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 Putting TPACK on the Radar: A Visual Quantitative Model for Tracking Growth of Essential Teacher Knowledge

by Julien C. Colvin & Ming C. Tomayko
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Since Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) description of technological pedagogical content knowledge (also known as TPACK), scholars have analyzed the various paths preservice and in-service teachers can take to develop their knowledge in each of the subdomains. However, the model of the overall framework can be confusing to teachers, as Venn diagrams are generally used for categorization. Furthermore, no representation of TPACK to date has presented a means to accurately reflect a teacher’s growth in knowledge over time. This paper proposes a visual and quantitative representation of TPACK that will help teachers better understand the TPACK framework and track their growth in the knowledge domains over time. A pilot study was conducted with 24 preservice science and mathematics teachers. Quantitative evidence indicated that an explanation of TPACK using a radar diagram was at least as effective as an explanation using a Venn diagram in terms of these students’ understanding of TPACK. Furthermore, the qualitative evidence supported the assertion that teachers would benefit from a way to track their growth in the essential knowledge areas encompassed by the framework.

Determining Useful Tools for the Flipped Science Education Classroom

by Gregory MacKinnon
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This paper reports the results of a 3-year longitudinal study on the perceived utility of supplying elementary science teacher interns with four asynchronous tools to assist them in creating their first lesson plan of a constructivist nature. The research accessed qualitative and quantitative measures to sample intern reaction to the notion of a flipped classroom. As cited by the Flipped Learning Network (FLN, 2014), “Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.” Of the flipped resources supplied to support the constructivist lesson framework of Driver and Oldham (1986), students found the handbook on formative assessment strategies to be the most helpful. Overall the implementation of the four supplemental resources in a flipped classroom mode culminated in at least 10% better grades on the first lesson plan (over 3 years) by comparison to the 2 years prior to the intervention.

Effect of Faculty Member’s Use of Twitter as Informal Professional Development During a Preservice Teacher Internship

by Michael Mills
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Educators have increasingly turned to Twitter as a means for receiving professional development and building and sustaining professional learning communities. This paper reports the results of a study of 82 undergraduate preservice teachers and their attitudes regarding Twitter as a medium for informal professional development support during their internships. Preservice teachers were invited to follow a faculty-mediated Twitter account and subsequently reported their willingness to continue using Twitter after their internships. Data from the end of the internships, as well as a follow-up of those continuing to follow the Twitter account 2 years after their internships, were analyzed for trends in acceptance of Twitter as an informal means of professional development support. Findings show that most preservice interns who followed the faculty-mediated Twitter account were inclined to using Twitter after their internships to learn about new classroom strategies and new technologies.

New Technologies, New Possibilities for the Arts and Multimodality in English Language Arts

by Wendy R. Williams
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This article discusses the arts, multimodality, and new technologies in English language arts. It then turns to the example of the illuminated text—a multimodal book report consisting of animated text, music, and images—to consider how art, multimodality, and technology can work together to support students’ reading of literature and inspire their creativity. Illuminated texts are also discussed in terms of teaching considerations and alignment to Common Core State Standards. This project demonstrates that with new technologies come new possibilities for the arts and multimodality in English language arts.

Data-Driven Decision Making: Facilitating Teacher Use of Student Data to Inform Classroom Instruction

by Catherine C. Schifter, Uma Natarajan, Diane Jass Ketelhut & Amanda Kirchgessner
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Data-driven decision making is essential in K-12 education today, but teachers often do not know how to make use of extensive data sets. Research shows that teachers are not taught how to use extensive data (i.e., multiple data sets) to reflect on student progress or to differentiate instruction. This paper presents a process used in an National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project to help middle-grade science teachers use elaborate and diverse data from virtual environment game modules designed for assessment of science inquiry. The NSF-funded project dashboard is presented, along with results showing promise for a model of training teachers to use data from the dashboard and data-driven decision making principles, to identify science misunderstandings, and to use the data to design lesson options to address those misunderstandings.

