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Investigating computer-supported collaborative learning and critical inquiry : a case study of the seeds… Zhang, Tianyi 2005

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I N V E S T I G A T I N G C O M P U T E R - S U P P O R T E D C O L L A B O R A T I V E L E A R N I N G A N D C R I T I C A L I N Q U I R Y : A C A S E S T U D Y O F T H E S E E D S O F P O S S I B I L I T Y -I N T E G R A T I N G I N F O R M A T I O N A N D C O M M U N I C A T I O N T E C H N O L O G I E S P R O J E C T IN T H E T W O - Y E A R E L E M E N T A R Y T E A C H E R E D U C A T I O N P R O G R A M A T T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A by T I A N Y I Z H A N G B . A . Nanjing Normal University, 2003 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R O F A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S {^Technology Studies Education^ T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A August 2005 © Tianyi Zhang, 2005 Abstract The central question in this thesis is: what were, i f any, the relations, tensions, and contradictions that occurred when critical inquiry and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning ( C S C L ) were introduced to enhance Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy in the Two-Year Elementary Teacher Education Program ( T Y E T E P ) course of study at the University of British Columbia (UBC) . The study was guided methodologically using discourse analysis and case study and it was focused on the development of (ICT) literacy within two core courses (Principles o f Teaching and Communication). The data were analyzed in light of contemporary educational issues identified from the overall teacher education program at U B C and a literature review of ICT perspectives, practices, and policies within Canada, British Columbia, and more generally North America. The preliminary findings were based on empirical research I collected and indicated that collaborative learning, critical inquiry and the concept of learning spaces were enhanced when ICT was integrated into the T Y E T E P . Some social and infrastructure problems were found as tensions during the program. Insufficient ICT hard infrastructure as well as teachers' and students' low attitude towards the integration of ICT were found to contradict the literature review. This thesis reports on one line of research from a more comprehensive research project called "Seeds of Possibility: Integration Information and Communication Technologies." Seeds of Possibility was a pilot program with a research objective that examined how over the course of several years' teacher education students can enhance their ICT literacy and fluency as they engage in using ICT through their program. i i i Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents • iii List of Tables v i List of Figures v i i List of Abbreviations.... v i i i Acknowledgements ix Chapter I Introduction 1 Background of the Problem 3 Method 6 Discourse Analysis 7 Case Study 8 Research Setting and Participants 9 Data Collection 10 Synopsis of Chapters 11 Chapter 2 Research Background 12 Learning Spaces 12 From Face-to-Face Classrooms to Online and Distance Education 13 A n Interpretation — Hidden Issues o f Using Computers in Classrooms 16 Critical Inquiry — Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy 18 Critical Theory 19 Critical Pedagogy and Teacher Education 19 Critical Inquiry 23 Critical Inquiry and Learning Spaces 24 Collaborative Learning and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning 28 Collaborative Learning (CL) 28 Two Approaches to C S C L 31 Chapter 3 ICT and Teacher Education 34 Introduction 34 Education in Canada ; 36 Public Education 38 Postsecondary Education (Colleges & Universities) 39 Private Schools & Career Colleges 39 Home Schooling 39 Special Needs Students 40 The National Wide Pol l and Surveys—The use of ICT in Canadian schools 40 ICT Infrastructure in British Columbia 48 Teacher Education Program in B C - 5 4 University o f Victoria ( U V I C ) 54 Simon Fraser University (SFU) 55 Thompson Rivers University (TRU) 55 The University of British Columbia ( U B C ) 55 Chapter 4 CSCL, Critical Inquiry, and Learning Spaces in Seeds Program. 58 Two-Year Elementary Teacher Education Program ( T Y E T E P ) 58 Seeds of Possibility 63 Description and Analysis of Seeds Program 65 Pre Surveys 65 Module 1—A Transition to Module 2 68 Module 2-Inquiry 74 Module 3-Assesment 97 Summary 99 Chapter 5 Summary and Suggestion 100 Relations 100 Learning Spaces 101 Critical Inquiry and Pedagogy 102 Computer Supported Collaborative Learning , 103 Tensions.. 105 Contradictions 106 Significance 108 Future Study 108 Dimensions o f ICT and C S C L 110 The Role of Teachers 110 The Role of Students 111 Conclusion 112 References 114 Appendix A Program Schedule 122 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group A 123 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group B 124 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group C 125 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group D 126 Appendix C Pre Survey 127 Appendix D Post Survey 131 Appendix E Consent Form 137 List of Tables Table 1 Average number of computers and students per school, school year 2003/04.. .43 Table 2: Average number of Internet-connected computers and students per school, school year 2003/04 45 Table 3: Monthly ICT technical support time per computer, school year 2003/04 46 Table 4: Connectedness, school year 2003/04 46 Table 5: Strategies to help teacher learn how to use ICT, school year 2003/04 47 vn List of Figures Figure 1: Student-to-computer ratio by school characteristics (median) 43 Figure 2: Student-to-computer ratio by provinces/territories (median) 44 Figure 3 Teacher Education Program at U B C 56 Figure 4: Elementary Cohorts at U B C 2004/05 59 Figure 5: Teacher Education Office (TEO) 60 Figure 6: Two year Elementary Teacher Education Program ( T Y E T E P ) Overview 61 Figure 7: Courses Offered During T Y E T E P . 62 v i i i List of Abbreviations BEd: Bachelor of Education BC: British Columbia CAI: Computer Assisted Instruction CL: Collaborative Learning CMS: Computer and Media Services CWL: Campus Wide Login CSCL: Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning CSCW: Computer-Supported Collaborative Work CUST: Curriculum Studies J FOE: Faculty o f Education ICT: Information and Communication Technology ICTSS: The Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey ITS: Intelligent Tutoring Systems NLS: oN-line System ODE: Online Distance Education PISA: Programme for International Student Assessment SFU: Simon Fraser University TEO: Teacher Education Office TEP: Teacher Education Program TES: Teacher Education Students UBC: University o f Brit ish Columbia UVIC: University of Victoria TYETEP: Two-Year Elementary Teacher Education Program TRU: Thompson Rivers University ix Acknowledgements The completion of this thesis in such a short time was not a solo effort. Many people deserve my heartfelt thanks. M y committee members Dr. Don Krug, Dr. Stephen Petrina Dr. E . Wayne Ross and Dr. Samson Madera Nashon have provided an incredible level of understanding, support and advice. M y greatest appreciation is to Dr. Don Krug, who not only created an opportunity for me to participate in the research but also provided me with valuable information. I owe a great deal of thanks to Richard Beaudry and Deb Vanstone for providing me with valuable information they have collected from the research. I am also extremely grateful to Laurel Tien, and Hedieh Najafi for their contribution and support during the research. Last but not the least, I would like to thank my parents back in China from the bottom of my heart. Their greatest support and love means a lot to me. 1 Chapter I Introduction In Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom, Cuban (2001) contended that schools need to be reformed through the use o f new technologies. New technologies refer to the hard infrastructure, such as computers, software applications, and other equipment, as well as the soft infrastructure or the technical support of all equipment and the professional development of teachers and administrators (Cuban, 2001, p. 12). In this thesis, I w i l l group hard and soft infrastructure under the heading of information and communication technologies (ICT) and focus my investigation primarily on the use of ICT in the professional development of pre-service teacher educators. ICT is widely used in school settings across North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia . In a regional case study that examined the use of ICT in 12 schools within the Silicon Val ley area o f the United States, including Stanford University, Cuban (2001) unexpectedly found that even with the abundant availability of hard infrastructure and the growing support of soft infrastructure, "students and teachers use[d] computers and other technologies more at home than at school" (Cuban, 2001, p. 177). Even for the small percentage of teachers who used ICT seriously or occasionally, most "maintained] existing classroom practices rather than alter customary practices" (Cuban, 2001, p. 177). If computers have also been oversold in Canada, what is being done through teacher education programs so that ICT is not being underused? I have focused this case study on the development of ICT literacy within one cohort of the teacher education program (TEP) at the University o f British Columbia. The data were analyzed in light of contemporary educational issues identified from a 2 literature review of ICT perspectives, practices, and policies within Canada, British Columbia, and more specifically the overall teacher education program at U B C . I was drawn to conduct this research because the study of relations among conditions in the teacher education program, collaborative learning, and ICT are increasingly becoming important areas of investigation for researchers and educators. However, most research on these topics has been done at primary and secondary school levels (Gokhale, 1995). From my review of literature, I found that more empirical research is needed at institutions of higher education, especially in the areas of computer supported collaborative learning ( C S C L ) and teacher education that critically examines the role of ICT literacy with regards to its influence on the development of student learning. ICT literacy refers to a teacher's competency and confidence in using technologies (Becker, 2000; Wray, Medwell , & Fox, 2000; Petrina, 2000; Laferriere et al., 2001; Krug, 2002a; Zhao et al., 2002; Irvine, Mappin, & Code, 2003; Krug, 2004). Throughout this research it was defined as the skills and knowledge teachers and students need to use ICT to improve learning, productivity, and performance ( U S D E , 1996; Irvine, & Montgomerie, 2001). Zhao et al. (2002) contended, a teacher's ICTli teracy was a key factor in effectively using ICT in teaching and could be acquired through self-directed learning, teacher education programs, professional development education, and daily interactions within their own classroom settings. This thesis w i l l report on one line of research from a more comprehensive pilot research project called "Seeds of Possibility—Integration Information and Communication Technologies into the Two Year Teacher Education Program." The 3 Seeds of Possibility research objective examined how over the course of several years, teacher education students can enhance their ICT literacy and fluency as they engage in using ICT and critical inquiry through their program of study. In this thesis, I reported on how students benefited and were limited from engaging in a course of study during their teacher education program that simulated the use of ICT within collaborative learning spaces. I w i l l describe, analyze, and interpret these pedagogical and computer supported collaborative learning ( C S C L ) processes and provide some educational contextual background to examine these issues within broader educational perspectives. I am also aware, however, of the limitations of this case study in relationship to any broader view for generalizing about the development of ICT literacy within the full teacher education program at U B C . This study only investigated the preliminary development of ICT literacy in the Seeds of Possibility project within the Two Year Elementary Teacher Education Program ( T Y E T E P ) at U B C . Sti l l , these preliminary findings based on the empirical research I collected are significant in that they support current research that the effectiveness of ICT in teacher education lies in developing the teachers' comfort and confidence with applying ICT within their own existing pedagogical knowledge. Background of the Problem In chapter 2,1 discussed a broad range of ideas and issues in detail that informed my journey in completing this research. Briefly, the literature indicated that more empirical research is needed regarding ICT literacy in Canada at institutions of higher 4 education. According to Lehtinen, et al. (2004), education in the future w i l l need to prepare students to participate in a networked information society, which regards knowledge as the most critical resource for social and economic development. Some researchers speculate that computer-supported collaborative learning ( C S C L ) is one of the most promising innovations, along with online distance education (ODE) , for improving teaching and learning through educational settings. Brown (2005) described a multitude of variables in the creation of virtual learning spaces. One of the key variables was the specific environment where cultural conditions became integrated with past educational traditions and emerging forms o f ICT. Brown (2005) suggested that i f ICT is to be beneficial for learning, teachers w i l l need to be aware of how it can be used for teaching within various forms of face-to-face, mixed-mode (hybrid), and online distance education learning spaces. The inclusion of ICT within educational settings has its own unique historical and social contexts that should not be ignored or separated from an examination of educational theories and philosophies of pedagogy. There are contextual conditions that create relations among ICT, collaboration, pedagogy, and learning spaces in educational settings. In Chapter 2,1 argued that a re-examination of ICT literacy, in