English/Language Arts Education

New Technologies, New Possibilities for the Arts and Multimodality in English Language Arts

by Wendy R. Williams
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This article discusses the arts, multimodality, and new technologies in English language arts. It then turns to the example of the illuminated text—a multimodal book report consisting of animated text, music, and images—to consider how art, multimodality, and technology can work together to support students’ reading of literature and inspire their creativity. Illuminated texts are also discussed in terms of teaching considerations and alignment to Common Core State Standards. This project demonstrates that with new technologies come new possibilities for the arts and multimodality in English language arts.

Mathematics Education

Approximating the Practice of Mathematics Teaching: What Learning Can Web-Based, Multimedia Storyboarding Software Enable?

by Patricio Herbst, Vu-Minh Chieu & Annick Rougee
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This paper builds on Grossman’s notion of approximations of practice as scaled-down opportunities for preservice teachers to learn to teach by doing. The authors propose the use of media rich, collaborative web-authoring tools for preservice teachers to create, complete, or edit scenarios in which they practice particular activities of teaching, such as explaining a mathematics concept or reviewing students’ work. The ways these environments can be used to fit the notion of approximations of practice are described, along with the authors’ experience using the web-based software Depict (in the LessonSketch platform) in the teaching of secondary mathematics methods. This use of multimedia scenarios combines the advantages of visual and video-based approaches to the study of practice with those approaches that ask the preservice teachers to create scenarios (e.g., lesson plays). The value of integrating this storyboarding web software in a larger environment where scenarios can be created collaboratively, annotated, and commented on in forums is presented.

Examining Mathematics Teacher Educators’ Emerging Practices in Online Environments

by Signe Kastberg, Kathleen Lynch-Davis & Beatriz D'Ambrosio
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Teacher professional development and course work using asynchronous online environments seems promising, yet little is known about how mathematics teacher educators (MTEs) develop practices for such spaces. Research has shown that views of learning impact design of online learning spaces, enabling and constraining particular student action. More remains to be examined about the steps being taken to make sense of MTEs’ practices to support learning.  In this paper, facets of MTEs’ struggle to design an asynchronous online environment and enact a practice aligned with a view of learning are explored.

Science Education

Pedagogy for the Connected Science Classroom: Computer Supported Collaborative Science and the Next Generation Science Standards

by Brian J. Foley & John M. Reveles
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The prevalence of computers in the classroom is compelling teachers to develop new instructional skills. This paper provides a theoretical perspective on an innovative pedagogical approach to science teaching that takes advantage of technology to create a connected classroom. In the connected classroom, students collaborate and share ideas in multiple ways producing a record of work that is persistent and accessible via networked-based computing (i.e., “the cloud”). The instruction method, called Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS), uses web-based resources to engage all learners in the collection, analysis, and collaborative interpretation of classroom data that turns hands-on classroom activities into authentic scientific experiences. This paper describes CSCS and how it corresponds to key parts of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Data-Driven Decision Making: Facilitating Teacher Use of Student Data to Inform Classroom Instruction

by Catherine C. Schifter, Uma Natarajan, Diane Jass Ketelhut & Amanda Kirchgessner
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Data-driven decision making is essential in K-12 education today, but teachers often do not know how to make use of extensive data sets. Research shows that teachers are not taught how to use extensive data (i.e., multiple data sets) to reflect on student progress or to differentiate instruction. This paper presents a process used in an National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project to help middle-grade science teachers use elaborate and diverse data from virtual environment game modules designed for assessment of science inquiry. The NSF-funded project dashboard is presented, along with results showing promise for a model of training teachers to use data from the dashboard and data-driven decision making principles, to identify science misunderstandings, and to use the data to design lesson options to address those misunderstandings.

Social Studies Education

Guidelines for Using Technology to Prepare Social Studies Teachers 2014

by David Hicks, John Lee, Michael Berson, Cheryl Bolick & Richard Diem
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The inaugural issue of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education provided a series of guidelines for using digital technology to prepare teachers in the fields of social studies, math, English and science. In this paper, the authors reflect upon, revisit, and rethink the original guidelines for using digital technologies to prepare social studies teachers in an effort to facilitate theoretical and practical discussions that may, once again, serve as a foundation from which to approach the preparation and development of social studies teachers over the next few years.

Current Practice

Effect of Faculty Member’s Use of Twitter as Informal Professional Development During a Preservice Teacher Internship

by Michael Mills
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Educators have increasingly turned to Twitter as a means for receiving professional development and building and sustaining professional learning communities. This paper reports the results of a study of 82 undergraduate preservice teachers and their attitudes regarding Twitter as a medium for informal professional development support during their internships. Preservice teachers were invited to follow a faculty-mediated Twitter account and subsequently reported their willingness to continue using Twitter after their internships. Data from the end of the internships, as well as a follow-up of those continuing to follow the Twitter account 2 years after their internships, were analyzed for trends in acceptance of Twitter as an informal means of professional development support. Findings show that most preservice interns who followed the faculty-mediated Twitter account were inclined to using Twitter after their internships to learn about new classroom strategies and new technologies.