English/Language Arts Education

Copying Right and Copying Wrong with Web 2.0 Tools in the Teacher Education and Communications Classrooms

by Ewa McGrail & J. Patrick McGrail
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Understanding the tenets of copyright in general, and in particular, in online communication and publishing with Web 2.0 tools, has become an important part of literacy in today’s Information Age, as well as a cornerstone of free speech and responsible citizenship for the future. Young content creators must be educated about copyright law, their own rights as content creators, and their responsibilities as producers and publishers of content derived from the intellectual property of others. Educators should prepare them for responsible and ethical participation in new forms of creative expression in the Information Age.  The recent integration of video and audio content and the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in the contemporary English language classroom has made this learning environment a particularly appropriate proving ground for the examination of current student practices with respect to intellectual property. This paper describes an approach employed with English education and communications students to prepare them for such a complex subject matter.

Science Education

Making Sure What You See is What You Get: Digital Video Technology and the Preparation of Teachers of Elementary Science

by Paul Bueno de Mesquita, Ross F. Dean & Betty J. Young
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Advances in digital video technology create opportunities for more detailed qualitative analyses of actual teaching practice in science and other subject areas.  User-friendly digital cameras and highly developed, flexible video-analysis software programs have made the tasks of video capture, editing, transcription, and subsequent data analysis more convenient, accurate, and reliable than ever before. Although such technological developments offer a myriad of opportunities for advancements in research and training, especially in the area of preservice science teacher education, a number of technical challenges and unforeseen difficulties may arise when relying on video-based methodologies. If unanticipated, these challenges can compromise the overall integrity of research data and detract from training effectiveness. The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges and opportunities specific to incorporating video technology into the research on preservice science teacher education within the context of relevant literature. Lessons learned from an ongoing longitudinal study of preservice elementary science teachers are discussed, including practical guidelines for use of digital video for research and professional development.

Social Studies Education

Using Digital Primary Sources to Teach Historical Perspective to Preservice Teachers

by Scott M. Waring & Cheryl A. Franklin Torrez
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This article focuses on the use of digital primary sources to teach historical perspective to preservice teachers. Discussed here are the experiences of 90 elementary education majors during their inquiry-based elementary social studies methods course.  A variety of digital primary sources were used to teach historical perspective and to model teaching strategies for use in elementary classrooms.  The preservice teachers indicated that their experiences were positive, that digital sources had great potential for elementary classroom use in providing students with multiple perspectives, and that they gave the teacher an opportunity to make history real, challenge assumptions, and foster inquiry, as well as help the students to understand the content more clearly.


The Impact of and Key Elements for a Successful Virtual Early Field Experience: Lessons Learned From a Case Study

by Lily Compton & Niki Davis
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Virtual schooling, or the practice of offering K-12 courses via distance technologies, has rapidly increased in popularity since its beginning in 1994. Although effective interaction with and support for students in these environments requires a unique set of skills and experiences, teacher education programs rarely include teaching and facilitation competencies for virtual school education. Even less has been offered in terms of virtual field experience. A pilot virtual field experience enabled teacher candidates to observe how a high school science course was taught by an exemplary teacher using blended technologies. Key findings show that the virtual field experience helped to clarify misconceptions, preconceptions, and concerns and led to a better understanding of Virtual School teaching skills and teacher’s role as well as the supportive role of technology. Teacher candidates also reported an increased interest in Virtual School and learning goals at the end of the experience. Five key elements were also identified as contributive to the successful experience. The elements were putting the “virtual” in the virtual early field experience, increasing awareness through external and internal informational gathering methods, including self-paced and guided observation, providing guided hands-on experiential learning, and including on-site observation.

Current Practice

Grounded in Theory: Immersing Preservice Teachers in Technology-Mediated Learning

by Donna DeGennaro
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The integration of technology into preservice teacher education continues to be emphasized as important. The hope is that if future teachers obtain technology skills they will design meaningful technology-mediated learning experiences for their students.  However, gaining technology skills alone does not ensure the ability to envision and employ successful technology-mediated learning designs.  Consequently, teacher education must model the connection between learning and technology.  This paper examines the use of digital stories as a pedagogical tool in two undergraduate educational psychology classes.  The study analyzes a constructivist learning design where technology and learning intertwine.  Affordances and constraints of learning within this design are explored in relation to student experiences.  The analysis includes artifacts such as wikis, storyboards, a questionnaire, and their final digital stories.