light of contemporary research, can perhaps deepen one's understanding of related issues and perspectives. I identified some significant ICT literacy issues around critical inquiry that have not been systematically researched in the past. Critical inquiry is used in this thesis as a method of research drawing methodologically from some of the past cultural work in critical theory and critical pedagogy. I examined the complexity of cultural conditions with regards to collaboration 5 and analyzed these social relationships through relations, tensions, and contradictions associated with the Seeds of Possibility Project specifically. Nevertheless, this research was based on critical theory and critical pedagogy eventhough I did not explicitly examine any one or combination of social category systems such as: age, ability, gender, race, etc.. I acknowledge that these social category systems are extremely important, however contemporary research has indicated that they are also dynamic, fluid, and complex and should not be viewed in isolation such as they were in some past work in critical theory and critical pedagogy. This research does not avoid these issues, but I have choosen to critically examine other important cultural conditions associated with collaboration (social relations), ICT, and pedagogy. Through this research, I examined how a computer supported collaborative learning space can potentially create a safe and democratic environment for active participation. McLaren (1988) stated that the goal of critical pedagogy is to "empower students to intervene in their own self-formation and to transform the oppressive features of the wider society to make such an intervention" (cited in Frechette, 2002, p. 1). He called for classrooms that provide safe spaces for authentic participation (Frechette, 2002). I discussed these results with regards to some of the current research in the use of ICT for supporting collaborative learning in schools (Dillenbourg et al, 2001, cited in Lipponen & Lall imo 2004). I w i l l contend that the teacher education program at U B C might benefit from adopting McLaren 's (1999) notion of a "critical pedagogy o f space" philosophy that puts into practice the development of ICT literacy based on using C S C L and critical inquiry to create a safe and democratic environment for the active participation of T E S (cited in Morgan, 2000). 6 Method This study was guided methodologically using discourse analysis and case study to examine the use of ICT in the T Y E T E P . I used discourse analysis and case study to adopt particular methods for the research. Here I also want to acknowledge that an important presupposition underpinning my selection of a case study approach was that I believe research cannot be understood outside of its contextual conditions. Data for this research was continuously checked against the views of research participants and fellow researchers in the larger pilot study. The aim of this thesis was to critically examine ideas of C S C L and critical inquiry and identify relationships between these ideas along with related issues of ICT literacy within the T Y E T E P course of study. In this regard the research served to generate new hypotheses and not to validate or prove a proposition. ^ Research Objectives The case study objectives were to: 1) Identify the need for introducing ICT literacy into the T E P course of study generally and the 2-year elementary T E P specifically based on a thorough review o f educational literature and theory. 2) Describe and analyze relations, tensions, and contradictions that occurred when pedagogy and C S C L were introduced to enhance ICT literacy in the T E P course of study. 7 Discourse Analysis Discourses connect the historical, social, and contextual conditions where issues are produced, circulated and negotiated by people with particular interests. Educational discourses influence teachers' curriculum positions and practices (Krug & Cohen-Evron, 2000). Sassevile (2004) wrote that " A discourse . . . does not exist alone... It's ideological content and form are interwoven and related to other discourses present in society" (pp. 6-7). "Discourse analysis can be characterized as a way of approaching and thinking about a problem" ("Discourse Analysis", 2005, p. 1). It does not provide a tangible answer to a specific problem as claimed by most scientific researchers, but enables one to understand the ontological and epistemological contexts of an issue, statement, or research that is involved. For the purpose of this thesis it allowed me to examine the specific uses of ICT literacy and the broad contextual conditions of this specific teacher education program. Furthermore, it provided me with a means to analyze people's various perspectives in connection to a broader picture of educational technologies in order to interpret the relations of some issues ("Discourse Analysis", 2005). For this thesis, .. .the purpose of discourse analysis is [was] not to provide definite answers, but to expand our personal horizons and make us realize our own shortcomings and unacknowledged agendas/motivations-as well as that of others.. .The contribution of the discourse analysis is [was] the application of critical thought to social situations and the unveiling of hidden politics within the socially dominant as well as other discourses, and insight knowledge based on continuous debate and argumentation ("Discourse Analysis", 2005, p. 2). 8 I selected discourse analysis to examine the relationships o f learning spaces designed using C S C L and critical inquiry. In Chapter 4 and Chapter 5,1 w i l l identify and discuss emerging ICT literacy issues and reveal potential gaps or hidden meanings that might be useful for further study. I also integrated past theoretical and empirical studies, in order to focus this research on ICT and within teacher education at a university level. Case Studv This case study was connected to a unique setting, the teacher education program at U B C and within the contexts of particular social, historical and economic environments. Stake (2000) contended that the "Definition o f the case is not independent of interpretive paradigm or methods of inquiry" (p. 449), because the objectivity o f a case might be challenged due to the subjectivity of differing views, situations and times. He continued by saying "the definition of the case changes in different ways under different methods of study" (p. 449). This case study was bound by the winter (January - A p r i l 2005) term and limited to a particular population (120 teacher education students). The research focused on teacher education students' development of ICT literacy. It involved detailed and in-depth data collected through observations, interviews, field notes, audio-visual materials and other documents beginning several months before and after this period of time. I selected a case study methodology not only to represent the case but also to critically analyze the situation and student ICT literacy perspectives and practices. I sought to identify certain variables within the research and investigated these emerging variables for further studies. Therefore, the value of this case study lies in the 9 identification of complexities and refinement o f theories for ongoing investigations (Atkinson & Delamont, 1986; Creswell 1999; Stake 2000). Research Setting and Participants The "Seeds of Possibility" research was with elementary teacher education students (TES) at U B C in the T Y E T E P in the Faculty of Education. This research program was in conjunction with two education courses (Principles of Teaching and Communication) that students are required to take for certification. The research program was guided by a professor from the Faculty of Education and five graduate research assistants. The one-hundred and twenty students were enrolled in seven different sections of two courses and each class had an individual faculty advisor. The students met on Monday (forty minutes) and Wednesday (twenty minutes) each week from the end of January to the beginning of A p r i l . Two computer labs and two carts of twenty wireless laptops (both O S X and WIN) were at the students' disposal during the program. The Seeds of Possibility program was organized around three modules: introduction, inquiry, and assessment. Module one provided students a brief introduction to the use of ICT and asked them to consider the following questions: 1) W h y should ICT be integrated into their teacher education program?; and, 2) How can ICT literacy inform one's own pedagogy to support student learning? Module two was designed to demonstrate ways to integrate ICT across the curriculum. Collaborative learning was emphasized to promote a student-centred learning environment where the teacher was a facilitator. Through the use of ICT, various communication and learning spaces were 10 introduced to students during this module. For instance, students posted their comments and questions about articles they read and lectures they attended on a blog, w ik i and discussion forum. They learned to not only collaborate and communicate with each other, but more importantly they learned about how to address issues of bullying and assessment (reading and lecture topics) in their teaching by sharing conversations with their classmates, teachers and administrators. This module also provided students an opportunity to create their own e-portfolios and think about the communication space these e-portfolios represent. In order to do this, basic html formatting and file transfer protocol skills were taught, but not for the sole purpose of using an ICT application. Instead the emphasis was on the context of creating an e-portfolio that highlighted their professional learning and personal interests. Data Collection Three main sources of data were collected for this research. Each source provided a different perspective of the research questions. One source o f data was pre- and post-questionnaires, which were given to students at the beginning and the end o f the course. The pre-survey examined students' general knowledge, access, and use of ICT. The post-survey indicated students' level of understanding, comfort and confidence towards the use of ICT. The second source o f data was comments and reflections provided by students, instructors, and teacher assistants. Informal conversations were recorded and additional comments were gathered by students' online journaling periodically after regularly 11 scheduled classes. There were also periodic meetings between the instructor and the researchers each week after the course sessions. The researcher's records of classes, meetings and observational notes from classes provided a third set of data. The focus was on student participation in the classes. Videos, photographs, and field notes were collected during and after class observations. The data collected were used, first to identify the characteristics of learning spaces, critical pedagogy, and C S C L that supported or limited ICT literacy in this cohort o f the teacher education program from both the students' and the teachers' perspectives. Synopsis of Chapters This thesis w i l l explore issues around ICT literacy in one cohort of the teacher education program at U B C . Chapter 2 w i l l review the literature of learning spaces, collaborative learning (CL) , and critical inquiry in relation to ICT. Chapter 3 w i l l examine the use of hard and soft infrastructures in recent years, as well as the challenges for teachers (with a focus on those in British Columbia, B C ) . Chapter 4 describes the case study and the data collected through observations, pre- and post-surveys, as well as online documents. The last chapter w i l l present an interpretation and analysis of the key issues around ICT using discourse analysis and case study methods. I also illustrated the usefulness of this research in teacher education and suggested possible directions for future studies in the last chapter. 12 Chapter 2 Research Background Information and communication technologies (ICT) have influenced peoples' daily practices by being applied in such areas as education, entertainment, government, and industry. Since the emergence of electronic computers, telecommunication and the World Wide Web have been the primary ways most people use the Internet. The Internet provides a wealth of services such as educational websites and online journals that have significantly impacted learning and teaching practices. People especially between the ages of 2-22 are using ICT for learning and entertainment in both formal and informal environments (Tapscott, 1998). In this chapter, learning spaces, such as face-to-face and online education along with concepts of critical theory, pedagogy and critical inquiry w i l l be examined. I w i l l discuss these concepts in relation to teaching and learning with ICT. To assist in interpreting the relationships among learning spaces, critical inquiry, computer supported collaborative learning ( C S C L ) , I w i l l present some emerging ICT issues through this literature review. Learning Spaces Historically, the places where formal learning occurs is in traditional face-to-face classrooms. Unt i l recently, most faculty and students still gathered together in classrooms for teaching and learning. However, with the facilitation of electronic technologies, networks, and computers, learning can now happen beyond physical boundaries at any time as well as in many locations. Learning can take place in formal and informal environments not typically considered learning spaces. Students can take online distance 13 education courses facilitated by vast networks of cable and wireless technologies. Learning is being facilitated by networked learning spaces where people can communicate, discuss, and deliberate about issues. In short, any formal or informal environment has the potential to become a virtual learning space. From Face-to-Face Classrooms to Online and Distance Education During the past few decades, teachers have witnessed dramatic changes in both classrooms and learning space designs: from low-tech rooms equipped with only tables and chairs to networked digital spaces; and from face-to-face teaching with textbooks and blackboards to online distance education virtual spaces with access to various forms of rich media. Wired and wireless connections alongside o f rich media and other technologies have created the "potential for immediate, interactive and engaging instruction" (Krug, Wang & Zhang, 2005, Multimedia section). For example, asynchronous and synchronous communication spaces enabled by ICT have freed teaching and learning from not only the physical boundaries of classrooms but have placed a different set of time constraint on class schedules. In face-to-face classrooms, ICT can be used to support teaching and learning both in and outside of classes by providing asynchronous communication such as e-mails, discussion forums, hypertext, mailing lists and group calendars, just to mention a few. In online distance or mixed-mode education, synchronous communication, such as shared whiteboards, video communications systems and visual e-journals are used. These virtual spaces are changing the conditions of teaching from the requirements o f physical space and scheduling o f classes to virtual learning spaces that allow more people from all over the 14 world to participate and engage in classes at times that fit their own schedules. A variety of asynchronous groupware are also being used to support collaborative communication spaces. These synchronous and asynchronous communication systems have the potential to facilitate and enhance safe and democratic participation and interaction (social relations) among instructors and students. However, with billions of dollars invested in higher education physical facilities, teachers meanwhile have to face these new challenges o f teaching with ICT. Cuban (1986) concluded that teachers were reluctant to integrate ICT into their daily teaching activities. Sasseville (2004) further argued that only slightly more than fifty percent o f teachers are using ICT for learning despite the fact that millions of dollars have been invested to make ICT available in almost every primary and secondary school. Also "at the same time, some people question the relevance of widespread use of ICT in the classroom as most studies show no significant improvement in student performance and learning" (p. 6). Robertson (2003) criticized Apple Logo "Classroom Computers = Remarkable Results" (p. 280) because they had misled people using a technopositivist ideology. Apple (2002/2003) reported that people in this program "believe the effective integration of technology into classroom instruction can and will result in higher levels o f student achievement" (cited in Robertson, 2003, p. 280). Instead o f using the words "has and does" Robertson (2003) claimed "can and w i l l " lead people to a naive faith " in the 'promises' o f technology" (p. 280). Moreover, the advocacy of "naive faith" (Robertson, 2003, p. 280) in ICT, especially digital media, has created unsubstantiated meanings and values within various educational conditions. This form of technological determinism has influenced and 15 changed the way people perceive, interpret, and conceptualize ICT in different school contexts. Wi th very little empirical evidence of supportive research to draw on, more and more people are becoming concerned about how and why the circulation and representation of these technologically driven meanings are being used for political and economic gain in society. Harraway (1991) cautioned, "a machine is not an it to be animated, worshiped and dominated. The machine is us, our processes, an aspect of our embodiment" (cited in Krug, Wong & Zhang, 2005). In other words, we need to be continuously vigilant and informed or "critical" o f how technologies mediate the contextual cultural conditions of peoples' lives. According to some researchers and scholars, the integration of ICT into classrooms can also have additional negative consequences. For instance, Bigum (1997) mentioned that with the frequency o f computer use and the Internet, especially in our classrooms due to government incentives, "the process of computerization in education can be perceived as a new means of control imposed upon teachers and students by an increasingly invasive technology-based economic complex" (cited in Sasseville, 2004, p. 6). This issue is discussed further later in this chapter. Some other issues include: what are the cultural and social influences on how teachers teach and students learn when using ICT?; and how can teachers create opportunities for helping students and themselves to interpret the associated meanings and values of ICT within their learning environments and as a way to support students in their life-long learning? A s Krug (2003) pointed out, a "vital contemporary issue for educators is how can teachers and students engage in critical inquiry about this struggle 16 over the meanings and values of everyday semiotic dimensions of representation, visualization and simulation" (cited in Krug, Wong & Zhang, 2005). A n Interpretation — Hidden Issues of Using Computers in Classrooms Wi th the advent of computers and the Internet, people are benefiting from the efficiency and convenience of collecting and analyzing information derived from this technology. However societies must face many challenges created by this same technology. For example, the use of ICT also produces issues o f privacy, the impersonal nature of communication, and the changing conditions o f public discourse relative to political perspectives and the ongoing development and evolution o f democracy. On the one hand, the proliferation of websites seems to provide unlimited freedom for people to listen and learn from new ideas, to voice opinions and to compare and challenge existing views and concepts through direct communication with others and participation in discussion groups. On the other hand, such widespread use o f technology can also enhance the creation o f sophisticated centralized information systems, with increased possibilities for government agencies, businesses, groups and individuals to engage in surveillance of one's most private details. The power to control the flow of information, as well as the ability to interpret information, opens the possibility for the development o f new forms of economic and linguistic imperialism (Henderson & Kesson, 2004). Linguistic imperialism is connected to the very language used to produce computer programming languages and systems. Before the emergence of advanced operating systems, people who wanted to use computers had to use a basic operating system, such as D O S , which was created using the English language. Most computer 17 programming languages and operating systems are still primarily based on the English language. Today English remains the dominant form of communication in the world of computer science. In addition, although there are websites produced in the native language of different people around the world, there is often a feeling for the need to create an English language version of those sites, particularly where the site is focused on economic activity and the desire to attract customers from around the world. The increasing difficulty to author websites or to operate computer systems in a person's native language can result in linguistic imperialism. Linguistic imperialism indirectly forces people to abandon or neglect their native languages in order to effectively understand and use information technology. The growing demand for workers skilled in the use of computers has created a parallel need for both students and existing employees to learn English for the better utilization of existing software and the needs of business globalization. It is not surprising then that some people criticize this phenomenon as a form of "bloodless opium war" for the 21 s t century. The second issue I w i l l discuss is the consolidation of ownership of media companies. How do they represent information and whose ideas do they represent? A general analysis of these issues requires both teachers and students to think about different ways that government, business and media groups represent ideas, question whose point of view is being represented, and assess whose voices are either being heard or are being deliberately suppressed. It is especially important for teachers and students to be critical in using computers when gathering information, given that the way in which ideas are represented has a significant influence on people's perspectives and 18 understanding of meanings and values in society. Therefore, it is important that teachers and students are knowledgeable about how to use critical inquiry, which can create opportunities for them to examine, question, contextualize, and evaluate a broad range of meanings and values related to these and other important issues. Critical Inquiry — Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy I used critical inquiry in this thesis drawing methodologically from some of the past cultural work in critical theory and critical pedagogy. For example, critical theory has historically and pragmatically examined educational problems such as the issues mentioned above. I have used perspectives of critical theory to see connections with social, cultural, historical, political, race, class and gender issues in'dimensions o f society. In the Seeds project, critical theory provided me a means to interpret various philosophical positions of critical pedagogy. Critical pedagogy can be characterized in one sense as a teaching method of critical theory. Kanpol (1999) wrote "The doing of critical theory" (p. 27) has been referred to as critical pedagogy in educational literature reviews. I employed critical inquiry then drawing from both critical theory and critical pedagogy to describe, analyze and interpret i f and how the T E S were able to examine ICT issues using both their own experiences as well as the larger contextual conditions in society. O f course similarities as well as differences exist among critical theorists, pedagogues and those who use critical inquiry as a research method or approach to learning. In this thesis, the emphasis was on the relations, tensions, and contradictions among these areas to analyze them within the teacher education program and the Seeds 19 program. But critical inquiry was also a teaching and learning strategy for engaging T E S in learning about ICT literacy. These ideas w i l l be discussed in Chapter 4 in more detail. Critical Theory From a historical point of view, critical theory has been rooted in Western Marxist philosophy with an emphasis on social and cultural relations in societies, such as gender, race, and class. Orthodox Marxism examined the cultural materialism of economies rather than other social forces and relationships. Critical theory generally puts emphasis on resistance, reskilling, similarities within differences, individuality, positive competition, authority, democracy and critical empowerment instead of deviancy, deskilling, multiculturalism, negative competition, authoritarianism, control and traditional empowerment. Wi th regards to aspects of schooling, critical theory provided ways to examine the formation of social relationships in schools and how economic dimensions influence the social status of students and their parents. Neo-Marxists generally have viewed schools not only from the perspective of economic inequality but also from broad cultural perspectives. In this study, I drew from critical theory to look at how ICT impacted the formation of classroom culture in the Seeds project (Morgan, 2000). Critical Pedagogy and Teacher Education In the above section on "Learning Spaces", I discussed that learning can happen anywhere and at any time. Critical pedagogy can also occur in a similar fashion — in teacher meetings or meetings between teachers and parents or administrators, during lunch in the dining hall, outside schools and within families, public places, church, and through media. In Popular Culture, Schooling, and Everyday Life, Giroux and Simon 20 (1989) stated that "any process which tries to influence the production of meaning" (cited in Frechette, 2002, p. 1) could be regarded as a pedagogical process. There have been many interpretations of critical pedagogy in the field of education. Some researchers use it to research cultural politics, which is about challenging or transforming the existing social structures and values that lead to oppressive, alienating, and subordinative relations. However struggling for the end of this oppression, subordination and alienation is not the only means to an end. Human values lie in l iving these ideas in one's daily life. Rather than "teaching techniques" (Frechette, 2002, p. 1), critical pedagogy can be more about the evaluation and analysis of the processes of learning that riot only define the importance o f knowledge, but one's ways of knowing as well . It encompasses how one creates social identity through the production of knowledge. Because the T E P is strategically positioned to provide the potential teacher with more than administrative strategies on how to control a classroom or how to prepare lesson plans, I was interested in seeing i f critical pedagogy can be used as an important educational concept for T E S to study. Kanpol (1999) in Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction argued that there should be "no one correct way to 'do' critical pedagogy" (p. 137) since critical pedagogy is "about teachers struggling for some semblance o f control in their lives—control that has to do with achieving a qualitatively better life for students and teachers; control that has to do with finding a democratic path that begins to alleviate forms of oppression, alienation, and subordination" (p. 137). It is fair to say that most teachers take the daily control of their classroom management for granted, and they struggle to fit critical pedagogical methods into their teaching practices. Nevertheless, some teachers do find ways of using 21 critical methods in their everyday teaching and l iving experiences that are open, democratic, and nurturing. Critical pedagogy is also deeply connected with personal backgrounds and values. Teachers with different personal backgrounds and experiences can share a critical perspective as a part of their professional worldviews. Therefore, in order to adopt critical pedagogy, teachers need to make a conscious choice in their teaching and politics to create opportunities for students to speak with their own voices and in the formation of their own sense of self and entitlement. Only in this way, can students synthesize and be aware of the formation o f self, stereotypes, prejudices and the various