Editorials

From Manuscript to Article: Publishing Educational Technology Research

by Dale S. Niederhauser, Keith Wetzel & Denise L. Lindstrom
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The publishing process is often challenging for new educational technology scholars. This article provides insights into the publication process to help them understand and to increase the chances that their work will be accepted for publication in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. Suggestions for developing a program of research, a description of the peer-review process, a table of potential publication outlets, and examples of correspondence with editors are included to help demystify the process.

English/Language Arts Education

Constructing Critical Literacy Practices Through Technology Tools and Inquiry

by Jamie Myers & Richard Beach
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This article describes how students have made use of technology tools in several critical literacy activities that help to achieve the paramount goals of language and literacy education to enable students to develop critical consciousness and community agency through literacy. The technologies helped students define intertextual connections, pose questions about the basis for meaning, integrate multiple voices and perspectives, and adopt a collaborative inquiry stance. The technology tools include software programs for video editing, hyperlinked knowledge bases, and asynchronous virtual communication. Examples of technology projects are embedded as links in this article.

The Power of a Network Organization: A Model for School-University Collaboration

by Alyson Whyte & Nancy Ellis
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An English language arts methods course developed through a professional teacher network offers many advantages of a professional development school (PDS) but is easier for individual teachers and university instructors to initiate than a PDS. This report describes a writing methods course that an expert National Writing Project (NWP) teacher helped the university course instructor design. It helps preservice teachers synthesize knowledge of school practice from their prior school experience, the system of classroom organization known as Complex Instruction, and NWP knowledge. The designers of the course concluded, on reflection, that elements of the NWP summer invitational institute and the nature of annual review of NWP sites supported ongoing dialogue among the participating secondary school teachers, preservice teachers, and course instructor. Videotaped discussion among a participating preservice teacher, the NWP teacher consultant, and the course instructor; written and graphic work by this preservice teacher; and video and Internet information about Complex Instruction and the NWP are linked to this online article.

Teaching the English Language Arts With Technology: A Critical Approach and Pedagogical Framework

by Carl A. Young
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In order to cultivate the kind of technology literacy in our students called for by leaders in the field, it must simultaneously be cultivated in our teachers. While the literature in the field of English education demonstrates the efficacy of computer technology in writing instruction and addresses its impact on the evolving definition of literacy in the 21st century, it does not provide measured directions for how English teachers might develop technology literacy themselves or specific plans for how they might begin to critically assess the potential that technology might hold for them in enhancing instruction. This article presents a pedagogical framework encompassing the necessary critical mindset in which teachers of the English language arts can begin to conceive their own “best practices” with technology—a framework that is based upon their needs, goals, students, and classrooms, rather than the external pressure to fit random and often decontexualized technology applications into an already complex and full curriculum. To maximize technology’s benefits, educators must develop a heightened, critical view of technology to determine its potential for the classroom. The steps for doing this include:

  1. To recognize the complexity of technology integration and its status in the field.
  2. To recognize and understand the evolving and continuous effect computer, information, and Internet technology has on literacy.
  3. To recognize the importance of creating relevant contexts for effective technology integration by
      • Developing a pedagogical framework.
      • Asking the important questions.
      • Establishing working guidelines.
      • Implementing these strategies while integrating technology.
      • Reflecting on the experience and revisiting these strategies regularly.

Included as part of the article are four brief cases of teachers whose practices demonstrate a critical approach to technology integration.

Mathematics Education

The Graphing Calculator as an Aid to Teaching Algebra

by Robert M. Horton, Judy Storm & William H. Leonard
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Graphing calculators have been used in the mathematics classroom for speed, to leap hurdles, to make connections among representations, and to permit realism through the use of authentic data. In this study, a graphing calculator tutorial provided on the Casio FX1.0 and FX2.0 PLUS models was found to serve a fifth purpose, improving manipulative skills. Specifically, after using the tutorial, students in a beginning college algebra course scored significantly higher on a test on solving linear equations. Results concerning a change in attitudes were tentative, although they suggest that the tutorial also may contribute to improved attitudes.

Creating a Vision for the Standards Using Online Videos in an Elementary Mathematics Methods Course

by Matt Kellogg & Gladis Kersaint
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This paper outlines the efforts of two mathematics teacher educators in their use of online videos to expose their elementary preservice teachers to examples of reform teaching, as espoused by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The online videos provide an excellent source for reflection, and each author shares their different avenues to encourage both discussion and reflection about the practices seen on the videos. Actual student comments about videos they have viewed reveal the motivating and enlightening nature of this delivery method. While several websites provide access to online videos, this paper highlights PBS Mathline (http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/mathline/lessonplans/search_k-2.shtm).

