English/Language Arts Education

Teaching for Success: Technology and Learning Styles in Preservice Teacher Education

by Pamela Solvie & Engin Sungur
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This study, using mixed methods design research, examined the achievement of third level preservice teachers when advice in the form of text and resources was provided based on students’ identified learning styles. In this study, Kolb’s learning style inventory was used to identify students’ preferred learning style preferences, and an online module was developed to link prepared advice for the completion of course tasks to particular learning style preferences. Advice was provided for grasping and processing stages of the learning cycle and served as a form of scaffolding through coaching provided via the online module. Data sources used to explore the value of advice specific to learning style preferences included student assessment results from the learning style preference advice module, student reflection journals following use of advice software, and student assignment scores. Data analysis indicated positive effects of advice linked to learning style preferences on student achievement.


3-D Computer Animation vs. Live-Action Video:  Differences in Viewers’ Response to Instructional Vignettes

by Dennie Smith, Tim McLaughlin & Irving Brown
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This study explored computer animation vignettes as a replacement for live-action video scenarios of classroom behavior situations previously used as an instructional resource in teacher education courses in classroom management strategies.  The focus of the research was to determine if the embedded behavioral information perceived in a live-action video version of classroom management situations was the same as a 3-D computer animation version of the same content. Preservice teachers (N = 55) were randomly assigned to watch the video or an animated vignette and to complete a questionnaire. The results indicated there were no differences between the groups in identifying the critical behaviors. These findings have significant implications for the development of instructional resources and expanding learning environments to support all levels of teaching and learning.  Rapidly advancing animation technology may offer multiple advantages or viable alternatives to staged actors and static content of live-action video in creating dynamic professional learning experiences.

Current Practice

Five-Picture Charades: A Flexible Model for Technology Training in Digital Media Tools and Teaching Strategies

by Curby Alexander & Thomas C. Hammond
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In this article the authors present Five-Picture Charades, an instructional activity designed to introduce preservice and in-service teachers to the technical and pedagogical uses of digital images in the classroom. Because digital images can be repurposed into several different types of digital media projects, Five-Picture Charades is described as a flexible model for educating teachers about creating and editing digital media. The authors also discuss pedagogical uses of this activity across the content areas, as well as describe ways to relate Five-Picture Charades to lesson planning and curriculum development projects.

Authentic Project-Based Design of Professional Development for Teachers Studying Online and Blended Teaching

by Nicki Dabner, Niki Davis & Pinelopi Zaka
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Online learning and teaching is rapidly increasing in many countries, including high schools in the USA and teacher education worldwide. Online and blended approaches to professional and organizational development are, therefore, becoming essential to enable effective and equitable education. Authentic project-based learning to support the evolution of best practices in online and blended learning in the professional contexts of the students is the current practice shared in this paper. Through a description of our postgraduate course, its pedagogy and student artifacts, its impacts are illustrated in K-12 schools and teacher education within and beyond New Zealand. Authentic online formative assessment is at the core of the pedagogy described.