discourses within these context conditions. The Seeds project was designed to create opportunities for teacher education students (TES) to ponder questions, such as whose ideas or interpretations that are presented through educational systems. I wanted to know i f critical pedagogy can be a means for them to ask whose knowledge was being taught or voices were being heard when one teaches? The Seeds program asked T E S to consider questions, such as: should I present or introduce issues in an authoritarian way or can I find ways for students to hear various voices that are both critical and transformational about these issues? How can I empower my students with the ability and the courage to challenge authorities? The Seeds project was organized to provide students with opportunities to reach beyond different cultures, and also strove for challenging students to reformulate their thoughts of self, other, similarities, differences, social justice and human rights. In this way, the Seeds project was based on critical pedagogical perspectives, which were to help future teachers become critical, constructive, and informed in their use of ICT. In short, the 22 Seeds project was interested in not just providing the potential teacher with strategies on how to control the classroom or how to prepare lesson plans, but to nurture their own student attitudes to be rooted firmly in critical theory, critical pedagogy and educational research. O f course this is no easy task and these goals were not fully reached as my research bears out. However, the aim was still to create opportunities for students to participate in discussions that drew from broad educational contexts as well as the community-at-large. This goal strove to rectify Kanpol 's (1999) caveat that, Teacher Education programs are caught in a deceptive paradox....In many respects, teacher education programs have simply not given teachers the conceptual tools in order to view knowledge as problematic, as a historically conditioned, socially constructed phenomena, (p. 181) In a course at U B C , "Introduction to Curriculum Issues," some of my classmates suggested that it is easy to be critical when we are at the university discussing educational issues drawing from a perspective of critical theory and critical pedagogy. But most teachers are reluctant to adopt this position in the real world since being "crit ical" too often can be misinterpreted as being a troublemaker. I believe that an integral part of practicing critical pedagogy in teacher education "is to move beyond mere critique or cynicism to a position where action can occur, where students can joyfully respond to structural constraints in a timely manner and in ways that create opportunities for democratic hope and critical citizenry" (Kanpol, 1999, p. 190). Only when students, teachers and administrators realize the historical and socially constructed contradictions between what we say and what we do can educators move 23 from "cynicism to action, from critique to praxis, from passivity to activity", and "from reaction to proaction" (Kanpol, 1999, p. 191). Critical Inquiry Although there has been a call to incorporate critical pedagogy into curricula for decades, the implementation has not been as successful as the theorists had hoped. Critical pedagogues claimed that for the fulfillment of one of the ultimate goals of critical theory, that is to alter injustice, such as oppression, alienation, and subordination, critical pedagogy should be adopted as a way o f teaching and learning. It is important to prepare Teacher Education Students (TES) to use critical pedagogy in practical ways. Critical inquiry can be used by combining ideas from both critical theory and critical pedagogy. "Crit ical inquiry is a continual process of identifying and posing problems, asking questions and questioning the validity of the questions asked" (Krug, 1999, p. 2). The processes of critical inquiry can help one to better understand how an idea becomes an issue or how a body of knowledge is mediated and interpreted by directing one's thoughts and actions. Through processes of critical inquiry, people can be encouraged to relate knowledge to their own experiences and the dynamic and complex forces (historical, political, economic, social, cultural, technological, etc.) of contextual conditions at play in societies. Therefore, critical inquiry can be advocated in education to create opportunities for interpretation by both teachers and students to challenge multiple perspectives (ideas-at-issue) by positioning various views within the changing complexity of social, cultural, economic, political and historical contextual conditions (Krug, Wong & Zhang, 2005). In this thesis, I have drawn from several sources to understand ideas of critical inquiry (Budnitz, 2003; Krug, 1995, 1999; Ko lb , 1984). Budnitz (2003) argued that inquiry was asking questions that are accessible, informed and meaningful (cited in Krug, 2005). People have different interpretations of inquiry within various social contexts. Critical inquiry is not just asking questions, but it is an ongoing process of observation, reflection, connection, analysis and interpretation. A thoughtful question or statement posed by a teacher or a student can be a starting point for initiating an inquiry process. This can lead students to their own investigations for their own answers, which may likely lead to more questions. Through continual inquiry processes, students can gain problem-solving, decision-making and research skills that can be applied to lifelong learning. Meanwhile, collaborative as well as individual learning are required when students interact through inquiry processes. These processes also can enable teachers to better understand their students and be more effective facilitators (Budnitz, 2003). Critical Inquiry and Learning Spaces Some perspectives of critical inquiry view schooling as "a form of cultural politics" (Morgan, 2000, p. 276), since schooling prepares students with ways to critically examine and live in the world outside the classroom. Schooling is always tied to power relationships, racism, sexism, class discrimination, and ethnocentrism. Critical inquiry involves recognizing how current curriculum, resources and approaches o f teaching promote a perspective of the world that serves to marginalize certain voices and ways of life. The task of critical inquiry is for teachers and students to examine curricular 25 knowledge and practices to understand whose interests are being taught and what voices are included and excluded in the dialogue. , Critical inquiry can be a renewing pedagogical practice. Instead o f providing one specific model, method, or advice for teachers to follow, issues are presented through critical inquiry for teachers and students to explore the pedagogical and learning possibilities. Even critical inquiry itself should not be accepted uncritically but be undertaken and used as a resource to evaluate curriculum and imagine alternative practices (Krug, 1999, 2002; Morgan, 2000). Wi th regards to critical inquiry and learning spaces, according to Morgan (2000), the importance of space "was largely unrecognized in the historical materialist tradition of social science" (p. 276) until the emergence of "a Marxist inspired geography from the early 1970s" (p. 276). Challenged by this cultural geography, the view of space shifted from "an empty container or 'receptacle' o f social relationships to analysis of the social and economic processes involved in the creation and perpetuation of inequality" (Morgan, 2000, p. 276). Space in this context is recognized as a medium through which social relationships are produced, reproduced and interpreted (Morgan, 2000). Furthermore, the production of space is also tied up with power and politics (Morgan, 2000). Therefore, spaces are organized and divided to exclude certain people from certain places. A good example would be the commercialization of the Internet and the access to certain websites. A l l knowledge represented on the Internet is not public. A t most universities, libraries limit access to their online collections to only registered students at the university. Spaces have also been constructed through competition. There have always 26 been people trying to question or redefine the boundaries o f spaces (Keith & Pile, 1993; Sibley, 1995; Cresswell, 1996, cited in Morgan 2000). Learning spaces are also socially produced and interpreted. The digital divide has already split the world conceptually into developed and underdeveloped societies. Typically so-called underdeveloped countries have less access to ICT, not to mention less power to participate in various virtual learning spaces. Although passwords and usernames guard the safety of clients, at the same time they also build a wall to separate people who cannot afford to belong. Social, political and economic dimensions of education impact the formation and use of learning spaces in educational learning environments. The key element in teaching and learning within various learning spaces is to help both teachers and students realize that learning spaces are socially constructed and are impacted by positions of power, authority, control, and policy. Critical inquiry aims to help teachers and students analyze power relationships within different physical and virtual spaces as well as the "ways in which learning space is used to dominate and oppress some individuals and groups" (Morgan, 2000, p. 283). Students need to empower themselves to "make their own spaces" instead of just understanding the interpretation of spaces (p. 283). A t the heart of these debates and issues are perspectives of democracy. Democracy as a theory has been the subject of much research and has been advocated for many decades. However, facing daunting challenges, democracy as a practice is still much different than the theoretical concepts of democracy, with both the meaning o f democracy and its practice subject to increasing debate and uncertainty. Dewey's writing indicated that he had profound faith in the capacity of the common person to engage in 27 intelligent social action. He also believed that democracy was not a thing, but a means of association (Henderson & Kesson, 2004). In other words, democracy includes ways of l iving (cultural conditions) and how people connect (social relations) with each other and the environment. Collaboration was also an important part of a pedagogical approach to education that was advocated by John Dewey. Accordingly, the mission of any educational system in a democratic society should not only be to help children develop their analytical abilities, group work skills, and communicative competencies, but should also be to develop students' intellectual talents, civic understanding, and abilities to think critically about issues in society. Through dialogue and deliberation which are based on principles of freedom and equality, collaborative learning can create a community where students communicate with each other, their fellow community members and with people from different parts of the world. It not only can provide the opportunity for learning about different cultures but also how people as individuals, and in society as a whole relate to others in the world. Therefore, in a broad sense in relationship to education, this study examined i f the goal of sustaining and nurturing a democratic society can be supported through the use of ICT, collaborative learning, and critical inquiry. In order to have a strong democracy, societies must embody the freedom and equality of all human beings. Public representation of ideas, issues, and the freedom to negotiate them are significant characteristics of democracy. In schools, collaboration must also be built on the basis of freedom and equality, so that teachers and students are able to communicate, deliberate, speak, listen, reflect and inquire, both individually and collectively, by learning from and l iving in relationships with others. This ability should 28 not be taken-for-granted. Can a computer supported collaborative learning space be developed to create a safe and democratic environment for active participation? Collaborative Learning and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning The notion of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning ( C S C L ) was developed from theories and practices based on collaborative learning (CL) (Lehtinen & Hakkarainen, 2004). Accordingly, in order to understand C S C L , it is necessary to have an informed understanding of C L . The first part of this literature review w i l l generally answer the following questions: 1. What are C L and C S C L ? What are the struggles over the meanings of the concepts? 2. Are C L and C S C L methodologies or philosophies? 3. What are the negative aspects of C L and C S C L ? 4. How do C L and C S C L change ones' horizon? 5. How do C L and C S C L differ from sociality? 6. What is the role of language in C L or C S C L ? 7. Can we replace C L by C S C L ? Collaborative Learning (CL) Most research defined "collaborative learning" as a situation or an environment in which two or more people work together to learn or produce something. Each element of the definition can be interpreted in different ways. Dillenbourg (1999) examined three elements of C L : 29 1. "two or more" may be interpreted as a pair, a small group (less than 5), a class (20-30 students), a community (a few hundreds or thousands of people) or a society (several thousands or millions of people). 2. "work together" may be interpreted as different interactive forms, such as^ face-to-face, computer-mediated, or on-line. It can also be interpreted as different degrees of collaboration, such as instruction or negotiation. 