This inaugural issue of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education ( CITE Journal ) appears online in Summer 2000. It is the result of an extended collaboration that began several years ago. In fact, the genesis of the Summer 2000 issue can be traced to a specific event about two years ago.
In April 1998, Linda Roberts, Director of the Office of Educational Technology within the U.S. Department of Education, convened a White House Conference on Technology Training for Teachers . The Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) was among the teacher educator associations invited to develop a position paper for the White House conference. The position paper developed in response to this request, “Statement of Basic Principles and Suggested Actions,” became known as the Ames White Paper , because it was developed at a meeting of the SITE leadership convened at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
The recommendations resulting from the White House conference provided the impetus for the subsequent federal initiative, ” Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology ” (PT3). A PT3 Catalyst grant, referred to as the National Technology Leadership Initiative (NTLI), proposed the implementation of recommendations in the Ames White Paper , including establishment of an interactive, online journal of technology and teacher education. The CITE Journal is the product of that proposal and will provide a national forum for discussion of the scholarly and professional issues related to preparing teachers to appropriately integrate technology in instruction.
The ramifications of electronic publishing are explored in a companion editorial in the inaugural issue, “Setting the Priorities: Electronic Scholarly Publishing for Technology and Teacher Education.” While electronic publishing provides both challenges and opportunities, this aspect of the journal is not its unique feature in the larger frame of reference. The preponderance of scholarly journals is likely to be electronic in the future.
Instead, the most noteworthy aspect of this new journal is that it represents collaboration among five teacher educator professional associations:
Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)
Association for Education of Teachers in Science (AETS)
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE)
National Council of Teachers of English, Conference on English Education (CEE)
National Council of Social Studies College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA)
The convergence of these five associations in a common cause is unprecedented. The journal has four primary sections: Editorial , Current Issues , Current Practice , and Seminal Articles . Each issue will begin with a guest editorial by a leader in the field of technology and teacher education or by one of the journal editors. (In this inaugural issue, the general editors of the journal are using this section to provide background information about the journal.)
The Current Issues section represents the most dramatic departure from a traditional journal format. The CITE Journal’s Current Issues section will include a substantive article in each of the core subject areas. Each of these sections is sponsored by the relevant teacher educator professional association.
AETS Science Education
AMTE Mathematics Education
CEE English Education
CUFA Social Studies Education
SITE General Educational Technology
The five teacher educator associations each have editorial autonomy for their area of the journal, including the right to appoint an editorial board, select reviewers, and accept or reject articles submitted to that section of the journal.
The autonomy that each section’s editors (representing the respective teacher educator associations sponsoring the journal) will have is noteworthy. Section editors are identified on the front page of each content section (e.g., see Math Editors ). The format of publication is also an important scholarly dimension. Each article in the Current Issues section of the journal will be accompanied by commentary from several eminent reviewers. Thus, when a Current Issues paper is published, it will mark the beginning of a conversation about the issues in that paper. The first round of conversation will actually be published in the same issue of the journal. Reviewers’ comments may be positive or negative or may suggest a different approach to the topic.
CITE reviewers thus have a double responsibility to decide which papers should be accepted and to comment on the accepted papers. You, as a reader, also have a double responsibility. As with any journal, you will read the papers that interest you. The additional responsibility is to join the conversation about the paper. If you find a paper interesting and you would like to add something to the discussion, please submit a comment to the editors (through the Submission Screen of this site). The comment should be in a scholarly format. Treat it as a short article, with appropriate citations where needed. When you submit the comment, it will be refereed just as a paper would be.
Commentaries and responses in the journal should be at a relatively high level of scholarship. They are not the equivalent of the informal conversations that take place in the many mailing lists and web discussion forums now operating on the Internet. Lists and discussion forums serve an important function, but the critiques in CITE Journal have a specific purpose to advance and support in-depth discussion of scholarly and professional issues in the field in a moderated, refereed environment. Submissions should advance the conversation (rather than repeating previously noted perspectives) and meet the standards applied to any other published work in the journal.
If it is accepted, your commentary or response will be published in the journal as a separate article with its own citation information. Readers will find it in the table of contents of an issue, and it will be in the “thread” of discussion for a particular paper. Of course, this “scholarly conversation” may continue over an extended period of time, and both the original paper’s author, as well as reviewers and readers, may publish a number of responses as the conversation continues. We think this approach to scholarly communication will provide a way for all of us to explore in depth the vital issues in our field.
The Current Practice section of the CITE Journal follows the Current Issues section. The Current Practice section, as its name implies, is intended to provide a forum for practical insights and information about innovative ways of appropriately integrating technology into the teacher preparation process. This section, which is edited by Dee Anna Willis at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Kara Dawson at the University of Florida and which has its own review board, will publish a wide range of papers reporting both research-based and professional practice-based papers that have immediate practical implications. The papers may describe a particular project, present findings of a research study, introduce a product, process, or curriculum, or provide readers with suggestions about how to successfully implement an innovation. Papers will be welcomed from all teacher education institutions, regardless of size, funding source, or length of degree program.
