In schools and society, technology has often been viewed as a vehicle for social progress. However, the authors argue that technologies are not neutral and neither are the societies to which they are introduced. Social studies teacher educators should, therefore, prepare teachers and teacher candidates to inquire into technologies with an informed skepticism that can confront problems of democracy within and beyond schools. The editors of the journal call for theoretical and empirical scholarship and responses grounded in, or attending to, media ecology and critical theories so the field might consider impacts on schools, society, and democracy.
Social studies teacher educators must confront the new realities of democratic citizenship education in an era dominated by misinformation and fake news. Using the Teacher Education Technology Competencies (TETCs) as a guide, the authors provide a five-part action plan for situating media literacy within social studies teacher education: connecting media literacy with the purposes of social studies education, exploring the history of fake news in United States history, tracing the history of the field of journalism and journalistic ethics, analyzing contemporary examples of fake news, and developing efficacy working with tools and heuristics for detecting fake news and misinformation. Research suggests that a comprehensive multifaceted approach to media literacy can help students develop civic online reasoning, navigate political bias, and participate in online civic activities. In order for preservice teachers to adopt media literacy as part of their teaching practice, social studies teacher educators must improve their own efficacy navigating social media, news media, and other sources of information, while integrating media literacy regularly into teacher education programs.
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.