Using Digital Knowledge Maps to Integrate Technology into Pre-Service Teacher Education

Using Digital Knowledge Maps to Integrate Technology into Pre-Service Teacher Education

Ria Hanewald (British Council of Teachers (CfBT), Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4924-8.ch008
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This chapter reports on the fostering of visual literacy skills through the integration of technology, specifically digital knowledge maps into a science communication course for 118 students at an Australian university. The aim of this action research is the enrichment of the existing course by fostering visual literacy and collaboration skills in students and integrating technology (i.e., C-maps tools for digital knowledge mapping) in order to prepare these future science teachers for the demands of the 21st century classroom. A mixed method research approach is employed for the data collection, which consists of three instruments: a survey, interviews, and student-generated artefacts. Findings indicate that students’ feedback on the integration of this technology and visual literacy enrichment experience is by and large positive as it helps them with their effective use of information and communication technologies (Web 2.0 tools) and develop their collaboration and visual literacy skills.
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The integration of technology into university courses to promote collaborative learning and visual literacy can be instigated through differ types of technologies. For science education and science communication, digital knowledge maps offer a technology that enables the visual representation of complex science topics. As the proliferation of Web 2.0 tools such as C-Map increases to promote collaborative, visual learning in tertiary classrooms, it is important to establish how educators use these new technologies to offer students opportunities to gain collaborative and visual literacy skills. In this chapter, action research with an undergraduate cohort is provided to explore the use of digital knowledge mapping with the goal of nurturing visual literacy and collaboration skills while learning the required science content. The integration of new technologies, the impact on teaching and learning and the students’ perceptions of the digital knowledge mapping tool as discussed in this chapter may provide other educators with insights.

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