Science Education

Video Analysis Software and the Investigation of the Conservation of Mechanical Energy

by Joel Bryan
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National science and mathematics standards stress the importance of integrating technology use into those fields of study at all levels of education. In order to fulfill these directives, it is necessary to introduce both in-service and preservice teachers to various forms of technology while modeling its appropriate use in investigating “real world” problems and situations. Using the conservation of mechanical energy of a falling and bouncing ball as its context, this paper describes how inexpensive video analysis technology makes possible the investigation of numerous types of motion with detail and precision that would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, without the use of this technology.

Commentary: Considerations in Pedagogy and Assessment in the Use of Computers to Promote Learning About Scientific Models

by Stephen T. Adams
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Although one role of computers in science education is to help students learn specific science concepts, computers are especially intriguing as a vehicle for fostering the development of epistemological knowledge about the nature of scientific knowledge—what it means to “know” in a scientific sense (diSessa, 1985). In this vein, the article by Cullin & Crawford (2003) investigated using computer modeling activities in the curriculum of a science methods course. Their goals, which transcended improving their students’ understanding of specific models, were aimed at improving their students’ appreciation of the nature of scientific modeling in general. This response to their article discusses their findings in relation to considerations pertaining to instruction and assessment in this area. Improving preservice teachers’ understanding of the nature of modeling in science is important in part because it supports a related goal of improving students’ understanding in this area. To further make the case for the value of an understanding of the nature of models in science, and as a complement to Cullin and Crawford’s discussion of teachers’ understanding of models, this response also discusses examples from a study of high school students’ interpretation of a scientific news report involving computer models.

Social Studies Education

Educational Technology as a Tool For Multicultural Democratic Education: The Case of One US History Teacher in an Underresourced High School

by Anand R. Marri
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This case study analyzes the pedagogy of one US history teacher as he prepared students for active and effective citizenship through multicultural democratic education in an underresourced alternative public high school. In particular, the paper examines his practice and focuses on his incorporation of educational technology (the Internet, multimedia technology, and word-processing applications) to achieve his pedagogical goals while teaching in a school with significant technology resource constraints. This study found that through the use of technology his practice stressed critical thinking, critical and multiple perspectives, and data manipulation skills that enable his students to work with information both in and out of school. This paper also encourages educators to proceed with caution in incorporating educational technology to promote multicultural democratic education given the continued existence of the “digital divide” and underresourced schools.

Who Will Use Our Electronic Teacher’s Guide? A Preliminary Analysis of Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge of and Attitudes Toward Issues Surrounding the Holocaust

by Brendan Calandra, Thomas R. Lang & Ann E. Barron
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To ascertain the current status of Holocaust knowledge and attitudes of prospective teachers and to inform the development of a web-based educational resource for teachers of the Holocaust, an exploratory analysis was conducted at a public university in Florida. Data were obtained from prospective teachers (N = 464) who completed a knowledge test, a survey related to bias toward traditionally marginalized groups, and a multicultural affinity scale. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine potential group differences for gender, race, age, and college major. No statistically significant differences were found for the knowledge test or students’ bias toward marginalized groups. On the multicultural affinity scale, statistically significant results were obtained for gender and race. Results from this study can serve to guide the curriculum of teacher education programs as well as the development of resources such as the website, Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust.

 

Using Technology to Motivate Students to Learn Social Studies

by Tina Heafner
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Many teachers struggle with motivating students to learn. This is especially prevalent in social studies classrooms in which students perceive social studies as boring (Schug, Todd, & Berry, 1984; Shaughnessy & Haladyana, 1985). This article advocates the use of technology in social studies as a means to motivate students by engaging students in the learning process with the use of a familiar instructional tool that improves students’ self-efficacy and self-worth. The potential that technology has to motivate students is discussed as it relates to expectancy-value model of motivation which focuses three areas of motivational theory (Pintrich & Schunk, 1996): value (students’ beliefs about the importance or value of a task), expectancy (students’ beliefs about their ability or skill to perform the task), and affective (emotional reactions to the task and self-worth evaluation).

General

Why PT3? An Analysis of the Impact of Educational Technology

by Daniel Kmitta & John Davis
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This paper examines three questions regarding the use of computer technologies and education. The first question addresses the effects of computer technologies on student achievement, the second regards the effects of computer technologies on school climate, and the final question examines the cost efficacy of computer technologies in our nation’s schools. Using the most recent literature reviews, recent studies, and survey research that was not included in the most recent reviews, our synthesis of the data demonstrates an overall positive effect that computers have on student achievement and on the school environment. It also appears that using the latest computer technologies to keep the United States competitive in the global economy is cost effective.

