This study examined the types of online resources preservice teachers used when planning for their literacy instruction and whether the identified resources are research based. An online survey was distributed to preservice teachers enrolled in a literacy education course. Results reveal that participants (N = 77) use a mix of research-based professional resources, popular search engines, and content-sharing networks. Reasons for use included accessibility and convenience, content variety, visual aesthetics, literacy content, and source credibility. This research has implications for teacher educators and associate teachers, who are often the first to disseminate information to preservice teachers about effective literacy practices.
This paper foregrounds sociocultural learning theory and dialogic pedagogy to describe how instructors at two universities, one in the Midwest and one in the mid-South, used a web-based social annotation tool to spark conversations among English language arts methods students who crossed geographic boundaries and invited all students to share their voices and respond thoughtfully and respectfully to others’ ideas. Outcomes of this exploratory exercise include the following: methods students’ inquiries into the potential for social annotation to expand learning beyond traditional classroom walls, instructors’ reflections on student interactions with peers in virtual spaces, and a call for educators to be intentional with the digital tools they choose to employ.
This manuscript describes an inquiry into preservice teachers’ (PSTs) experiences composing a digital story around the concept of adolescent literacy as part of an English language arts methods course built on critical literacy and critical inquiry traditions. Part of the assignment was to examine adolescent literacy “in these times,” paying attention to the literacy lives of current adolescents. This inquiry used qualitative methods to gain insight into the ways digital storytelling about literacy might support PSTs to forge new connections with youth. The article reports three key findings about the role and value of including digital storytelling as a required part of an educator preparation program.