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MacArthur wrote that past technological innovations e.

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In a Web 2. Lisa Miller suggested that jobs of the future will ask employees to use editing programs e. Clearly, education must prepare students for a changing world.


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In a policy brief, the National Council of Teachers of English recommended that teachers help students:. Rhodes and Robnolt said that students should be able to work across different subject areas, come up with innovative solutions, and read online texts carefully and analytically.

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They will write for various audiences, employing various forms DiVito, Preservice teachers will need our help preparing to teach these skills. Benefits of New Technologies. Technology can offer many benefits to students. According to a policy brief by the National Council of Teachers of English , technology can make learning more interactive, and allowing students to write with computers can lead to longer and more sophisticated pieces. Technology can also provide excellent opportunities for students to publish their work Rocco, , as students connect to real readers around the world Bruce, and go beyond one teacher as the main audience Boardman, Digital storytelling can help students see the world through new lenses.

Technology can be integrated into ELA in a variety of ways. Many new programs are available beyond the word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, photo-editing, and movie-making programs that come standard on many computers. Additionally, students are able to make their own comic strips using sites like Bitstrips and Make Beliefs Comix. Some teachers are using Moodle for class platforms and Edublogs for class blogging Boardman, For those just getting started with technology in ELA, Kajder recommended three relatively easy-to-use assignments: literature circle podcasts, class wikis, and fan fiction.

Hicks and Turner warned teachers against inserting technology in their lessons just to make them seem exciting. Instead, the technology should help students contribute to class discussions and activities and even change the course of what happens in class on a particular day. They found that Twitter made reading more interactive and class activities more responsive to students, which in turn increased student motivation.

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Hinchman and Lalik suggested that it is only fair for teachers to be familiar with the technologies they ask students to use. Teachers should also be open to learning with students. Students have much to offer. New Technologies in Teacher Education. Teacher educators have much to consider when it comes to integrating technology into ELA programs.

Teacher educators should also seek out ways to use technology to connect preservice teachers and secondary students.

Teachers must be prepared to integrate technology into their classrooms in responsible ways. In methods courses, teacher educators can take preservice teachers through the process of designing content objectives and then ask them to consider which tools might best help them achieve these goals. In addition to learning about multiple tools and experiencing them firsthand, preservice teachers need to think through the advantages and disadvantages of the tools they select Swenson et al.

Several resources exist for thinking through the use of technology in the classroom. Young and Bush asked several questions, including the following:. In an ELA methods course, any of these question sets could be used to guide preservice teachers as they think through the use of technology in particular pedagogical situations.

The role of the teacher has changed in the 21st century, and the role of the English educator has changed as well. Preservice teachers will need experiences reading and composing many different kinds of texts. Evaluation needs to be updated as well. Swenson et al. An expanded view of literacy requires a corresponding expansion of ELA goals and assessments. Many resources exist to support the integration of technology into teacher preparation programs. Also, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy features a Text Review Forum column that highlights visual and digital texts, a place to go to learn about new websites, applications, and programs.

In addition, websites are even available now that offer videos of teachers teaching; Sherry and Tremmel discussed several of these sites in detail, including Edutopia , the Gallery of Teaching and Learning , and Teacher Tube. Technology is transforming teacher education. For those seeking to learn more about the integration of technology in teacher education, Swenson recommended attending the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education SITE Conference. Of course, technology brings with it some challenges worth addressing in teacher preparation programs.

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Technology, indeed, is rapidly changing. Another challenge with technology has to do with cost and, therefore, access. Teachers will need to be resourceful, locating free software when necessary Swenson et al. A third obstacle has to do with attitudes toward technology. Teachers may fear they are falling behind, that the generation gap between them and their students is large and growing larger.

However, Lewis and Finders found that this sense of a gap is much more about teacher and student identities, especially in cases where teachers are closer in age to students and use many of the same technologies. Teacher educators can address this issue by helping preservice teachers appreciate the technological knowledge they already have. Teacher educators can also help foster an attitude of open-mindedness and curiosity toward new technologies by giving preservice teachers access to various programs.


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  • Preservice teachers will need time to experience different technologies firsthand, time to evaluate the pedagogical usefulness of these technologies, and time to integrate the best tools into their lesson planning. Illuminated texts are useful in teacher education programs because they demonstrate the power of the arts, multimodality, and new technologies all at once. For a step-by-step guide to creating an illuminated text, see Appendix A. Several excellent examples of illuminated texts are available online.

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    Video 1. Teachers and students post projects all the time. They suggested that multimedia book reviews can increase student interest, encourage students to read more, and motivate teachers to embrace new technology. A form of digital storytelling, illuminated texts create a space where the arts, multimodality, and new technologies meet within ELA.

    Stories are shared in creative ways. Because of these similarities, some of the work on digital storytelling also fits illuminated texts.

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    The illuminated text project is an important assignment for preservice teachers for several reasons. Because the assignment brings together the arts, multimodality, and new technologies, it creates opportunities for discussions about design and aesthetics, the choice of modes for particular audiences and situations, and the possibilities that arise with new technologies.

    This project also inspires creative thinking, problem solving, and collaborative learning. Furthermore, the project aligns well to several Common Core State Standards. I first used the illuminated text project with preservice teachers in my methods of teaching writing course at Arizona State University to demonstrate an example of writing with technology. We viewed some projects that my former secondary students created, talked about techniques they used, and continued our discussion into other ways technology is useful in the secondary ELA classroom. I also provided a handout of teaching suggestions.

    See Appendix B. Looking back upon that semester, I see now that my identity in that course was one of a former high school teacher giving advice to future high school teachers. Rather than providing deep and meaningful learning experiences, I sometimes covered content too quickly, sharing materials that had worked for my secondary students.


    • The Joy Of English: 100 Illuminating Conversations about the English Language.
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    • As Costello and Harste and Albers argued, teacher educators need to do much more. We need to provide opportunities for preservice teachers to engage with the tools students will be asked to use. Keeping this advice in mind, when I taught the course subsequently I completely changed the way I used illuminated texts with preservice teachers.

      The second time I introduced illuminated texts, I had developed three key objectives. I wanted preservice teachers to extrapolate characteristics of illuminated texts by viewing several examples, to gain firsthand experience working with the technology, and to reflect on the usefulness of this assignment for their own students.

      We took these projects one at a time, discussing features of each immediately after viewing them. Preservice teachers seemed impressed by these design elements, and they were surprised to learn that all of this work could be done in a program like PowerPoint. Although PowerPoint was a familiar technology for them, none of them had ever used it in this way. We also talked about the choice of music for this project i. Overall, they said they were impressed that one high school sophomore was able to do so much with this project and that she seemed to have included the key moments from this book by Laurie Halse Anderson.

      By the time we got to the illuminated text of Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Alexie, , preservice teachers seemed to have a good idea of the possibilities and limitations of the various modes that work together in these multimodal projects. We talked about music and how the two students who created this project chose a song with lyrics, something I had advised them not to do but which turned out working really well in this case. I pointed out that the font size used in this project was smaller than in the other projects, but preservice teachers said it was not small enough to bother them.