Technology Learning Principles for Preservice and In-service Teacher Education

by Joan Hughes
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This essay presents a vision for technology integration in teacher education that develops teachers into “technology integrationists,” or teachers who thoughtfully choose to integrate technology when it supports students’ subject matter learning. Four principles guide the design of technology learning experiences for preservice and in-service teachers to increase the likelihood that they will become technology integrationists. The principles are (a) connecting technology learning to professional knowledge; (b) privileging subject matter and pedagogical content connections; (c) using technology learning to challenge professional knowledge; and (d) teaching many technologies. The advantages and limitations of using these principles with preservice and in-service teachers are discussed. Future innovations in technology learning approaches in teacher education are outlined.

Double Infusion: Toward a Process of Articulation Between Critical Multicultural Education and Technology Education in a Teacher Preparation Program

by James McShay
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This paper describes the goals of critical multicultural education in the USA and identifies current challenges working to impede its infusion within technology teacher education programs. It offers both technology and multicultural teacher educators a model for infusion of both critical multicultural perspectives and technology into their respective curricula. This model is illustrated with an example that integrated video and Web technologies into a multicultural education course for preservice teachers. This paper calls for faculty members within technology education and critical multicultural education to engage actively in helping prepare students to become culturally responsive and technologically proficient teachers by modeling good practice in critical multicultural education and technology education.

Networked eLearning and Collaborative Knowledge Building: Design and Facilitation

by Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen
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This paper addresses the core goals for educators to stimulate participation across diversity (including life trajectories and culture) and motivate learners to engage in negotiation of meaning and knowledge building dialogue in the processes of networked learning. The paper reports on a Danish masters online course on networked learning for educators that attempted to realize these goals. The participating teacher learned important methods, including moderation, through experience, guided by a teacher educator whose instructional design was based on communities of practice for participants with different backgrounds, cultures, age, and prerequisites in a shared learning endeavor on the Web. The experience supports a twofold foundation for instructional design: the learning theoretical concept of Etienne Wenger (1998) and an orientation toward participant cultures in terms of experiences and competencies, in order to facilitate collaborative knowledge building online.

A Comparison of Online and Face-To-Face Instruction in an Undergraduate Foundations of American Education Course

by Barbara Slater Stern
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This article examines the similarities and differences for one course, Foundations of American Education, when offered in traditional face-to-face and online formats. The data analysis used both qualitative and quantitative measures. Several conclusions were reached: (a) for the course to be effective, the time that must be allotted for online teaching will remain an issue that instructors may struggle with as the workload is significantly higher; (b) for students, a familiarity with their own learning styles and the desire and motivation to shoulder responsibility for online learning will be major factors in their success; (c) while the instructor can, and should, design and monitor the course to ensure that all students are kept on track and participating, student time management and organizational skills will remain of paramount importance; and (d) students with more proficient reading and writing skills will perform better in online classes. Suggestions for further research include focusing on whether or not certain types of courses are more appropriate for online instruction and developing a repertoire of instructional strategies to accommodate a range of learning styles.

The Use of Metaphor and Technology to Enhance the Instructional Planning of Constructivist Lessons

by A. Keith Dils
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This paper describes how a teacher educator used a Computer Applications for Educator’s preservice education course to teach constructivist lesson planning to students who were in the process of planning lessons. It was hypothesized that by providing scaffolding and coaching during the planning process, preservice teachers could be guided to learn to produce constructivist lessons. This type of learning experience follows Vygotsky’s (1978) suggestion that constructivist teaching can be a social activity that involves “problem solving under [teacher] guidance” (p. 86). Because constructivist lesson planning requires creative thought that novice lesson planners often find difficult to do on the spot, the “Interactive Lesson Planner” was developed to provide scaffolding so that students would have speedy access to lesson resources via the Internet ( Holt, 2000; Klein, 1997; Mintrop, 2001). Students were also taught how to post their resulting lessons to the Internet. By doing so, students preserved their efforts so that they may be applied in the future to the student-teaching experience and as a way to market themselves online to potential employers. Because this approach follows John Dewey’s suggestion that the teaching and learning process should attempt to solve real-world problems, it was hypothesized that this would enhance motivation (Dewey, 1916). Seventy-five percent of students taught with this approach successfully applied constructivist lerning theory by completing a constructivist lesson on their own.

A Standards-Based Technology Integration Path at Towson University

by David Wizer & Patricia Ryan
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This article illustrates the path of the College of Education at Towson University to successfully integrate technology within coursework and thereby meet national technology standards. This discussion includes details about specific required instructional technology courses and a faculty development project that supports the ongoing use of technology throughout the teacher education program. A mentor/protégé faculty development model has been employed to assist university and school faculty to gain needed skills and abilities to integrate technology in teaching. A majority of the full-time university faculty has participated in this faculty development with technology process. As an outcome, teacher education students are experiencing widespread use of technology throughout the curriculum, including their internships within partner schools.