3. there is a broad acceptance of what is "learning" in the research literature. Therefore, "learn or produce something" may refer to the mastering of certain material or ( to learn to think critically and live in relations with others. In addition, I believe people involved in C L can include students exclusively, or teachers, students and other members from society in communication. Further, a situation or an environment also varies according to the degree of symmetry in the interaction, such as people's knowledge and status. A situation can be characterized as more or less collaborative. For example, collaboration is unlikely to occur between people with different authority in a social setting, such as a boss and an employee. Interactions tend to vary according to the degree of collaboration. Dialogue seems to have a stronger collaborative meaning than instruction. Accordingly, collaborative learning is a coordinated, synchronous situation in which "particular forms of interaction among people are expected to occur" (Dillenbourg, 1999, p. 5) for the purpose of learning. Although the effects of C L are not used to define collaboration itself, the divergent views concerning the measurement of the effects deepen one's understanding toward any definition of C L . There are multi-directional links among the situations and the interactions, the interactions and the processes, and the processes and the effects o f C L . 30 Take the interactions and situations for example. A situation defines the conditions in which interactions may occur. The interactions, on the other hand, help with the labelling of the situation. There w i l l be a collaborative situation i f the interactions between members are collaborative. Therefore, I regard C L as a philosophy rather than a teaching method. Situations, interactions, processes, and effects are four characteristics of "collaborative learning". The Benefits and Challenges of CL C L has been widely researched and advocated through professional literature. Wiersema (2000) stated "learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not isolated. Sharing one's ideas and responding to others improves thinking and deepens understanding" (p. 2). According to Walker (1997), C L not only supported students' active learning roles and accommodate various learning styles, but also promoted critical thinking and developed communication and self-confidence. It allowed learning to happen through dialogue and deliberation rather than individual learning or overwhelming instructions. These elements are important for the school children and students to learn, who are our future citizens. Therefore, C L has been a potential educational goal acted in research for many decades. Panitz (1996) pointed out that given the numerous benefits of C L , it was surprising to find out that so few teachers use it in their actual teaching practices. The first challenge appears to be resistance from teachers. The basis for this resistance included the feeling o f losing control of classroom management or content coverage, a 31 lack of self-confidence in the particular teacher, the absence of effective teaching materials and the lack of familiarity with C L and its assessment techniques. Another source of resistance to C L came from students. Students were not familiar with C L or may have perceived teachers who used C L as not doing their work, from a traditional teacher-cantered point of view. Accordingly, students might have preferred teachers do most of the talking in class, with students focused on taking individual notes rather than learning by discussion with each other and the teacher. Each of these factors contributed to students' reluctance to become involved in C L . Other elements such as large class sizes, inappropriate classroom setup, and a lack of understanding of the philosophy and goals of C L by administrators and parents also hindered the successful implementation o f C L in classrooms. In addition, research conducted by Zurita and Nussbaum (2004) revealed the weakness in C L activities, such as the tendency of some students to take a controlling role in the process while other students are left aside, either voluntarily or through a lack of confidence to actively participate. Other elements such as negotiation, interactivity and mobility were also said to be insufficient in C L environment according to their research. Two Approaches to C S C L One of the requirements for education, according to Lehtinen et al. (2004), w i l l be to prepare students to participate in a new-networked information society, which regards knowledge as the most critical resource for social and economic development. Therefore, the exploration of the relation between computers and C L has become an increasingly important endeavour for researchers and educators. In this study, I assume that C S C L is among one of 32 the most promising innovations for the improvement of teaching and learning through the increased use o f information and communication technology. Two approaches to answering what C S C L is, were stated by Bannon (1989) in Issues In Computer-supported Collaborative Learning. The first perspective viewed C S C L as an "umbrella" under which meetings, workshops, and various researchers with different backgrounds and techniques can all be brought together for dialogue, discussions and negotiations. This can allow for the cross-fertilization of ideas as well as multi-disciplinary perspectives through the use of computers. A n alternative approach to understanding C S C L was to try and ascertain what its unique problems and concerns were, and to make it a separate interest area for researchers. One suggestion was to look at the meaning of each composition of C S C L . What does learning mean? What does C L mean? What is C S C L ? Therefore, instead of imposing exclusive interpretations of C S C L , attention can be given to the specific interest areas, such as collaborative learning, the role of computers and how computers can support C L . . The Advantages and Limitations of CSCL According to Simons et al. (2002), a well-designed C S C L activity can support the coordination, communication, negotiation and interactivity among group members. Other benefits such as easier organization in the classroom, better visibili ty of collaborative processes (involvement of all students) in protocols, and communication patterns were also mentioned (Simons, Meijden & Jong, 2002). However, Myers, Stiel, and Gargiulo (1998), and Stewart, Bederson, and Drain (1999), claimed that P C technology constrained users to support face-to-face activities because people who wanted to collaborate through computers must adapt their interactions to the single-user 33 paradigm that most PCs were based on. Haythomwaite (1999) argued " C S C L is not just collaboration around computers with the computer providing a means to coordinate tasks or to simulate problem-solving situations; but rather collaboration through computers, where group members use the computer to structure and define their collaborative endeavours" (p. 292). CSCL versus Computer-supported Collaborative Work. C S C L has grown out of wider research into computer-supported collaborative work ( C S C W ) and collaborative learning. C S C W can be defined as "a computer-based network system that supports group work in a common task and provides a shared interface for groups to work with (Hsiao, n.d., p. 1)." Both C S C W and C S C L are based on the promise that computer supported systems w i l l "support and facilitate group process and group dynamics in ways that are not achievable by face-to-face, but they are not designed to replace face-to-face communication" (Hsiao, n.d., pp. 1-2). The differences between C S C W and C S C L lie in their focus, use, and purpose. C S C L focuses on the object that is being communicated, and it has been used mainly in educational settings to scaffold or support students to learn effectively. C S C W on the other hand, has tended to focus on communication techniques and is often used in business settings for the purpose of facilitating group communications to enhance productivity. In the next chapter, I w i l l discuss some of the hardware and software infrastructure of ICT and its relation with the T Y E T E P . The focus is on British Columbia and the T E P at the University of British Columbia. 34 Chapter 3 ICT and Teacher Education Introduction Based on a report from the Canadian Education Statistics Council , on the 2001 Pan-Canadian Education Research Agenda Symposium, in the near future, classrooms are likely to be networked, thus differing markedly from today's classroom. Before imagining or describing what the future might look like, one first needs to scrutinize the classrooms of today. Cuban (1986, 2001) argued that computers have been oversold at schools and teachers seldom incorporate them as a regular part of their instructional practice for several factors, such as: the large number of students, difficulties of computer application, and the lack of professional training. Becker (2000) suggested that these factors may have been correct in the mid-1980s (with "8-bit" computers), when teachers could keep track of student files on dozens of floppy disks, but today, teachers can store files or programs on C D / D V D , U S B storage devices, or on local area networks. A s for the software applications, they are not only simplified for users and have greater functionalities, but also provide "much more in the way o f on-line user help" (p. 1). Furthermore, teachers have more options available for classroom instructional practices with the development of new software and applications. A few examples include: student-created multimedia authoring environments and digital video-editing, the World Wide Web, electronic mail , etc. Over the years, a number of software applications have been specifically designed for individual learners, for example: Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) , Intelligent 35 Tutoring Systems (ITS) and Logo, for supporting collaborative activities. Simply put, C A I , ITS, and Logo were all designed for teachers and students to incorporate social and collaborative experiences into teaching and learning (Lipponen & Lal l imo, 2004). According to Lipponen and Lall imo (2004), these "collaboratively usable applications"(p. 435) began in the late-1960s with the work of Doug Engelbart and his research group, who developed the oN-line System (NLS) , "a hyper-media-groupware environment with tools to support communication, planning, and debugging" for asynchronous collaboration among teams distributed geographically (p. 435). N L S has been recognized as one of the most inclusive systems for computer-supported collaborative work ( C S C W ) . Collaborative computing, workgroup computing, and multiuser applications are labelled as part of C S C W , which can include e-mail, bulletin boards, videoconferencing (i.e., WebCT, Blackboard, and Breeze); shared calendaring and scheduling; and document and knowledge management systems. While most contemporary groupware applications are not specifically designated for C S C L in educational settings, such as wikis, blogs, and discussion forums they can be used for communication among teachers, students, and administrators. In fact, most of the C S C W applications can be adopted for C S C L , such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing for communication between teachers and students. Given that these hard and software infrastructures are available to facilitate collaborative teaching and learning, it is surprising to find that teachers seldom use them in the classrooms. In addition to data represented in the statistics and literature reviews (Plante & Beattie, 2004; Panitz 1996), my personal teacher assistant experiences in the teacher education program at U B C indicated that the hard and software infrastructures, or 36 the reticence of educators has led to the lack of new technologies being incorporated into their practice. In this chapter, by looking at educational systems as well as the use o f ICT in Canadian schools in connection with teacher education program, the aim w i l l be to provide an overview of the hard as well as soft ICT infrastructure in Canadian schools with a focus on the schools in British Columbia. Wi th the information and data provided by Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey 2003-2004 (Plante & Beattie, 2004), I w i l l examine whether there is sufficient hard infrastructure in Canadian schools to support C S C L , the kinds of software being used to facilitate C S C L , and the problems and issues involved in the use o f ICT. Teacher education and the changing pedagogy influenced by the emergency of ICT at schools w i l l also be discussed and probed in this chapter. Education in Canada Canada's vast area stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and its richness includes many natural resources (e.g. diamonds, fish, timber, and wildlife.) It became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while "retaining ties to the British crown." ("The Wor ld Fact Book", p. 1). After World War II, a dramatic growth occurred in manufacturing, mining, and service sectors, which transformed the nation primarily into one that was more industrial and urban. The nation developed economically and technologically in parallel with the U S , especially in its market-oriented economic system, pattern o f production, and affluent l iving standards. For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement in 37 1989 led to booms in the trade and economic integration with the U S . "Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its principal trading partner, the United States, which absorbs more than 85% of Canadian exports. Trade accounts for roughly a third of [the] G D P . " ("The World Fact Book", 2005) Canada is a confederation of ten provinces and three territories. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Northwest are ten provinces in Canada. The three territories are: Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Y u k o n Territory. Canada has no national or federal department of education and the primary responsibility for education rests with the provinces and territories. Nevertheless, the Government of Canada plays an important support role in education. The provinces and territories are responsible for elementary, secondary and postsecondary education. Although the 13 education systems across Canada share several similarities, each reflects the diversity o f its own regional history, culture, and geography. The Council o f Minister of Education, Canada was formed in 1967, its purpose is to "act as the national voice of education in Canada" ("Council o f Minister of Education", 2005, para. 1) and to provide a forum where the provincial and territorial ministers meet to discuss education interests in working with national education organizations, the federal government, foreign governments, and international organizations. The education system in Canada was described on the Web sites of "Council o f Ministers of Education, Canada" (http://www.cmec.ca/index.en.html) and Education @ Canada (http://educationcanada.cmec.ca/EN/home.php). A summary is listed below: 38 Public Education Public education in Canada is from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and it is free to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Compulsory schooling is generally between ages 5-7 and 16-18, though it varies across Canada. Unusually at the local level, the authority of school boards comes above the public education. Each province or territory decides the powers and duties of their schools, but generally these are consistent throughout Canada. Elementary / Secondary Education (K-12) Local school authorities offer Kindergarten programs to 4-5 year-olds in elementary schools across Canada. In most provinces and territories, elementary education covers the first 6 or 8 years o f compulsory schooling. Different ministries / departments of education have various grade organization, for instance, in some areas, elementary grade involves kindergarten to grade 8 and secondary level is from grades 9 to 12. Junior high school or middle school is distinguished as an intermediate level of schooling by most school systems. Students proceed to secondary school (grade 11 in Quebec) (also called high school or senior high school), following elementary or middle school. A t the secondary level, curriculum programs include both academic and vocational programs. The academic program enables students to gain the credits necessary for the entrance requirements of universities and colleges. The vocational program, on the other hand, provides students with the credits necessary to continue their studies at a postsecondary college, or to enter the job market. 39 Postsecondarv Education (Colleges & Universities) The provincial and territorial governments also have the responsibility to operate, support and fund their postsecondary education (both colleges and universities) in Canada. Although most funding is provided by these provinces and territories, there is also additional funding from the federal government, research grants, and student tuition fees. Either by charter or by local legislation, all post-secondary institutions in Canada have the authority to grant academic credentials. Generally, universities offer undergraduate degrees (bachelor's and honours), and graduate degrees (master's degrees and doctorates). Colleges offer certificates and diplomas for vocationally-oriented programs of study. Private Schools & Career Colleges A large number of private or independent schools and career colleges can be found, including those, with a religious-orientation. A s long as they meet the general standards described by the government authority, private schools and colleges may operate in any province or territory. These schools or colleges function and charge fees independently, though they are required to closely follow the curriculum and diploma requirements of the department or ministry of education. Home Schooling Home schooling is allowed in all provinces and territories o f Canada with similar restrictions as those followed by independent schools. General standards, curriculum, and 40 diploma requirements prescribed by the relevant provincial or territorial authority are required. Special Needs Students Students who are physically or mentally disabled, or gifted, etc., are accommodated in the public schools and integrated into regular classrooms. They also follow the regular program of instruction to the maximum extent. In some cases, separate programs are available to meet their needs. (Council o f Ministers of Education, Canada and Education, 2005) The National Wide Poll and Surveys—The use of ICT in Canadian schools "Over the past decades, considerable effort has been devoted to acquiring hardware and software for elementary and secondary schools, to connecting them to the Internet, and to helping educators improve their own ICT-related knowledge" (Plante & Beattie, 2004, p. 1). A s stated in Connectivity and ICT integration in Canadian elementary and secondary schools: First results from the Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey, 2003-2004, the importance of integrating ICT into teaching and learning has been recognized by education authorities and governments in Canada. Information and Communication Technologies in Schools Survey (ICTSS) 2003-2004 was conducted by Statistics Canada, in partnership with Industry Canada's SchoolNet program in October 2003. The purpose of ICTSS was to obtain benchmark data on the ICT infrastructure and make it accessible to elementary and secondary schools 41 across Canada. "Infrastructure includes the different components of ICT that make up the underlying foundation of a connected school, such as the number o f computers and their characteristics. Access referred to the degree to which teachers and students have access to the ICT infrastructure" (Plante & Beattie, 2004, p. 2). These two elements for measuring school connectivity and ICT integration were central to the ICTSS. According to the ICTSS research, there were approximately 10,100 elementary schools, 3,400 secondary schools and 2,000 mixed elementary and secondary schools in Canada during 2003/04 (Plante & Beattie, 2004). The survey was sent to principles of all of these schools and the report was based on the responses of around 6,700 elementary and secondary schools. There research was reported in five sections. Section one offered the information on current ICT infrastructure in schools, such as the number of computers available to students and teachers. Section two presented the connectivity of computers in schools. It examined the number o f computers with Internet access that was available to students and teachers for educational purposes. The third section documented the access that students and teachers had to computers and software. The fourth section explored several factors, such as teachers' skills and professional development that might play a role in the integration of ICT in the classrooms. This section also presented information on the strategies implemented by schools to help teachers learn how to use ICT. Finally, section five gave an overview of the challenges perceived by school principals in using ICT. A l l specific statements of comparison made in this report were tested for statistical significance at the 95 percent confidence level or better. 42 According to this ICTSS research, less than 1% of the elementary and secondary schools in Canada were without computers (Plante & Beattie, 2004). It was estimated that more than one million computers were available for educational use in schools across Canada. Table 1 presented an average of 72 computers per school during the 2003/04 school year. The median number of students per computer in elementary and secondary schools was estimated at 5. These findings, according to the report, were consistent with data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The student-to-computer ratio in Canadian schools was among the first rank when compared with Australia and the United States (one computer for every five students); New Zealand and Norway (one computer for every six students) and Germany, Greece, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Spain (more than 20 students per computer). However, it was noticeable in both Table 1 and Figure 1 that the number of students per computer in elementary schools was higher than the number in secondary schools. This meant elementary students had less access to computers than students in secondary schools. 43 Table 1: Average number of computers and students per school, school year 2003/04 Instructional level of school Mixed All elementary schools (Elementary) Secondary and secondary All schools (Average number of computers) 72 (53) 134 55 [Average number of (students) 351 (294) 608 204 (Student-to-computer (ratio) (median)) 5.0 ___] 4.3 3.4 Small school Average number of computers 32 31 46 14 Average number of students 106 112 137 29 Student-to-computer ratio (median) 3.4 3.7 3.1 2.1 Medium school Average number of computers 65 53 117 40 Average number of students 301 273 490 123 Student-to-computer ratio (median) 5.0 5.5 4.6 3.1 Large school Average number of computers 112 74 227 104 Average number of students 629 487 1145 452 Student-to-computer ratio (median) 6.3 6.9 5.1 4.6 Source: I n f o r m a t i o n a n d C o m m u n i c a t i o n s T e c h n o l o g i e s i n S c h o o l s S u r v e y 2 0 0 3 / 0 4 , C e n t r e f o r E d u c a t i o n S t a t i s t i c s , S t a t i s t i c s C a n a d a . Figure 1: Student-to-computer ratio by school characteristics (median) Number of students per computer 7 6 Source: Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey 2003/04, Centre for Education Statistics, Statistics Canada. 44 Figure 2 illustrates that the student-to-computer ratio varied dramatically in different Canadian regions. The fewest number of students shared one computer in the Yukon Territory while in Quebec, a single computer was shared by the most students. British Columbia ranked fourth among the regions of Canada in terms of student to computer ratio. Figure 2: Student-to-computer ratio by provinces/territories (median) Number of students per computer 7 I 6 • = r Source: Information and Commun ica t ions Technolog ies in Schoo ls Survey 2003/04, Centre for Educat ion Statistics, Statistics Canada. This ICTSS research also revealed that during the 2003/04 school year, more than 97% of computers at schools were connected with Internet (Plante & Beattie, 2004). The median number of students per Internet-connected computer was 5.5, only 0.5 higher than the student-to-computer ratio across Canada. Students at elementary schools still had less access to the Internet-connected computers than students at secondary schools in Canada (Table 2). Also, according to Table 3, the amount of time spent on ICT technical support per computer was more in secondary than in elementary schools. Table 2: Average number of Internet-connected computers and students per school, school year 2003/04 Instructional level of school Mixed elementary All and schools (Elementary) Secondary secondary All schools (Average number of Internet-connected computers) 66 (48) 128 49 [Average number of students) 351 (294) 608 204 (Student-to-Internet-connected-computer ratio (median)) 5.5 H J D 4.6 4.1 Small school Average number of Internet-connected computers 28 27 43 9 Average number of students 106 112 137 29 Student-to-Internet-connected-computer ratio (median) 3.9 4.2 3.5 3.2 Medium school Average number of Internet-connected computers 61 48 113 35 Average number of students 301 273 490 123 Student-to-Internet-connected-computer ratio (median) 5.4 5.9 4.7 3.4 Large school Average number of Internet-connected computers 105 68 216 98 Average number of students 629 487 1145 452 Student-to-Internet-connected-computer ratio (median) 6.8 7.6 . 5.4 5.1 Source: Informat ion and Commun ica t i ons Techno log ies in Schoo l s Survey 2003 /04 , Centre for Educat ion Statistics, Statistics Canada. 46 Table 3: Monthly ICT technical support time per computer, school year 2003/04 Mixed elementary All and schools Elementary Secondary secondary Public Private Number of minutes (median) All computers 12 12 19 13 13 19 Majority of computers with: Low processor speed 11 11 15 11 11 3 Medium processor speed 14 13 19 16 13 27 High processor speed 16 13 27 16 15 31 Source: Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey 2003/04, Centre for Education Statistics, Statistics Canada. Table 4: Connectedness, school year 2003/04 Connectedness, school year 2003/04 Instructional level of school All schools Elementary Secondary Student to Internet-connected computer ratio (median) Canada 5.5 6.0 4.6 Newfoundland and Labrador 5.0 6.5 4.7 Prince Edward Island 5.6 5.6 5.7 Nova Scotia 5.1 6.2 4.7 New Brunswick 5.0 5.3 4.0 Quebec 6.5 6.4 6.9 Ontario 5.8 6.4 4.4 Manitoba 4.2 4.6 3.6 Saskatchewan 4.0 4.9 3.8 Alberta 4.5 5.0 4.1 British Columbia 5.6 6.0 5.0 Yukon 2.9 4.8 3.5 Northwest Territories 3.9 4.6 4.2 Nunavut 4.8 9.3 4.1 Source: Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey 2003/04, centre for Education Statistic, Statistic Canada. 47 The median number of students to Internet-connected computers in British Columbia ranked as the third highest among all the provinces and territories. This median number was also 0.1 higher than the median number for all the regions in Canada (Table 4). More than 90% of principals agreed that ICT not only allowed students to go beyond the prescribed curriculum but also broadened and enriched teacher perspectives towards the hidden curriculum and instruction (Plante & Beattie, 2004). Table 5 demonstrated the strategies adopted by school principles to help in T E S learning how to use ICT. Mentoring and coaching activities were greatly emphasized by principals and were perceived as most effective activities by school principals in Canada. Table 5: Strategies to help teacher learn how to use ICT, school year 2003/04 "Some" to "a lot" of emphasis placed, by principal, on strategies to help teachers learn how to use ICT (Mentoring/coaching activities with other) (teachers or ICT professionals) (Professional development) (information-sharing with other staff members /) (discussion forum) ' (Training sessions) (Personal-learning activities) Staff meetings Organized after-school sessions Informal online-learning Summer programs Courses online (Formal credit courses) "A lot" of emphasis placed, by principal, on strategies to help teachers learn how to use ICT Strategy perceived as "highly effective" by principal Percent of schools (69.0) 25.1 (37.5) (59.4) 12.8 (20.8) (59.2) 18.2 I17-5! 56.9) 12.2 19.1 (55.7) 14.6 (20.7) 46.4 8.0 4.3 43.7 7.2 7.7 21.4 3.2 4.7 20.7 2.7 9.1 13.4 1.4 4.6 (12.7) 1.2 (11-8) Source: Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey 2003/04, Centre for Education Statistics, Statistics Canada. 