A Framework for Supporting In-Service Teachers to Use Domain-Specific Technologies for Instruction

A Framework for Supporting In-Service Teachers to Use Domain-Specific Technologies for Instruction

Louise Yarnall (SRI International, USA) and Judith Fusco (SRI International, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8403-4.ch023
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Domain-specific technologies, which are used for analysis, representation, and production in real-world contexts, differ from basic technologies, such as word processing software and Internet search tools. They cannot be used effectively without adequate command of fundamental domain-specific content knowledge. They can be used to deepen students' understanding of content, but these technologies bring distinct classroom-integration challenges. This chapter presents a framework for supporting in-service teachers to integrate these technologies. The research team derived this framework from data collected during an extended TPACK-style (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) workshop that engaged 13 life science community college instructors in integrating bioinformatics technologies into courses. This chapter presents a case study about the challenges community college teachers faced in implementing these tools—and the strategies they used to address them. Challenges included activity translation, problem definition, implementation, and assessment.
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The following section describes past research into basic technology integration and identifies the context factors that drive integration of domain-specific technologies into classrooms, an analysis of the skills needed by teachers to support such integration, and a framework describing the added features needed in current systems for organizing teacher professional development programs around domain-specific technology integration.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Domain-Specific: A class of knowledge that is not likely to be useful or applicable beyond a particular topic or field.

Problem-Based Learning: An instructional approach that engages learners in the process of solving ill-structured problems that are important in real-world contexts. It involves collaboration, free inquiry, research, and application of knowledge. Teachers play the role of a facilitator of learning, not a knowledge provider.

Scenario-Based Learning: A curricular design approach that assigns students a specific role and problem situation, usually drawn from real-world contexts. It involves using resources to support learning while producing an authentic product.

Rapid Prototyping Tools: A set of devices used to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts during the design and testing phases.

Schematic Tools: A class of visual representations used in industry to represent the functional systems of technical and mechanical systems and identify points of malfunction.

Data Analytics: A set of practices that mine information collected about those who use online technologies for information searching, learning, and work.

Data Visualization: A term referring to a set of representations that graphically illustrate underlying patterns and trends in quantitative databases.

Project-Based Learning: An active learning design approach that focuses on engaging students in the creation of a product; learners are often (but not always) provided with specifications, and sometimes even directions and the focus in on the construction of a product within those specifications. The amount of scaffolding involved depends on the learners’ needs.

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