Bringing the Village to the University Classroom: Uncertainty and Confusion in Teaching School Library Media Students in the Design of Technology Enhanced Instruction

Bringing the Village to the University Classroom: Uncertainty and Confusion in Teaching School Library Media Students in the Design of Technology Enhanced Instruction

Joette Stefl-Mabry (State University of New York Albany, USA), William E.J. Doane (Bennington College, USA) and Michael S. Radlick (Institute for Research on Learning Technology Visions, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-854-4.ch022
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Abstract

This chapter highlights critical lessons learned during the past six years during the development of a capstone graduate educational technology course, teaching School Library Media (SLMS) pre-service students how to develop learner centered, knowledge centered and assessment centered Web-based learning tools; in short, to enable them to become change agents in their educational communities. A large northeastern University has cultivated educational partnerships that bring together University students with their professional, in-service, PreK-12 counterparts to explore issues of technology in education, pedagogy, theory, curriculum, information literacy, assessment, and evaluation. Unlike traditional courses with prepackaged academic assignments, this course engages school library media specialists with real-world teaching and learning situations that are frequently ill-structured, often chaotic, and collaboratively defined by the learning needs of all participants (PreK-12 through university; in-service and pre-service). The strengths and weaknesses of the course are candidly discussed with recommendations for improvement.
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Introduction

The Challenge of Designing Technology Enhanced Instruction

In this chapter, we discuss two aspects of the collaborative design of technology enhanced PreK-12 instruction. First, students at university—both undergraduate and graduate—find it challenging to design appropriate instructional tools using computing technologies that will meet the needs of PreK-12 students, given the dynamic and uncertain learning needs of the intended audience. Second, students at university find it challenging, themselves, to use computing technologies to support their own learning and collaboration processes, sometimes devolving instead into a type of grin and bear it cooperative process.

These issues have importance for the design of teacher training programs and, in particular, for the use of technology in education. One of the few absolutes in education is our awareness that “teachers teach the way they were taught to teach” (Sarason, 2004, p. 72). If we are to expect our future educators to integrate technology tools effectively into the curricula both as an object of study and as a learning tool to support their charges in years to come, then we must work to do the same for our own learning and teaching efforts.

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