Challenges for Teacher Education in the Learning Society: Case Studies of Promising Practice

Challenges for Teacher Education in the Learning Society: Case Studies of Promising Practice

Clara Pereira Coutinho (University of Minho, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-788-1.ch023
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In this chapter the author presents the results of a project developed in pre-service and in-service teacher education programs at the Minho University, Braga, Portugal. The main goal of the research was to test the importance of providing technological-rich experiences in teacher education programs as a strategy to promote the integration of technologies in the classroom. As educators in a public university we assume that the failure of ICT integration in Portuguese schools is due to a lack of teacher training in technology-supported pedagogy. We present and discuss a set of principles that we consider essential to understand and sustain the importance of the learning experiences we develop in teacher education programs both for pre-service and in-service teacher education. Different Web 2.0 tools were explored in different contexts and with different pedagogical goals: to build e-portfolios, to enhance cooperation and collaboration among peers, to develop skills in searching, organizing and sharing web resources and to facilitate interaction and communication competencies. Results are presented and discussed in order to infer a set of guidelines for the design of teacher education and training programs regarding the use of ICT in teaching and learning.
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Thinking about the future of training in the knowledge-based society needs to be holistic as learning will become a lifelong activity that cuts across different learning generations and life spheres such as private, public and work. The focus should therefore be not only on traditional formal learning institutions such as schools and universities but it should also embrace other forms of adult education and many forms of informal learning. Learners need to be prepared not only to operate the technology but also for higher-order skills such as knowing and understanding what it means to live in a digitalized and networked society and specially what it means to work in online collaborative teams where information is shared and knowledge collaboratively constructed (Punie & Cabrera, 2006).

The first generation of the Internet had as main characteristic the amount of available information. However, the user’s role in this scenario was only of viewer of what was happening in that particular web page, as he didn’t have authorization to change or edit the content. This stage, that is also called Web 1.0, was very expensive to users, because most services were paid and controlled through licences; the systems were only available to those who could afford online transactions and buy software to create and maintain sites (Anderson, 2007). Along with the changes of paradigm in the internet, a huge and varied online service are now available for several aims and the use of these resources grows as the users produce information, sharing their knowledge through the Internet, in an easy, fast way (Fryer, 2005; Richardson, 2006). Hayman (2007, p.1) defines Web 2.0 tools as “a cluster of web-based technologies services with a social collaboration and sharing component, where the community as a whole contributes, takes control, votes and ranks contents and contributions”.

According to Yuen & Yuen (2008), Web 2.0 applications hold a profound potential in education due to their open nature, ease of use and support for effective collaboration and communication; they change the traditional view of human knowledge and open up more opportunities in teaching and learning. Teachers can use Web 2.0 tools not only to attract students’ attention but to enhance new and varied learning experiences (Ferreira, 2007; Moura, 2007). Today, over several hundreds of the Web 2.0 applications are available and have potentials in education. Some of these tools include: podcasts (i.e., audacity, iTunes), Blogs or Weblogs (i.e., Blogger), wikis (i.e., Mediawiki, PBWiki), social bookmarking tools (i.e.,, social networking tools (i.e., EduSpace, Facebook, MySpace), social media sharing tools (i.e., Flickr, SlideShare, YouTube), virtual 3D community (i.e., Second Life), social library tools (i.e, LibraryThing), customized sites (i.e, Google Pages) and collaborative writing tools (i.e., Google Docs).

Teachers can use internet resources for many pedagogical purposes and learning goals (Alexander, 2006). However recent research shows that, for technologies to be integrated in the classroom, teachers´ need specific training and time to reflect on the importance of using ICT as cognitive tools (Jonassen, 2007), that enhance student´s learning and communication skills (King, 2002). In this article we assume that, without changing teacher education programs in Portugal, there is no chance for technologies to be integrated in the classrooms routines: teachers will continue to teach in traditional ways and students will (rarely) use computers other than for drill and practice exercises and word processing. The key question that motivated the development of the research project started by the authors´ team in 2006, was to verify whether the introduction of a new ICT program with the Web 2.0 tools in pre-service teacher education as well as continuing professional development programs: a) helped students/teachers to embody best practices to create enriched and collaborative learning environments, and b) motivated students/teachers to integrate and use technologies to create, in the classroom, learning opportunities to facilitate the students’ use of technology to learn and communicate.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pre-Service Teacher Education Program: Education programs that prepare student teachers before they have undertaken any teaching for the multiple roles of classroom teacher, school team member, community leader, and education advocate.

