable classroom artifacts.
This study examined teacher-learners’ reflections about the use of video production in their K-12 classrooms for evidence of content learning, the factors facilitating teacher use of video production, and the challenges teachers reported. Findings demonstrated positive content learning outcomes as measured by objective tests, rubrics, and anecdotal evidence. Integrating video production facilitated connections to content, student motivation and engagement, the use of alternative assessment, and shifts in teacher identity. Challenges faced by teachers included issues related to equipment, logistics, and time. The study concludes that video production, when understood as an instructional strategy and not as an object of study, has an important role to play in K-12 content learning.