48 Given this broad picture of the hardware and software infrastructure in Canadian schools, next I examined the ICT infrastructure in British Columbia with a close look at the hardware infrastructure, kinds of software available to students, challenges of the use of ICT as well as teachers' skills of using ICT in B C schools. I C T I n f r a s t r u c t u r e i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Visitors to British Columbia (BC) often mention its beautiful scenery such as the majestic Rockies and the amazing beaches along the North Pacific. But there's more to B C than just scenery, its also offers a strategic location for trade and industries, rich natural resources, and a well-known quality education system, just to name a few. The numbers listed below summarize the hard and software infrastructure of ICT used in B C elementary and secondary schools through 2003/04. These numbers and proportions also document access and some challenges of ICT integration in B C schools. Hardware Infrastructure • Number of elementary and secondary schools: 2020. • Average number o f computers per school: 68.4. • Student-to-computer ratio (Median): 5. • Schools with Internet connected computers: 98.3%. • Student-to-Internet-connected-computer ratio: 5.6. • Schools with websites: 78.6%. • Schools with ICT policy and plans: 91.3%. • Schools had ICT policy for appropriate use of ICT by teachers: 66%. 49 Proportions of Schools with Software Available to Student • Internet browsers: 96.9. • Word processing: 96.4. • Educational, dri l l , and practice programs: 93.9. • Spreadsheet and database programs: 85.4. • Graphics program: 86.1. • Presentation software: 77. • E-mail software: 61.8. • Computer aided design or computer aided manufacturing program: 20.2. • Mathematical/statistical and business programs: 16.2. Proportions of Schools with Challenges in using ICT • Having sufficient funding for technology: 70.5. • Ensuring computers and peripherals are up to date: 54.8. • Obtaining sufficient copies/licenses of software for instructional purpose: 46.6. • Obtaining adequate technical support/assistance for operating, maintaining computers and/or solving technical problems: 43.3. • Maintaining sufficient level of ICT in all subjects for teachers to provide adequate level of instruction: 41.2. • Finding enough time to integrate ICT into learning: 41.1. • Having enough training opportunities for teachers: 40.7. • Obtaining sufficient number of computers: 39.3. • Integrating computers in classroom instruction practices: 35.9. • Finding enough time in the school's or teachers' schedule for using the Internet: 34.8. 50 • Obtaining software specific or adaptable: 34.3. • Ensuring information obtained is of sufficient quality: 25.2. • Having sufficient connections for simultaneous access to the Internet: 24.6. • Lack of knowledge, skills, interest and/or willingness of teachers to use computers: 22.9. • Finding space to integrate computers into classroom appropriately: 21.1. • Having sufficient number of teachers supervising students using computers: 18.3. Teachers' Skills The pecentage o f schools with teachers possessing the required technical skills to engage students in using ICT effectively to enhance their learning: • Less than 25% of the teachers: 24.3. • From 25% to 50% of the teachers: 13.4. • From 50% to 75% of the teachers: 27.2. • 75% of the teachers or more: 35.2. % of schools with technology applications frequently incorporated into teaching practices • Use of word processing: 76.8. • Use of Internet/Intranet to disseminate information: 29.2. • Use of Internet for online learning: 25.3. • Use of desktop publishing: 18. • Use of presentation software: 13.3. • Use of software supporting creative works: 9.6. • Use of spreadsheets and database software: 7.2. 51 % of schools with strategies to help teachers learn how to use ICT & Training sessions: 7. • Mentoring/coaching activities with other teachers: 17.8. • Organized after-school sessions: 4. • Information-sharing with other staff members/discussion forum: 12.8. • Staff meetings: 5.7. • Personal-learning activities: 11.2. • Professional development: 8.5. % of schools where ICT learning is included for teacher development in the following subjects: • Computer Education/Informatics: 30.8 • Mathematics: 26.1 • English: 22.7 • General Science: 10.7 • Arts: 7.1 • Physics: 4.3 • Chemistry: 3.9 Source: Information and Communications Technologies in Schools Survey 2003/04, centre for Education Statistic, Statistic Canada. Even though the data above regarding ICT and schools shows adequate access to computers and the Internet, only minimum changes have occurred in classroom teaching and learning practices in the past five years. Evidently, there continues to be a lack of professional development for the use of ICT for instruction. The integration of computers 52 and classroom curriculum and instruction has been restricted to word-processing practice (76.8%). Hardly any schools included ICT learning for teacher development in math (26.1%), English (22.7%) or general science (10.7%), along with physics (4.3%) and the arts (7.1%). Despite funding issues, the reasons for inadequate integration of ICT included the out-dated computers, insufficient technical support/assistance and a lack o f time for teachers to find relevant software or try out products. These findings were consistent with Cuban's (2001) findings in Oversold and Underused, while inconsistent with the nation wide poll about teacher use of ICT (cited in O'Haire, 2003). O'Haire (2003) reported that nearly every teacher in the survey had used a computer frequently, and regarded the computer as essential or important in the way they teach. "Two thirds of teachers reported] using the Internet and instructional CD-Roms in their classes. One-third use[d] desktop publishing for their classes, while half use[d] spreadsheets, computer games and simulations. Nearly half of them use[d] PowerPoint and other presentation software" (p. 23). The key elements for the integration of ICT into teaching and learning not only lied in the hard infrastructure, such as the number of computers, the access to the Internet and software, but in the teachers and other professional training and support. Adoption, adaptation, appropriation, and invention were introduced by Cuban (2001) as four approaches to integrate ICT into classroom teaching and learning. In the adoption level, computer skills, such as the use of keyboard, mouse and word document were taught, not integrating into curriculum but generally through text, lecture and other conventional approaches. The next level of integration was adaptation. The use of ICT was adapted to traditional curriculum, in such ways as homework and daily work in class. In this way, 53 technical skills were learned within the academic curriculum, although it was still teacher-centered direct instructional pedagogy. Also , learning and assessment practices remained unchanged in adaptation level. Most teachers in this level viewed technology as interesting but optional, and unnecessary to achieve present curriculum goals. In the level of appropriation, teachers not only felt fully comfortable but confident in the use and integration of ICT into daily teaching and learning. Constructivist pedagogy advocated in this level allowed the student to be at the centre o f their learning, and teachers to be facilitators. Collaborative learning enabled teachers and students to learn and work together. Teachers viewed technology as essential for developing higher-order thinking in this level. The highest level was invention, where interdisciplinary approaches were used. This meant teachers needed to build ICT into daily instructions and meet curriculum objectives with ICT integration. Teachers could engage students in knowing how to search, evaluate and interpret information and to build these ICT practices into their own knowledge system. Although through these four levels of ICT integration, the responsibility for learning and evaluating information sources shifted gradually from the teacher to the learner, it was still the teachers' responsibility to select and apply ICT appropriately to best facilitate teaching and learning. Simply, teachers needed to have the confidence and competence to integrate ICT into curriculum effectively and efficiently. However, most teachers felt that they were "not adequately trained to use computer technology in their classes and lesson plans" and neither did they feel that they were using ICT " in the most effective and efficient ways" (O'Haire, 2003, p. 23). Meanwhile, according to the report in Teachers' Perspectives, most of the teachers were learning ICT "on the job, self-54 taught" or relied on other teachers or their students" (O'Haire, 2003). The significance of ICT literacy for pre-service and in-service teachers had been recognized by educational policy makers and teacher organizations for efficient professional development. It was the responsibility of teacher education programs to make teachers feel comfortable and confident using ICT to enhance teaching and learning..It was also recommended that all newly certified teachers should acquire a certain level of ICT literacy through formal and informal experiences through a teacher education program. Teacher Educat ion P rog ram in B C Nine colleges or universities offer a teacher education program in B C , namely: Malaspina University College, The U B C Okanogan, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, Thompson Rivers University, University o f British Columbia, University o f Northern British Columbia, and University of Victoria. Some research has been done on the teacher education programs offered in four of the universities (Krug, Beaudry, Najafi, Philips, & Zhang, 2005). A n d the partial list below highlights some aspects of these T E P . University o f Victoria ( U V I C ) E D U C 406 Instructional Technology course examines information technologies that are used to support and extend instruction. Topics include: computer-based technologies and their integration into instruction; multi-media; networking; evaluation of instructional software; instructional applications of the Internet. ("The U V I C Teacher Education", 2005) 55 Simon Fraser University (SFU) Three technology courses are available, namely: E D U C 260 Learning and Teaching Through Technology (a practical and theoretical exploration of technology use in K-12 classroom settings); E D U C 358 Foundations of Educational Technology (a survey of major traditions of research and development in educational technology); and E D U C 482 Designs for Learning: Information Technology (a critical understanding of information technologies in education and the integration of these technologies into classroom settings) ( "SFU Teacher Education", 2005). Thompson Rivers University (TRU) The purpose of E D I T 415: Information Technology Across the Curriculum course is preparing teachers to integrate ICT into all subjects of studies, from math to physics. For instance, word and PowerPoint are taught for the preparation of teaching materials, and e-mails are used for communication among teachers and students. Nearly all technology courses mentioned above are taught not for skil ls ' sake only, but also to provide students with the teaching philosophy for the effective integration of ICT with curriculum. However, none of these technology courses researched listed as a requirement for the successful completion of a B E d degree ( " T R U Teacher Education", 2005). The University of British Columbia ( U B C ) Table 1.9 provides an overview of the teacher education program offered in U B C . In this research, the focus is a Bachelor of Education (BEd) program. The general areas 56 of studies in B E d program include principle of teaching, social studies, arts, music, science, math, language and physics. The available technology course for B E d middle year is T S E D 320: Design & Technology Education. This course is "designed to provide students with both a general introduction to Technology Education and specific hands-on preparation for teaching" ( " U B C Teacher Education", 2005, Program section). E D U C 3 9 0 : Teaching and Learning in Digital Environments is also available for students enrolled in the Faculty of Education. This course provides students a way to integrate digital technology into teaching and learning. Meanwhile, it also emphasizes the development and evaluation of curriculum resources and critical perspectives in relation to digital media technologies ( " U B C The Department of Education", 2005). Figure 3 Teacher Educat ion Program at U B C : h e r E d u c a t i o n F * r o r a m ~ | D i p l o m a i n E d u c a t i o n B E d N a t i v e I n d i a n E l e m e n t a r y S e c o n d a r y B E d • c r i e r E d u c a t i o n P i E l e m e n t a r y | 1 2 m o n t h s 2 y e a r s P i l o t O P t i o n H M i d d l e Y e a r s ] 1 2 m o n t h s 2 S e c o n d a r y | 1 2 m o n t h s | P i l o t O p t l o n ~ | T e a c h e r R e c e r t i f i c a t l o n F * r o g , r a m 57 In the next chapter, details of the T Y E T E P w i l l be presented. I also described the Seeds of Possibility 2004-2005 project and analyzed the Seeds project in relation to C S C L , critical inquiry and learning spaces. 58 Chapter 4 CSCL, Critical Inquiry, and Learning Spaces in Seeds Program In this Chapter, I described and analyzed two modules of Seeds of Possibility 2004-2005 two-year elementary cohorts research project that was conducted with the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in the Faculty of Education at U B C . These two modules of the Seeds program wi l l be described and analyzed in relation to C S C L , critical inquiry and learning spaces. Module three was not completed due to time constraint in the Seeds project. Two-Year Elementary Teacher Education Program (TYETEP) T E P is one of the largest programs offered in the Faculty o f Education. A s a component of the learning community, teacher education is constantly changing and it reflects society in an effort to offer quality courses and programs. The mission of the T E P is to prepare educators for the responsibility o f instructing students in British Columbia and Canadian schools. Therefore, the Faculty o f Education is committed to prepare teachers not only to be "knowledgeable, skilful, flexible, and compassionate in their professional practice" but also to be "rigorous, creative and reflective in designing and assessing their classroom performances" (Brown, 2002, p. 1). Furthermore, teachers' social and ethical responsibilities for their students and to society as a whole are guided during the T E P (Brown, 2002). According to the report from the Faculty o f Education, the T E P supplies almost one-half of the Province of B C ' s pre-service teachers, including thirty seven percent of elementary teachers and fifty-eight percent of secondary teachers. Three options are 59 offered for prospective students, namely elementary, middle and secondary teacher education programs. In most cases these programs are organized in cohorts (Figure 4 as an example of elementary cohorts 2004-2005), and the intent is to "provide a sense of community, greater integration of coursework, coordination of assignments, and the avoidance o f content duplication" (Faculty of Education, 2005, p. 110). Figure 4: Elementary Cohorts at U B C 2004/05 CFrench Immersion ""N, and Core French rrey-UBC Partnerships (Education and ) CTechnology and Critical Thinking Burnaby Cohort (UrbanN . Educab'oji and u'teracy/ ^ - Educa t ion ) .