Blog: The term blog or weblog refers to a personalised webpage, kept by the author in reverse chronological diary form.

Social Bookmarking: Social Bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public Web site.

ICT Professional Development: ICT skills and knowledge attained for both teacher professional development and career advancement. According to Glatthorn (1995, p. 41) “ Teacher development is the professional growth a teacher achieves as a result of gaining increased experience and examining his or her teaching systematically”.

Wiki: A wiki is a website produced by several authors through a collective work. It allows authors to add, edit or remove contents.

Google Page Creator: Free web-based application that allows the creation of customized Websites.

Google Docs: Free web-based word processor which allows authors to share and collaborate online.

Web 2.0: Hayman’s (2007, p.1) defines Web 2.0 tools as “a cluster of web-based technologies services with a social collaboration and sharing component, where the community as a whole contributes, takes control, votes and ranks contents and contributions”.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Chien Yu, Wei-Chieh Wayne Yu, Chun Fu Lin
Dramatic changes in information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide a powerful force forthe growth of e-learning. E-learning has become... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Learning: What Have We Experienced and Where Do We Go Next?
Chapter 2
Clara Pereira Coutinho, João Batista Bottentuit Jr.
In this chapter the authors analyze issues and ideas regarding the next generation of e-Learning, which is already known as e-Learning 2.0 or social... Sample PDF
From Web to Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 3
Chaka Chaka
This chapter contends that both Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web (the SW) serve as critical enablers for e-learning 2.0. It also maintains that the SW... Sample PDF
E-Learning 2.0: Web 2.0, the Semantic Web and the Power of Collective Intelligence
Chapter 4
Jianxia Du, Yunyan Liu, Robert L. Brown
An online learning community can be a place for vibrant discussions and the sharing of new ideas in a medium where content constantly changes. This... Sample PDF
The Key Elements of Online Learning Communities
Chapter 5
Ke Zhang, Curtis J. Bonk
This chapter reviews the characteristics of learners of different generations. In particular, it compares their differences in terms of learning... Sample PDF
Generational Learners & E-Learning Technologies
Chapter 6
Robin M. Roberts
The relationship between the Digital or Millennium Generation and Web 2.0 is investigated focusing on how post-secondary students just entering... Sample PDF
The Digital Generation and Web 2.0: E-Learning Concern or Media Myth?
Chapter 7
Jeffrey Hsu, Karin Hamilton
Adult learners have a set of specific and unique needs, and are different from traditional college students. Possessing greater maturity, interest... Sample PDF
Adult Learners, E-Learning, and Success: Critical Issues and Challenges in an Adult Hybrid Distance Learning Program
Chapter 8
Dazhi Yang, Jennifer C. Richardson
Past studies indicate that students demonstrate different online interaction styles, which consist of the ways or habits students acquire knowledge... Sample PDF
Online Interaction Styles: Adapting to Active Interaction Styles
Chapter 9
Yuliang Liu
Learner satisfaction and learning is currently a very important topic in online instruction and learning. Blignaut and Trollip (2003) proposed six... Sample PDF
Strategies for Providing Formative Feedback to Maximize Learner Satisfaction and Online Learning
Chapter 10
Bo Kyeong Kim, Youngkyun Baek
Web 2.0 is changing the paradigm of using the Internet which is affecting the e-learning paradigm. In this chapter, e-learning 2.0 and its... Sample PDF
Exploring Ideas and Possibilities of Second Life as an Advanced E-Learning Environment
Chapter 11
Jeannine Hirtle, Samuel Smith
Communities of practice (CoP’s)—much touted and studied as a mechanism for teacher education and professional development—may offer environments for... Sample PDF
When Virtual Communities Click: Transforming Teacher Practice, Transforming Teachers
Chapter 12
Luiz Fernando de Barros Campos
This chapter investigates whether information technology tools typical of Web 2.0 can support Knowledge Management (KM) practices in organizations.... Sample PDF
Could Web 2.0 Technologies Support Knowledge Management in Organizations?
Chapter 13
Colleen Carmean
Anytime and all-the-time access to electronic resources, artifacts and community have changed learning practices in the workplace as surely as it... Sample PDF