The Seminal Articles section is the final section of the CITE Journal . Our intent is to highlight previously published timeless articles of lasting interest to those who prepare teachers to use technology in the respective academic disciplines. As a condition for inclusion in this section, the authors and copyright holders must agree that seminal articles republished in the CITE Journal can be used without charge in any teacher preparation course.
The seminal article for the Summer 2000 issue was written by Jerry Willis and appeared in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education ( JTATE ). “Defining a Field: Content, Theory, and Research Issues” appeared in Volume 1, Issue 1 of JTATE and represented an effort to review the emerging field of information technology and teacher education at that time.
Distribution of Responsibilities
Funding for the journal comes from a Department of Education grant to the University of Virginia. The two-year grant, through the PT3 project, will support the creation of the journal’s infrastructure, including special software and the launch of the journal.
The Association for Advancement of Computers in Education (AACE) will serve as publisher of the journal. AACE is currently publisher of eight print-based educational technology journals, including the Journal of Interactive Learning Research , the International Journal of Educational Telecommunications , the Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia , and Webnet Journal: Internet Technologies, Applications, and Issues , among others. AACE also publishes the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. AACE will offer all of the support functions traditionally provided by a publisher for print publications, including copy editing and proofing of published material. AACE will also provide mechanisms for online submission of articles, and will oversee dissemination of submitted articles to appropriate editorial boards.
The University of Virginia Digital Library will provide a permanent archival home for the CITE Journal . University libraries have traditionally served as the curators of printed information. This role has included expertise in preservation of information through storage of rare books and special collections in humidity-controlled environments, and accessibility of information by ensuring that the information is cataloged in a form available to scholars. The format of digital collections is one of the most pressing issues facing libraries today.
Because the technological landscape is changing rapidly, the challenge is to preserve digital information in a form that will be available to future generations. John Unsworth, director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia, frames the problem in this way,
In order for cumulative benefits to accrue, and in order for work to be carried forward across rapidly changing technological terrain, work and funds need to go to designing, managing, and maintaining the data collections themselves. If this issue is not addressed, then you end up with a rapidly decaying html, broken links, etc. Most teaching-oriented web sites don’t aim at permanence, and therefore achieve ephemerality. Research into data development practices is one of the most important strengths of the University of Virginia digital collections.
Over the past decade, the University of Virginia Library has established a number of digital centers including the Electronic Text Center , the Geospatial and Statistical Data Center , the Digital Media Center , and the Special Collections Digital Center. This year the University of Virginia Library established a Digital Library Research and Development Group , charged with long-range planning of digital library architectures, systems, and procedures. No library management system yet exists to handle the range of issues presented by scholarly digital collections. The Digital Library Research and Development group was founded to identify appropriate solutions to these issues. The CITE Journal and the related mission of establishing a technology and teacher education information community have been adopted as pilot projects by the University of Virginia Digital Library group.
The Content of the First Issue
The specific content of the Summer 2000 issue represents the initiation of a conversation among the teacher educator associations collectively sponsoring the CITE Journal . The National Technology Leadership Initiative (NTLI) board, consisting of NTLI representatives and appointees from the five teacher educator professional organizations, first met to discuss establishment of an electronic journal in Reston, Virginia, in December 1999. During this meeting, the guidelines established in the Ames White Paper were discussed
A consensus regarding the need for similar guidelines in each of the content areas represented by the sponsoring teacher educator associations emerged.
Online discussion continued after this initial meeting, followed by a second meeting of the NTLI board held in San Diego in February 2000. The general shape and mission of the CITE Journal took form at this meeting, and agreement was reached that the inaugural issue (which you are now reading) would be used to initiate a discussion about appropriate uses of technology in science education, mathematics education, English education, and social studies education. Although the professional organizations have not yet officially endorsed these guidelines, representatives from each of the organizations contributed to drafting the guidelines appearing in each of the respective sections.
These thoughts represent a beginning point rather than an end. We invite responses for publication in the next issue. Submissions will undergo peer review, and, if accepted, will be published as articles/critical commentaries in their own right. The collective scholarly output and commentary in the Summer and Fall issues will, in turn, serve as the focal point of discussion at a National Technology Leadership Retreat that will be held in fall 2000. The presidents of more than a dozen teacher educator associations will participate in this summit, conferring with representatives from AETS, AMTE, CEE, and CUFA who developed the initial discussion drafts found in this issue.
Outcomes and commentary from the leadership retreat will find their way into subsequent issues of the CITE Journal and will be available for review and critique by members of the professional community. In addition, educational technology strands and/or workshops are being planned for the annual meetings of each of the professional associations represented, providing an opportunity for formal and informal discussion in person.
Opportunities include the potential for links to interactive media with animation, sound, and graphics that can only be represented in static form in a print journal, as well as the potential for establishing an ongoing intellectual discourse centered around a scholarly publication. However, the extent to which the potential benefits of this emerging medium are realized will depend upon interest and participation by the teacher educators who will be affected by the coming technological revolution.
Because the technological landscape is changing rapidly, the challenge is to preserve digital information in a form that will be available to future generations. The depth of dialog and quality of engagement of participating authors will determine whether the content warrants preservation and will be of interest to future generations.