Technologizing Teaching: Using the WebQuest to Enhance Pre-Service Education

Technologizing Teaching: Using the WebQuest to Enhance Pre-Service Education

Joseph M. Piro (Long Island University, USA) and Nancy Marksbury (Long Island University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0.ch010
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With the continuing shift of instructional media to digital sources occurring in classrooms around the world, the role of technology instruction in the pre-service curriculum of K-12 teachers is acquiring increasing salience. However, barriers to its inclusion continue to exist. In this chapter we focus on a model of hybridity designed to embed technology instruction into pre-service education. This model is known as the WebQuest and involves the development of a technology-driven learning activity that scaffolds the building of skills in content, pedagogy, and technology integration in pre-service teachers. We discuss data from an exploratory project conducted within a class of graduate pre-service teachers experiencing instruction in creating a WebQuest, and offer some preliminary findings. We place these results within a larger perspective of the CFTK and TPACK frameworks and their application to issues germane to pre-service teacher education.
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Introduction And Background To Technology Integration In The Classroom

Technology is dramatically changing the way today’s K-12 students are educated. This rising cybergeneration has unprecedented choices in how to generate, manipulate, obtain, display, and share information. Not only has technology changed the role of students, it has also altered that of their teachers. Instead of acting only as a dispenser of information, today’s teacher must be a change agent and visionary, able to perceive and harness the potential of rapidly developing technology tools and web advances, deciding how to manage these to effectively meet their own needs and that of their students (Angeli & Valanides, 2009; Goktas, Yildirim, & Yildirim, 2009; Wang & Hannafin, 2008).

This role-change for teachers has critical, wide-ranging implications for teacher education because, increasingly, many within and outside the education sector view teacher preparation as the linchpin in maintaining a well-informed, capable, and effective teacher force trained with necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Prominent among the areas that pre-service teacher preparation programs across the United States have been encouraged to improve is technology (NCATE, 2010). Among the many questions these programs must address, one stands out: Can teacher education programs prepare the emerging teacher force to assume an instructional leadership role to accommodate the needs, capabilities, and imaginations of today’s technocentric students?

To begin to answer this, a database grounded by empirical investigations with pre-service teacher education has been accruing and presented some noteworthy findings (Maddux, 2009). For example, studies with undergraduate pre-service teachers have shown that absent specific training in the educational uses of computers, undergraduates (sophomores and juniors) who were described as computer-competent were not any more skillful in designing better technology-infused lessons than freshmen who possessed competent technical skills with no specific training in the educational uses of computers. Following computer training, these sophomores and juniors outperformed freshmen in designing learning activities with computers (Angeli, 2005; Angeli & Valanides, 2005; Valanides & Angeli, 2006, 2008). Speaking to this outcome Angeli and Valanides (2009) asserted that “teacher educators need to explicitly teach how the unique features or affordances of a tool can be used to transform a specific content domain for specific learners, and that teachers need to be explicitly taught about the interactions among technology, content, pedagogy, and learners” (p. 158). Kariuki and Duran (2004) used the innovative concept of an “anchored instructional approach” to restructure technology course learning. Pairing a curriculum development class with an educational computing class, they found that when the curriculum course was used to “anchor” activities in the computing course, the result was more effective and successful when learning about teaching with technology. For even digitally native pre-service teachers, incorporating technology into effective instruction is not a natural extension of technological fluency.

School infrastructures also reflect the continuing inroads made by technology. A report entitled “Teachers’ Use of Technology in U.S. Public Schools, 2009” revealed that 97% percent of teachers had one or more computers located in their classroom, daily, while 54% could bring computers into the classroom. Internet access was available for 93% of computers located in the classroom every day and for 96% of those computers that could be brought into the classroom. The ratio of students to computers in the classroom every day was 5.3 to 1 (Gray, Thomas, & Lewis, 2010).

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Chapter 1
Margaret L. Niess
Technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) is a dynamic lens that describes teacher knowledge required for designing, implementing, and... Sample PDF
Teacher Knowledge for Teaching with Technology: A TPACK Lens
Chapter 2
Matthew J. Koehler, Tae Seob Shin, Punya Mishra
In this chapter we reviewed a wide range of approaches to measure Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). We identified recent... Sample PDF
How Do We Measure TPACK? Let Me Count the Ways
Chapter 3
Thomas C. Hammond, R. Curby Alexander, Alec M. Bodzin
The TPACK framework provides researchers with a robust framework for conducting research on technology integration in authentic environments, i.e.... Sample PDF
Assessment in Authentic Environments: Designing Instruments and Reporting Results from Classroom-Based TPACK Research
Chapter 4
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
In this study, we examine the validity of the Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK) through a systematic review and meta-analysis.... Sample PDF
A Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK): Complexity of Individual Aspects and Their Interactions
Chapter 5
Lynn Bell, Nicole Juersivich, Thomas C. Hammond, Randy L. Bell
Effective teachers across K-12 content areas often use visual representations to promote conceptual understanding, but these static representations... Sample PDF
The TPACK of Dynamic Representations
Chapter 6
Erica C. Boling, Jeanine Beatty
This chapter informs teacher educators and individuals involved in teacher professional development about the tensions that frequently arise when... Sample PDF
Overcoming the Tensions and Challenges of Technology Integration: How Can We Best Support our Teachers?
Chapter 7
John K. Lee, Meghan M. Manfra
To address the myriad effects that emerge from using technology in social studies, we introduce in this chapter the concept of vernaculars to... Sample PDF
TPACK Vernaculars in Social Studies Research
Chapter 8
Stephen J. Pape, Karen E. Irving, Clare V. Bell, Melissa L. Shirley, Douglas T. Owens, Sharilyn Owens, Jonathan D. Bostic, Soon Chun Lee
Classroom Connectivity Technology (CCT) can serve as a tool for creating contexts in which students engage in mathematical thinking leading to... Sample PDF
Principles of Effective Pedagogy within the Context of Connected Classroom Technology: Implications for Teacher Knowledge
Chapter 9
Christopher J. Johnston, Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham
Multiple existing frameworks address aspects of teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics with technology. This study proposes the integration of... Sample PDF
A Model for Examining the Criteria Used by Pre-Service Elementary Teachers in Their Evaluation of Technology for Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 10
Joseph M. Piro, Nancy Marksbury
With the continuing shift of instructional media to digital sources occurring in classrooms around the world, the role of technology instruction in... Sample PDF
Technologizing Teaching: Using the WebQuest to Enhance Pre-Service Education
Chapter 11
Travis K. Miller
This chapter details a theoretical framework for effective implementation and study of technology when used in mathematics education. Based on... Sample PDF
A Theoretical Framework for Implementing Technology for Mathematics Learning
Chapter 12
David A. Slykhuis, Rebecca McNall Krall
In this review of recent literature on the use of technology to teach science content, 143 articles from 8 science education journals were selected... Sample PDF
Successful Implementation of Technology to Teach Science: Research Implications
Chapter 13
Irina Lyublinskaya, Nelly Tournaki
A year-long PD program was provided to four NYC integrated algebra teachers. The PD comprised of teacher authoring of curriculum that incorporated... Sample PDF
The Effects of Teacher Content Authoring on TPACK and on Student Achievement in Algebra: Research on Instruction with the TI-Nspire™ Handheld
Chapter 14
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
This chapter examines issues surrounding the design of research in educational technology and teacher knowledge. The National Research Council... Sample PDF
Making the Grade: Reporting Educational Technology and Teacher Knowledge Research
About the Contributors