E-Learning Design for the Information Workplace
Chapter 14
Paraskevi Mentzelou, Dimitrios Drogidis
The aims of Greek education system is to give to students the ability to develop the required skills, character and values that will enable them to... Sample PDF
The Impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the Greek Educational Community
Chapter 15
Richard Hartshorne, Haya Ajjan, Richard E. Ferdig
In this chapter, the authors provide evidence for the potential of various Web 2.0 applications in higher education through a review of relevant... Sample PDF
Faculty Use and Perceptions of Web 2.0 in Higher Education
Chapter 16
Susanne Markgren, Carrie Eastman, Leah Massar Bloom
In this chapter, the authors explore the role of academic librarians in the e-learning 2.0 environment. Librarians are excellent partners in... Sample PDF
Librarian as Collaborator: Bringing E-Learning 2.0 Into the Classroom by Way of the Library
Chapter 17
Betül C. Özkan
Because of the ways students learn and make sense of world change, higher education institutions try to re-conceptualize this change process and... Sample PDF
Implementing E-Learning in University 2.0: Are Universities Ready for the Digital Age?
Chapter 18
Hsiu-Ting Hung
The focus of the chapter is two-fold: on one hand, it seeks theoretical understanding of literacy as social practice; on the other hand, it explores... Sample PDF
New Literacies in New Times: A Multimodal Approach to Literacy Learning
Chapter 19
Rajani S. Sadasivam, Katie M. Crenshaw, Michael J. Schoen, Raju V. Datla
The e-learning 2.0 transformation of continuing education of healthcare professionals (CE/CME) will be characterized by a fundamental shift from the... Sample PDF
Transforming Continuing Healthcare Education with E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 20
Brian Smith, Peter Reed
The excitement of Web 2.0 and E-learning 2.0 is upon us. As the use of social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools continue to increase... Sample PDF
Mode Neutral: The Pedagogy that Bridges Web 2.0 and e-Learning 2.0
Chapter 21
F. R. Nordengren, Ann M. York
This chapter is a practical overview of both the theoretical, evidence-based research in pedagogy and the anecdotal, experience-based practices of... Sample PDF
Dispatches from the Graduate Classroom: Bringing Theory and Practice to E-Learning
Chapter 22
Kathryn Kennedy, Jeff Boyer, Catherine Cavanaugh, Kara Dawson
Using the theoretical framework of “craft” highlighted by Richard Sennett (2008) in The Craftsman, this chapter focuses on constructionism and the... Sample PDF
Student-Centered Teaching with Constructionist Technology Tools: Preparing 21st Century Teachers
Chapter 23
Clara Pereira Coutinho
In this chapter the author presents the results of a project developed in pre-service and in-service teacher education programs at the Minho... Sample PDF
Challenges for Teacher Education in the Learning Society: Case Studies of Promising Practice
Chapter 24
Pearl Chen
This chapter reviews the current state of theory and practice of experience design and suggests that the notion of experience should be regarded as... Sample PDF
From Memorable to Transformative E-Learning Experiences: Theory and Practice of Experience Design
Chapter 25
Carl Scott, Youmei Liu, Madhuri Kumar
This chapter will examine the relationship between a constructivist teaching approach and online learning experiences in the Virtual Worlds of... Sample PDF
Authentic Learning in Second Life: A Constructivist Model in Course Design
Chapter 26
C. Candace Chou
This study explores student views of various E-Learning tools as teaching and learning media in an online course for pre-service and in-service... Sample PDF
Student Perceptions and Pedagogical Applications of E-Learning Tools in Online Course
Chapter 27
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
Enhancing the substantial interaction in e-learning courses can be a challenge to instructors. The chapter gave an overview of online interaction... Sample PDF
Using Blogfolios to Enhance Interaction in E-Learning Courses
Chapter 28
Priti Srinivas Sajja
Quality of an e-Learning solution depends on its content, services offered by it and technology used. To increase reusability of common learning... Sample PDF
Multi-Tier Knowledge-Based System Accessing Learning Object Repository Using Fuzzy XML
Chapter 29
Ivan Angelov, Sathish Menon, Michael Douma
This chapter outlines central findings from surveys that considered factors that drive online experience as expressed by the three different groups... Sample PDF
Finding Information: Factors that Improve Online Experiences
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