English/Language Arts Education

Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions of Technology Supported Literacy Practices

by Donna Wake & Jeff Whittingham
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This study explores teacher education candidates’ perceptions of technologies used to support K-12 student literacy development. Candidates scored each technology based on their impressions of its ability to support student literacy development. They also evaluated their own level of expertise with each piece of technology using a pre-post survey. Technologies included broad-based applications (blogs, wikis, podcasts, and digital storytelling) as well as more specific applications (Prezi, Glogster, and Voicethread). Results indicated an increased knowledge of technologies available to support K-12 student literacy development. In addition, certain technologies were rated as more effective in promoting student literacy development. Data were disaggregated for secondary versus elementary candidate populations.

Mathematics Education

Using Online Error Analysis Items to Support Preservice Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Mathematics

by Patrick McGuire
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This article describes how a free, web-based intelligent tutoring system, (ASSISTment), was used to create online error analysis items for preservice elementary and secondary mathematics teachers. The online error analysis items challenged preservice teachers to analyze, diagnose, and provide targeted instructional remediation intended to help mock students overcome common error patterns and misconceptions. A short description of how the ASSISTment system was used to support follow-up in-class discussions among preservice teachers is provided, as well as suggestions for producing similar online error analysis items in other content areas. Directions for accessing all of the mathematics error analysis problem sets currently available in the ASSISTment system, sample error analysis items and responses, and a rubric for implementing these assignments in mathematics methods classes to support preservice teachers are included at the conclusion of the article.

Science Education

Video of Children as Anchors in an Online Forum for Elementary School Teachers: A Tool for Positioning Oneself as Knowledgeable About Physics

by Lauren Swanson & Danielle Harlow
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The authors investigated how prospective teachers enrolled in an undergraduate physical science course participated in an online forum in which they posted reactions to video episodes of children talking about science. Using Positioning Theory (Harré & Van Langenhove, 1991) as a lens, the authors analyzed 108 online posts from 26 prospective teachers as they completed six prompts from a Unit Task about force. Prospective teachers compared their own current ideas about physics topics to their prior understandings as well as to ideas articulated by the children in the video clips. Additionally, within these posts the prospective teachers positioned themselves as knowledgeable about how physics ideas develop, an important aspect of teaching science. As the prospective teachers wrote about the videos in their online posts, the videos may have served as a point of comparison with which they could document their understanding of physics concepts as well as the process of learning physics.


Teaching With(Out) Technology: Secondary English Teachers and Classroom Technology Use

by Sara Flanagan & Melanie Shoffner
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Technology plays an integral role in the English Language Arts (ELA) classroom today, yet teachers and teacher educators continue to develop understandings of how technology influences pedagogy. This qualitative study explored how and why two ELA teachers used different technologies in the secondary English classroom to plan for and deliver instruction. Analysis revealed that the English teachers, one novice and one experienced teacher, valued integrating technologies into their instruction and experienced similar challenges in that integration. The novice teacher believed that technologies played a primary role and centered her instruction on the available technologies, while the experienced teacher viewed technologies as having a secondary role, choosing to integrating technologies only if they added to her instruction.

Current Practice

Write for Your Life: Developing Digital Literacies and Writing Pedagogy in Teacher Education

by Shartriya Collier, Brian Foley, David Moguel & Ian Barnard
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The need for the effective development of digital literacies pervades every aspect of instruction in contemporary classrooms.  As a result, teacher candidates must be equipped to draw upon a variety of literacies in order to tap into the complex social worlds of their future pupils.  The Write for Your Life Project was designed to strengthen teacher candidates’ skills in both traditional and digital writing literacies through the use of social networks, blogging, texting, online modules and other social media. The project, to a large degree, was structured according to Calkins’ (1994) Writing Workshop Approach.  This process encourages teacher candidates to write daily, devise writing minilessons, use peer conferencing, and publish final pieces.  This article describes the Write for Your Life Project that was piloted in two courses with 45 teacher candidates, shares findings from the implementation process, and makes recommendations for more effectively integrating writing and technology across the content areas in teacher education courses.