This article examines the case of the Winston Society, a short-lived wikispace created by a high school English teacher to foster collaborative knowledge-making and social activism among educators. Through an examination of the wiki, questionnaires, and a focal group interview, this paper describes an examination of reasons the Winston Society garnered limited uptake among classroom teachers. Scholarship in new literacy studies is then drawn upon to theorize key issues in the study, including teachers’ discomfort with digital epistemologies and the potential of online affinity spaces and social media to mediate teachers’ professional development, networking, and political activism. The purpose of this paper is to highlight key issues and tensions in this case that may help educators approach Web 2.0 technologies more strategically in other contexts of teacher education.
English/Language Arts Education
Teacher preparation for the 21st century deserves a front-end approach to addressing the use of technology in the learning environment. To study the effect of instructing with technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK), teachers were asked to apply pedagogical, mathematical, and cognitive fidelity to technology used in an instructional unit they were designing. Initial results indicated that teachers were conflicted by a conceptual approach to technology use. Through clarifying and defining pedagogy, mathematics, and cognitive fidelity within the TPACK framework, teachers became more aware of the misuse of instructional technology, what attributes of technology lead to conceptual development, and integration of meaningful technology into instructional units. TPACK, with fidelity carefully defined, creates a research-based model by adding the qualifying features needed to maximize the potential of technology in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to look at the knowledge structures of TPACK and examine them in designing instruction units.
Social Studies Education
In this qualitative case study the authors explored secondary social studies preservice teachers’ abilities to discern the digitized primary resources available to them for historical thinking instruction. The emerging analysis highlights the development of these young teachers’ knowledge and understandings of digitized resources as they relate to historical thinking via a pragmatic meter and their pedagogical content knowledge. Using the teacher cognition scholarship of Shulman (2004), the study suggests that the preservice teachers’ enumerated knowledge sources are vital in tracing teachers’ decisions.
Although the term data-driven decision making (DDDM) is relatively new (Moss, 2007), the underlying concept of DDDM is not. For example, the practices of formative assessment and computer-managed instruction have historically involved the use of student performance data to guide what happens next in the instructional sequence (Morrison, Kemp, & Ross, 2001). Like many of its sister fields, such as knowledge management, DDDM implementation is reliant on technology, but requires many other components to be successful. This article reports on an exploratory study of preservice teachers’ use of a web-based online tool designed to collect and display student level data. A primary purpose of the data displayed is to facilitate just-in-time formative assessment for instructional decision-making. Findings illuminate the barriers to implementing DDDM in actual classroom practice: a confluence of curricular policy as well as technology and teacher heuristics that result in variations in data interpretation that involve issues with both skill and perspective-taking on the data sets. Recommendations for school leaders and teacher educators alike include the need for the coherent alignment of pedagogy, policy, and supports.
Teacher educators are constantly revisiting and revising their teacher education programs. Historically, research, educational policy, and accreditation requirements have been the impetus for renewal in teacher education. For the past 20 years, technology innovation has played an increasingly significant role in rethinking teacher education. This paper discusses recent changes in a social studies teacher education program and the role Web 2.0 tools played in helping to rethink pedagogy.