Pedagogy for the Connected Science Classroom: Computer Supported Collaborative Science and the Next Generation Science Standards

by Brian J. Foley & John M. Reveles
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The prevalence of computers in the classroom is compelling teachers to develop new instructional skills. This paper provides a theoretical perspective on an innovative pedagogical approach to science teaching that takes advantage of technology to create a connected classroom. In the connected classroom, students collaborate and share ideas in multiple ways producing a record of work that is persistent and accessible via networked-based computing (i.e., “the cloud”). The instruction method, called Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS), uses web-based resources to engage all learners in the collection, analysis, and collaborative interpretation of classroom data that turns hands-on classroom activities into authentic scientific experiences. This paper describes CSCS and how it corresponds to key parts of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Approximating the Practice of Mathematics Teaching: What Learning Can Web-Based, Multimedia Storyboarding Software Enable?

by Patricio Herbst, Vu-Minh Chieu & Annick Rougee
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This paper builds on Grossman’s notion of approximations of practice as scaled-down opportunities for preservice teachers to learn to teach by doing. The authors propose the use of media rich, collaborative web-authoring tools for preservice teachers to create, complete, or edit scenarios in which they practice particular activities of teaching, such as explaining a mathematics concept or reviewing students’ work. The ways these environments can be used to fit the notion of approximations of practice are described, along with the authors’ experience using the web-based software Depict (in the LessonSketch platform) in the teaching of secondary mathematics methods. This use of multimedia scenarios combines the advantages of visual and video-based approaches to the study of practice with those approaches that ask the preservice teachers to create scenarios (e.g., lesson plays). The value of integrating this storyboarding web software in a larger environment where scenarios can be created collaboratively, annotated, and commented on in forums is presented.

Examining Mathematics Teacher Educators’ Emerging Practices in Online Environments

by Signe Kastberg, Kathleen Lynch-Davis & Beatriz D'Ambrosio
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Teacher professional development and course work using asynchronous online environments seems promising, yet little is known about how mathematics teacher educators (MTEs) develop practices for such spaces. Research has shown that views of learning impact design of online learning spaces, enabling and constraining particular student action. More remains to be examined about the steps being taken to make sense of MTEs’ practices to support learning.  In this paper, facets of MTEs’ struggle to design an asynchronous online environment and enact a practice aligned with a view of learning are explored.

Guidelines for Using Technology to Prepare Social Studies Teachers 2014

by David Hicks, John Lee, Michael Berson, Cheryl Bolick & Richard Diem
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The inaugural issue of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education provided a series of guidelines for using digital technology to prepare teachers in the fields of social studies, math, English and science. In this paper, the authors reflect upon, revisit, and rethink the original guidelines for using digital technologies to prepare social studies teachers in an effort to facilitate theoretical and practical discussions that may, once again, serve as a foundation from which to approach the preparation and development of social studies teachers over the next few years.

Assessment and Collaboration in the Context of the Systematic Design of Blended PBL: A Commentary on An (2013)

by Richard Edwards
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In highlighting the importance of problem-based learning in the development of 21st century skills, An (2013) identified the challenges faced by novice teachers in its implementation and suggested strategies to support them. This commentary explores two aspects mentioned in the article, assessment and the role of collaboration, and argues that they need greater critical consideration if the implementation of problem-based learning is to be effective.  The role digital technologies can play is discussed and some implications for teacher education are considered.

The Second Prototype of the Development of a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Based Instructional Design Model: An Implementation Study in a Technology Integration Course

by Chia-Jung Lee & ChanMin Kim
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This study presents a refined technological pedagogical content knowledge (also known as TPACK) based instructional design model, which was revised using findings from the implementation study of a prior model. The refined model was applied in a technology integration course with 38 preservice teachers. A case study approach was used in this implementation study. Data were collected from the participants’ discussion worksheets and lesson plans, along with associated artifacts and the researchers’ field observation notes. Data analysis results revealed that (a) preservice teachers’ had an entry-level understanding of TPACK through discussions on the meaning of TPACK and evaluations of technology-integrated teaching examples; (b) designing several technology-integrated lesson plans improved preservice teachers’ teaching-related knowledge and facilitated their TPACK learning; and (c) preservice teachers’ use of technology was more teacher centered than student centered. Findings, suggestions, and future research possibilities are also discussed.

