English/Language Arts Education
This article describes a recent collective case study of English language arts methods students at a large university in the southwestern United States who created literacy-based welcome videos addressed to future students. By crafting “This is my Story” videos, preservice teachers practiced technology implementation with traditionally print-based approaches, integrating multimodal media text creation and biographical narration. Digital autobiographies support preservice teachers’ ability to interrogate their own contexts in ways that prepare them to facilitate diverse literacy communities in which all voices have value. Findings suggest that purposeful applications of technology can help English teacher candidates cultivate literacy identities and hone digital literacies as part of their teacher preparation.
The body of peer-reviewed research investigating literacy preservice teacher education is vast and broadcast widely in a variety of journals. What if there was a single, searchable, interactive platform where the literature was collected and synthesized? How might such a database inform research, practice, and policy? These were the questions faculty and graduate students from a large university in the Southwestern US set out to answer in 2015. Four years later, the authors introduce CITE-ITEL, a Critical, Interactive, Transparent, and Evolving review of literature on Initial Teacher Education in Literacy, an effort toward answering these important questions. The purposes of this paper are to share the methodology guiding the development of CITE-ITEL, to review some of the initial findings from the systematic review of the literature from 2000-2018, to describe the user experience of the CITE-ITEL database, and to propose future possibilities for CITE-ITEL and similar databases.
The advancement of online technologies in recent years has increased the number of teacher learning opportunities offered in virtual environments. The development of the online medium for educational purposes has raised challenges for organizing and conducting professional development for teachers, especially relative to the ways subject matter disciplinary knowledge may be facilitated in such a medium. Using a survey instrument, data were collected from a national sample of mathematics teacher educators related to the content of their pedagogical practices in online mathematics teacher education. Results highlighted eight dimensions associated with mathematics teacher educators’ decisions when designing and implementing online mathematics teacher professional development or academic courses. Knowledge required for mathematics teacher educators for each dimension of decisions is discussed.
The purpose of this study is to examine reflections of the design process of the Rube Goldberg machines on prospective science teachers’ STEM awareness. A mixed design approach was opted for in this research. Data were obtained using learning diaries and a STEM awareness scale. Quantitative data was analyzed using a paired samples test. Content analysis was also used for dealing with the qualitative data. The results showed that, based on the findings obtained from both forms of data, Rube Goldberg machines have a positive influence on the STEM awareness of prospective science teachers. The prospective science teachers who took part in this research explained that Rube Goldberg machines are particularly effective in learning science concepts related to simple machines, although it was not one of the purposes of this research. Consequently, future research could be conducted to examine the effectiveness of Rube Goldberg machines in learning basic science concepts related to simple machines.
Social Studies Education
In this qualitative study, the authors analyzed the participation of preservice teachers in a discipline specific Twitter chat known as #sschat. Findings indicated that preservice teachers found value in the chat when they shared resources with practicing teachers, had resources shared with them, and built professional networks. However, there were instances when the preservice teachers felt like they contributed little to the chat because they did not have extensive teaching experience. Additionally, the preservice teachers expressed dissatisfaction with using Twitter as a platform for educational related chats. The authors concluded that the utility of such chats outweighs the negatives and provide guidelines that teacher educators should consider before asking their preservice teachers to participate in such spaces.
This article highlights the highly collaborative, multimethod research approach used to develop the Teacher Educator Technology Competencies (TETCs): a specific list of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, developed with input from many teacher educators in the field, to help guide the professional development of teacher educators who strive to be more competent in the integration of technology. The purpose of this article is to describe and critique the sequence of three different collaborative research approaches (crowdsourcing, Delphi, and public comment) used by the TETC research team to gather critical opinions and input from a variety of stakeholders. Researchers who desire large-scale adoption of their research outcomes may consider the multimethod approach described in this article to be useful.
An increasing number of migrant teachers with a foreign teaching degree enter Swedish teacher education to complement their studies to become eligible to teach in Swedish schools. Digital competence is one of the central skills required of teachers in today’s digitized information society. Within teacher education few studies examine how migrant teachers estimate their ability and skills within digital competence. Hence, in the present study, migrant teachers’ digital competence is investigated applying the framework of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK), the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp 2.1), and the Digital Competence of Educators framework (DigCompEdu). A convergent mixed-methods research design was used. The combined datasets consisted of a web survey, focus groups, individual interviews, and reflective texts, which were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The respondents’ initial teacher education was obtained in 57 countries/regions. The findings highlight that migrant teachers’ digital competence is diverse, scoring from both very low to high in TPACK, as well as in DigComp 2.1, from a foundation proficiency level to a highly specialized one. This result implies that further development to enhance migrant teachers’ digital competence must be diversified.
For decades, educators have hoped to integrate geospatial tools into K-12 classrooms but struggled with barriers of time, technology, and curriculum alignment. The authors formed a design partnership with ninth-grade science and social studies teachers in an urban high school in order to conduct teacher professional development while also developing geospatially enabled curricula to enact in their classrooms. This article includes a description of the curriculum design principles and processes, as well as an explanation of the professional development strategies as participants worked should to shoulder in designing engaging classroom instruction to enhance students’ geospatial thinking and reasoning skills. One of the activities presented is an example of the design and development process, and lessons learned from the pilot test implementation are presented. This article may inform similar work with geospatial technologies in teacher professional development and curriculum development.