Current Practice

Online Mentoring with the Math Forum: A Capstone Experience for Preservice K-8 Teachers in a Mathematics Content Problem-Solving Class

by Mary De Young & Maria G. Fung
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This article describes how the Problem of the Week Environment at the Math Forum online mathematics resource allows K-8 preservice teachers who are enrolled in mathematics content problem solving-classes to experience the process of reading, evaluating, and replying to young problem solvers’ work with thoughtful comments and effective hints. This online project includes the training of college-student mentors, the assignment of problems, and the approval of replies. This article focuses on the twofold purpose of the mentoring project: first, to give preservice teachers a special type of field experience by guiding K-8 students to write better solutions via questions and helpful suggestions; and second, to allow preservice teachers the opportunity to reflect upon the variety and richness of approaches generated by a rich mathematical problem.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Teach with Technology: Getting Past Go in Science and Mathematics

by Julie Thomas & Sandi Cooper
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We are teacher educators (in elementary science and mathematics) who are enthusiastic about technology as a teaching tool – though it is as new to us as it is to our university colleagues. We recently led a United States Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grant project entitled TechLinks. In an effort to encourage peer faculty members to connect methods instruction with current technology initiatives (namely the International Society for Technology Education [ISTE], 2000, and the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], 1997), TechLinks provided faculty fellowships – $1,000 for equipment and materials and a technology assistant who provided just-in-time learning for up to six interested faculty members each year. This development money helped to generate a community of teacher educators who not only began to appreciate the power of teaching with technology but recognized new-found confidence in technology knowledge and skills. As members of this group ourselves, we developed a number of ideas for integrating technology into science and mathematics methods courses. We created a number of course assignments that incorporated technology teaching applications – helping future teachers learn about good science and mathematics teaching methods and new technology tools simultaneously. This article is intended to share examples of successful technology applications with others and to propose the usefulness of the Flick and Bell (2000) guidelines.

Intercultural Technology Education for Preservice Teachers in Namibia and New Jersey

by Hilary Wilder & Todd Malone
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This case study of current practice describes a virtual cross-cultural collaboration in the development of an undergraduate teacher preparation course in educational technology. In an effort to increase the cross-cultural and technological awareness necessary for 21st-century teachers, the authors collaborated on the design and development of an online course that was delivered to preservice teachers in the US and Namibia. All course content was designed as reusable learning objects, with material and assignments being vetted by authors in both Namibia and the US to minimize cultural bias and to ensure relevance and appropriateness for students in both countries. This paper describes design and ethical issues and related decisions during the course development and the first semester of delivery online. During fall 2004 students from William Paterson University in New Jersey and four colleges of education in Windhoek, Rundu, Ongwediva, and Caprivi in Namibia took the course together.

Personal Perspectives: Using Multimedia to Express Cultural Identity

by David Carroll & Joanne Carney
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The Personal Perspectives multimedia project described in this article engages teacher candidates in examining and representing their cultural identity by means of Apple’s iMovie software. This digital storytelling project was developed by the authors, who are instructors in elementary education and instructional technology at a state university whose college of education strongly emphasizes intercultural education. The paper begins with a project overview, then explains how the project is scaffolded in each course—providing downloadable pdf files of task sheets and student work. A discussion follows of the benefits and challenges of a cross-course multimedia project of this type, citing feedback received from students.

Extended Time and Progressive Vision for the Development of Technology-Using Teachers

by Melissa Pierson
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This paper proposes an extended-time, three-course technology integration model that allows preservice teachers adequate time to absorb, reflect about, connect with, and be supported by technology. This course sequence facilitates development of the ability to use technology simultaneously with the development of the skills and knowledge necessary to become an effective teacher. In addition to the cognitive and curricular benefits for extending the amount of time our teacher candidates are exposed to technology for teaching, this paper describes an unexpected advantage in that this course sequence allows us to present educational technology to students through three progressive perspectives, including establishing an initial vision, negotiating a developing vision, and seeking a realistic vision.

Seminal Articles

Technology and the Deep Play of Intercultural Teacher Education: A Reflection on Two Seminal Writings of Clifford Geertz

by Kara Dawson & Richard E. Ferdig
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The selection of a seminal piece on intercultural issues in technology and teacher education was challenging. Researchers interested in the field come from numerous fields of study, including education, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, business, international relations, and communication. The two essays by Cliffort Gertz (1973a, b) discussed in this paper come from the anthropological field to challenge readers with important questions about what it really means to appreciate and model intercultural education. Gertz’s essays established the terms deep play and webs of significance. Two illustrations are provided of how technology can be used in teacher education to address these issues: Reading Classroom Explorer, which is a tool that can be used to promote intercultural appreciation of pedagogical and student diversity; and K-12/university professional development communities. The paper ends with a discussion about culture, teacher education, and educational technology that recognizes the challenges of multiple cultures and the role of thick description to get at such cultures. When this mature intercultural view of educational technology is realized, it is easier to see that the concept of a digital divide is often oversimplified and should be related to processes of adoption and diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 1995) through multiple cultures and intercultures.