Preparing Intermediate and Secondary Teachers of Reading Today: Apprenticeship Models with Emerging Tools

Preparing Intermediate and Secondary Teachers of Reading Today: Apprenticeship Models with Emerging Tools

Katie Dredger (Virginia Tech, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4797-8.ch018
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This chapter is a teacher’s toolkit of engaging ideas that use digital technologies in classrooms encouraging students to read, write, and communicate. The innovative approaches, employed by working teachers, include social networking, recording applications, digital photography, word clouds, glogs, slide presentations, and other multimedia tools. This chapter also challenges teacher educators to nurture dispositions of action research and reflection in new teachers so that as tools continue to emerge, teachers will retain a commitment to learning and to consuming with a critical and adventurous spirit.
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While some lament the demise of literacy because of emerging tools, the reality is that our students today read and write out of school more than they ever have (Alvermann & Hinchman, 2012; Hicks, 2009; Kajder, 2010). Students use social networks to catalog their friends and to share their feelings. Adolescents, defined for this chapter as fourth grade to 12th grade (Snow & Biancarosa, 2003), want to have control of their reading and writing spaces. Students today read, write, and communicate in varied and often new ways that involve images, photographs, and invented language that may surprise adults. Teachers need to see these varied ways that students use emerging tools, and bring these out-of-school literacies into a classroom creating what is called a thirdspace, a space where first space (home) and second space (school) are conflated and where cultural and technological knowledge is respected (Moll, 1992; Soja, 1996). Teaching is often discussed in terms of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), which means that knowing the content of a discipline and knowing how to teach that content are distinctly different (Shulman, 1986).

Teacher educators today work with preservice teachers in universities, working to guide the transformation from student to teacher. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), defined as what teachers have to know about their content areas and the ways that technologies can be used to amplify teaching practices within specific areas, implies that educators know which technologies are best suited to their specific disciplines (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). Thus, no longer can teacher candidates take the minimum of one course in technology in order to be ready to work with students today. Instead, emerging technologies must be thoughtfully integrated into the required curricula so that they add value to the course work and conceptual understandings expected of tomorrow’s teachers. As such, dispositions must be developed and nurtured that are forward leaning, encourage reflective practice that is steeped in current literature but also empower teachers to be action researchers with emerging technologies.

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