Source: Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, v27 n.1, p. 4-11 (Fall 2010)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This article discusses the results of a professional development project offered to faculty of Arizona State University’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership.
The goals of this project were two-fold:
(1) to assist instructors with progressing technologies; and
(2) to promote transformation of pedagogy.
These are important considerations for teacher education programs of the 21st century.
Twenty full-time faculty participated in this professional development project.
The participants represented a wide array of teaching education content areas, including early childhood, elementary education, secondary education, and graduate studies.
All the participants had at least three years of K–12 teaching experience.
Through the redesign of an instructional unit to incorporate social networking, instructors experienced positive outcomes.
The following questions guided t the analysis of outcomes of the professional development experience:
- What were instructors’ perceptions of the Web 2.0–infused curriculum project? • How did these curriculum projects address TPACK?
- How did instructors view the impact of their redesigned instructional units on student achievement?
- How did instructors perceive a change in their role as a result of the ERA workshops/activities?
The authors found that through the use of social networking tools, instructors and students were able to provide more feedback to one another as well as communicate more efficiently and effectively. This has implications for the way that teachers and students communicate in and out of the classroom. Because social networking tools allow for greater access and communication, students can receive more immediate and ongoing feedback through their use.
Participants also saw transformations in both their teaching and their content as a result of the integration of Web 2.0 technology. The majority of instructors felt that the incorporation of social networking tools enhanced and increased the quality of student work within their classrooms and saw themselves as more of a facilitator rather than point person when it came to teaching.
Findings suggest that the benefits of integrating social networking tools used in a meaningful way while carefully considering how they fit within specific content areas and teaching methodologies included increased feedback for students and a more student-centered approach to teaching.
These findings may have important implications for teacher education programs that are seeking to prepare teachers to teach in 21st century classrooms.