Volume 20 Issue 2 
English/Language Arts Education
“I Love This Insight, Mary Kate!”: Social Annotation Across Two ELA Methods Classes
This paper foregrounds sociocultural learning theory and dialogic pedagogy to describe how instructors at two universities, one in the Midwest and one in the mid-South, used a web-based social annotation tool to spark conversations among English language arts methods students who crossed geographic boundaries and invited all students to share their voices and respond thoughtfully and respectfully to others’ ideas. Outcomes of this exploratory exercise include the following: methods students’ inquiries into the potential for social annotation to expand learning beyond traditional classroom walls, instructors’ reflections on student interactions with peers in virtual spaces, and a call for educators to be intentional with the digital tools they choose to employ.
Casting New Light on Adolescent Literacies: Designing Digital Storytelling for Social Justice With Preservice Teachers in an English Language Arts Education Program
This manuscript describes an inquiry into preservice teachers’ (PSTs) experiences composing a digital story around the concept of adolescent literacy as part of an English language arts methods course built on critical literacy and critical inquiry traditions. Part of the assignment was to examine adolescent literacy “in these times,” paying attention to the literacy lives of current adolescents. This inquiry used qualitative methods to gain insight into the ways digital storytelling about literacy might support PSTs to forge new connections with youth. The article reports three key findings about the role and value of including digital storytelling as a required part of an educator preparation program.
Preservice Teachers’ Design of Technology-Enhanced Statistical Tasks
This study examined the characteristics of technology-enhanced statistical tasks written by 75 preservice mathematics teachers who used the ESTEEM project’s curriculum materials. In particular, it investigated the extent to which the tasks incorporated three key aspects related to best practices for teaching statistics: (a) analysis of large, multivariate, real datasets; (b) continual connection to context; and (c) engagement in the statistical investigation cycle. Regarding Key Aspect 1, the results showed that the tasks involved analysis of large (usually between 30 and 200 cases) datasets, with an average of 15 attributes provided per case. The vast majority of the datasets were also real, either from outside sources or collected by the students when the task would be implemented. Concerning Key Aspect 2, most tasks called for students to connect their work to the context from which the data was generated numerous times including during their orientation to the task, their reading of graphs made to display the data, and their interpretation of their analysis. Engagement in multiple phases of the statistical investigation cycle (Key Aspect 3) was asked for in the tasks as well. Hence, the ESTEEM project’s curriculum materials hold promise for supporting new teachers to plan meaningful technology-enhanced statistical tasks.
Electrifying: One Teacher’s Discursive and Instructional Changes Through Engagement in E-Textiles to Teach Science Content
This paper shares findings from the first of its kind quasi-experimental mixed methods study exploring the potential impacts on teacher instruction through engagement with making and e-textiles. Because engagement in hands-on inquiry has demonstrated strong promise for increasing student interest and engagement in STEM careers, finding curricular approaches that engage students in project-based learning remains important. As such, the Maker Movement and making has gained traction as a possible effort to improve such outcomes. This study shares outcomes from analyses of one teacher’s first engagement with teaching eighth-grade science through e-textiles. Four of his classes were taught using his traditional science curriculum while four of his classes were taught with an equivalently designed e-textiles curriculum. Findings indicated that his instruction during e-textiles classes was different in terms of classroom discourse opportunities and engagement. Specifically, students taught in classes with e-textile were afforded more opportunities to engage their own questions with the teacher and engage on a more personal level with him.
Facilitating Student Engagement in Higher Education Through Educational Technology: A Narrative Systematic Review in the Field of Education
Developing, sustaining, and improving student engagement is of vital importance to higher education instructors. Educational technology has been linked to student engagement, and preservice and in-service teachers need to develop information communication and technology (ICT) skills and knowledge to apply them in the classroom as well as to develop ICT skills in students. Thus, further investigation of this link in the field of education is needed. This narrative systematic review is a synthesis of 42 peer-reviewed articles from across four international databases, published between 2007-2016 and is a subset of a larger systematic review. The results indicate that the majority of research has been undertaken within undergraduate preservice teacher education, predominantly in the US, Hong Kong, and the UK, with limited attention given to grounding research in theory. This review found educational technology supports student engagement, with behavioral and affective being the most prevalent dimensions. Social networking tools (SNT), knowledge organization and sharing tools, text-based tools, and website creation tools were the most effective at promoting engagement. However, caution is needed when employing SNT and assessment tools, as they were also more likely to lead to disengagement. Further research is needed on how educational technology affects disengagement, how tools are used in online teacher education programs, and how to effectively integrate SNT in education programs.
Video Reflection Cycles: Providing the Tools Needed to Support Teacher Candidates Toward Understanding, Appreciating, and Enacting Critical Reflection
This qualitative research study examined how teacher candidates’ (TCs) participation in reflection cycles involving recording and viewing video of their teaching practice served to support their development as reflective practitioners. The reflection cycle included viewing and annotating one’s own teaching, receiving peer and instructor dialogic feedback, and synthesizing the feedback to identify strengths, evidence of student (dis)engagement and learning as well as areas for continued professional growth. Analysis of the TCs’ written reflections at the end of each reflection cycle underscored Larrivee’s (2008) assertion that reflection is a complex and interweaving developmental process that is not necessarily linear. The findings highlight the role of teacher educators in supporting TCs to become more critically reflective.