Diffusing Innovations: Adoption of Serious Educational Games by K-12 Science Teachers

by David Vallett, Leonard Annetta, Richard Lamb & Brandy Bowling
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Innovation is a term that has become widely used in education; especially as it pertains to technology infusion. Applying the corporate theory of diffusing innovation to educational practice is an innovation in itself. This mixed-methods study examined 38 teachers in a science educational gaming professional development program that provided baseline characteristics about personal technology use and post professional development workshop experiences to ascertain characteristics that align with diffusion of innovation theory and educational game development as a new innovation in current pedagogical practices. The posttest-only design tested correlation (ANOVA) between factors, following scale conversion employing Rasch modeling, using the established Ocean Explorers workshop survey to collect data. Results suggested that while none of the demographic factors were significantly correlated with participant perceptions of the workshop, participants’ perceptions of the presentation of the material were strongly correlated to their perceptions of the opportunities afforded by the workshop and the level of technological pedagogical content knowledge learning that took place. Frequencies of response ranges from the survey, for each scale, were paired with qualitative data to propose a fit to Rogers’ innovation adoption curve and provide a richer description of participant perceptions. Additionally, the findings from this study serve as a framework for professional development of innovative educational technologies for subsequent studies.

Transforming the History Curriculum With Geospatial Tools

by Thomas Hammond
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Martorella’s “sleeping giant” is awakening via geospatial tools. As this technology is adopted, it will transform the history curriculum in three ways: deepening curricular content, making conceptual frameworks more prominent, and increasing connections to local history. These changes may not be profound and they may not be sudden, but they will come as geospatial technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous and easy to use. Each of these three predicted transformations is described and illustrated, and implications for teacher education programs are addressed.

The Student Writing Archive Project (SWAP): Designing a Searchable Database of Student Writing and Teacher Commentary for English Teacher Preparation Courses

by Michael B. Sherry
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Teacher candidates have few opportunities during their teacher preparation coursework to investigate practices associated with eliciting and responding to student writing. This article describes an attempt to address this problem with a searchable online digital archive of student writing, with and without teachers’ written feedback, as well as other instructional materials from elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms in diverse linguistic/geographic regions of the country. The archive also includes interviews with teachers about their approaches to teaching writing, especially the principles and practices that inform their responses to student work. The design of the archive is described, along with three broad paths through the archive, which were created by the author. These paths provide opportunities for instructors of English teaching methods courses, writing pedagogies courses, and linguistics courses to investigate with teacher candidates issues that are commonly addressed in those three types of courses, like modeling writing, machine scoring, and responding with sensitivity to writers who are English language learners.

The Role of Technology in Supporting Students’ Mathematical Thinking: Extending the Metaphors of Amplifier and Reorganizer

by Milan Sherman
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The use of instructional technology in secondary mathematics education has proliferated in the last decade, and students’ mathematical thinking and reasoning has received more attention during this time as well.  However, few studies have investigated the role of instructional technology in supporting students’ mathematical thinking.  In this study, the implementation of 63 mathematical tasks was documented in three secondary and one middle school mathematics classroom, and the Mathematical Tasks Framework (Stein & Smith, 1998) was used to correlate the cognitive demand of mathematical tasks with the use of technology as an amplifier or reorganizer of students’ mental activity (Pea, 1985, 1987).  Results indicate that the use of technology generally aligned with teachers’ current practice in terms of the distribution of low- and high-level tasks enacted in their classrooms. However, the use of technology as a reorganizer of students’ thinking was strongly correlated with these teachers’ attempts to engage their students with high-level tasks.  The distinction between using technology as an amplifier or a reorganizer is refined and extended through its application at the grain size of mathematical tasks, and implications for mathematics teacher education are discussed.