^^ Sources: U B C Faculty of Education Self-Study 2005 The Teacher Education Office (TEO) serves to provide administrative support for the T E P and is a crucial element for upholding the vision and academic thrust of the undergraduate program. The major role for the T E O is to support teacher education and diploma programs. The T E O consists of the Associate Dean Teacher Education, Director of Teacher Education, eight professional staff and six support staff (Figure 5). 60 Throughout the academic year of 2004-2005, 1035 B E d students, 117 faculty advisors and 544 diploma, visiting, and unclassified students benefited from the programs offered through T E O (Faculty of Education, 2005). Figure 5: Schematic Overview Teacher Education Office (TEO) Associate Dean, Teacher Education Director Elementary and Middle Years P.ractica : Program Coordinators (5) Admissions Officers (2) Program Planning Manager Administrative Manager 1 \ Admissions Clerics (4) Secretaries (2) Receptionists (2) Sources: U B C Faculty of Education Self-Study 2005 The average G P A of students in the two-year elementary program was 72 percent. Among all the students enrolled in both two-year and 12-month elementary program, 88 percent were females. The Achievements section in the U B C Faculty o f Education Self-Study 2005 reported that there was an increase of technology use among both students and instructors for the last five years. Technology was adapted to develop e-portfolios, prepare lesson plans and presentations as well as to enhance teaching and learning during course work and practicum (Faculty of Education, 2005). 61 The Tech-coach Project was offered during 2004-2005 academic year. Two student technology coaches in each cohort program (around 24-35 students) were selected to be received ICT instruction from personnel in Computer and Media Services ( C M S ) as well as the T E O . These coaches in turn assisted other students and instructors with the use of technology during this course study in the T E P . Figure 6: Two year Elementary Teacher Education Program (TYETEP) Overview Year 1 Winter Term 1 POT/CornmunleatSons Methods Courses (see side-bar) Developmental Psychology Social Issues in Education Pre-Practicum Experience Winter Term 2 POT/Communications Two-Week Orientation Practlcum Methods Courses (see side-bar) Exceptionality Required Methods Courses Introduction to Reading and Language Arts Language and Literacy Arts French Alt Music Mathematics Science Social! Studies Physical Education Year 2 Winter Term 1 Thirteen-Week Extended Practicum Winter Term 2 School Organization In its Social Context Evaluation and Assessment Foundations Electives to Satisfy Teaching: Concentration Avaitable Concentrations: Early Childhood/Primary Expressive Arts in Education English as a Second Language j Humanities Mathematics and Science Special Education Diversity Sources: U B C Faculty of Education Self-Study 2005 62 The T Y E T E P consists of 72 credit hours to be completed over 24 months and 4 terms. Figure 6 above provides an overview of the T Y E T E P and Figure 7 below provides details of courses offered during each year. Besides E D S T 314, E P S E 313, L L E D 310, E D U C 315 and other courses provided by C U S T during winter term 1, E D U C 310 "Principles of Teaching: Elementary & Middle years", and E D U C 316 "Communication Skills in Teaching" are taught as the core courses. These two courses were the focus of Seeds of Possibility Program, which was offered during 2004-05 winter term 2 in addition to all the E D U C , E P S E , L L E D and C U S T courses. Figure 7: Courses Offered During TYETEP Teacher Education eportfolio year 1 ICT & Educational Kese?.ich EDST 314 Ham 1 L J H H ^ H H H H Term 3 EEUC310& EDUC 31 tar GGMM 6 ICT & Tsaching and Leaning and Communication EDUC 321 ^ J EPSE 317 I"T aCmricDluiii LLED 320 CUST CUST 1 C U S T fETI3» : C T & AdimnistiatiDn and Asssessmert Sources: Seeds of Possibility Project 2005 63 Seeds of Possibility Many researchers have opposing views regarding how ICT spaces should engage students in an active learning environment. Furthermore, as my literature review indicated, educators are reluctant to incorporate new technologies into their practices (Cuban, 1986; Cuban, 2001; Zhao et al., 2002). This research set out to examine how the Seeds of Possibility: Integrating Information and Communication Technologies program offered opportunities for two-year elementary T E S to engage in dialogue regarding the integration of ICT within the T E P . B y using empirical evidence, the purpose of this pilot research was to understand how to better enable T E S to use ICT confidently and competently within their own teaching practices (ICT literacy). "The goal is [was] to inspire pre-service teachers to find practical ways to integrate technology into their teaching assignments in the first year of the two-year program" (Faculty of Education, 2005, p. 122). The specific pedagogical goals were to enable teacher education students to "1) examine the impact of technology on individuals, societies, and the environment, 2) learn how to investigate ideas, issues, and problems by using ICT to conduct critical inquiry, analyze solutions and problems, and present results, and 3) learn how to use ICT for assessment and evaluation of their own teaching practices, student learning, content selection, and curriculum and program development" (Appendix C Seeds of Possibility Pre Survey, 2005, p. 1). Echols (2005) wrote "these cohort instructors are also gaining professional development in the use of technology as a means to accomplish their curriculum goals" (Faculty of Education, 2005, p. 122). The Seeds program was coordinated by Dr. Don Krug, a faculty member of the Department of Curriculum Studies. It was an ICT literacy research program formed in 64 conjunction with two education courses (Principles o f Teaching and Communication) that students were required to take for certification. Five graduate research assistants also participated in the program. One hundred and twenty students were enrolled in seven different sections of the two courses and each class had an individual faculty advisor. The research was organized around three modules. Module one provided students with a brief introduction as to why ICT should be integrated into teaching and learning, and how the use of ICT literacy can inform one's own pedagogy in an effort to support student learning. Module two demonstrated ways to use ICT across the curriculum using critical inquiry. C L was emphasized to promote a student-centred learning environment in which the teacher acted as a facilitator. Module three was to focus on assessment, which would allow both instructors and students to evaluate and examine the processes of using ICT in teaching, learning and communication. It was never implemented due to time constraint. The students and their instructors met with the program instructor and five teacher assistants on Monday (forty minutes) and Wednesday (twenty minutes) each week from the end of January to the beginning of A p r i l , with the exception of two classes in which students attended the Dean's lecture and a lecture dealing with the subject of "bullying" (see Appendix A Program Schedule and Appendix B Classroom Bookings). Reading week also fell during week 7 of the term and all classes and sessions were suspended at this time. Ha l f o f the sessions meet in room 1128 Scarf and the remaining sessions were held in the C M S computer lab 1011 (WIN operation system) and 1007 ( O S X operation system). The rooms were scheduled to accommodate 2 sections of 18 students (36 students total) before the term and two carts of twenty wireless laptops (both O S X and 65 WIN) were provided for the students during the program. In addition, classrooms were also set up by the instructor and teacher assistants before each session to adjust to the large number o f students, the classroom space and the curriculum content. In Chapter 1,1 provided an overview of the Seeds program. In this section, a brief description and analysis of modules one and two are offered. Description and Analysis of Seeds Program Pre Surveys Participants of this program completed a survey at the beginning and end of the program to identify their knowledge of and access to a variety of ICT literacy as well as their attitudes toward the use of technologies in educational settings (See Appendix C pre survey and Appendix D post survey). The survey was limited in certain ways. The comparatively small sample size of the T Y E T E P students provided only a partial baseline of data to make a significant comparison regarding the students' knowledge, access and attitudes in the overall T E P at U B C . The introductory demographic question on both pre and post surveys asked questions about the students' age, gender, access to computers and the Internet, type o f computers and Internet connection, and sources of computer skills. Questions concerning students' competency using computers and attitudes towards the importance of learning technology in the T E P were also included in the pre survey. These questions were put forth again in the post survey to examine i f any changes had resulted from students' participation in the Seeds program regarding their attitude and competency in using technology. The frequency o f student usage of technology during the T E P was also asked 66 in the post survey. The combined time for the two surveys was approximately forty minutes. A t selected class sessions, digital video was also used to record class collaborative interactions for data analysis. Eighty-eight female students and 13 male students completed the pre survey and the majority of students were in their 20s. Section one indicated that a majority of students used desktop computers with a windows operation system while working at home. Most of the students had high-speed Internet and used it at home as well . However, approximately 79% of students' computer skills were self-taught and about 57% learned these skills from friends or relatives. Eight out of one hundred and one students wrote the optional pre survey comments about their attitudes towards technology. Unfortunately they do not reflect a comprehensive survey of views. / believe technology is always changing and it is important for everyone, especially teachers, to educate themselves and understand technology. (Female student - age 30) I would like to have some basic knowledge to feel comfortable and confident with my use of computers. (Female student- age 20) If there is access in the school, then I will use more technology. (Female student -age 20) While I would love to see such technological measures implemented in my classroom, I would be deluded if I thought that such avenues are available to all, or even some schools. For example, the school I'm in does not have the resources available .... (Male student-age 30) 67 At this time when our students are so excited and involved with technology, I would think a teacher who also matches those attitudes would be beneficial to our students. We need to teach with student interests in mind. (Female student - age 20) It's important to have these skills but how realistic is it that we will be able to utilize them in schools? School budgets don't seem to allow for much computer use. I've seen computer time used for only typing or simple games; maybe the computers can't support much past that because they are too old. (Female - age 30) I will be working in a grade 1/2 classroom, I don't see technology having a great place in that class right now. I guess @ this point I am curious how will I use technology in grade 1/2. (Female - age 30) I think there should definitely be more of an emphasis on technology in the teacher-edprogram. Also there should be a lot emphasis put on teaching how to educate and assess using computers. (Female - age 20) These surveys demonstrated that some students regarded technology as an essential part of teacher education. They were not only positive about the changes technology can play in classroom teaching and learning but also eager to learn and use technology in their teaching experience. The small sample of students' comments were echoed by the statistic Canada report on teacher's attitude towards technology mentioned in Chapter 3. However, according to the survey comments, as well as questions raised by students 68 during the classes, most students seemed to be concerned with the lack of availability and the insufficient number of computers at schools where teaching practices were undertaken. For example, a school in which a student had performed his practicum had no computers at all . Despite that the average student to computer ratio in British Columbia was 5.0 to 1 (Plante & Beattie, 2004), some schools, especially in Vancouver urban inner cities, continued to experience an inadequate supply o f computers for their students. Access to computers is still an important issue that needs to be addressed in other research. Module 1—A Transition to Module 2 The development of module one was based on suggestions from prior meetings with faculty advisors at the beginning of the project. These faculty advisors were concerned about the students' interest in using ICT. The instructor suggested discussing broad philosophical questions of why and what are the needs of integrating ICT into teaching. Most of the faculty advisors were unsure of the importance o f integrating ICT within educational experiences. Module one, therefore, was developed in particular to meet these concerns. In week one, module one consisted of one 40-minute lecture and another 20-minute session. During these sessions, students were shown how technology has become part of everyone's daily life, from the decor in some washrooms to videogame rooms at a Japanese airport. They were shown websites that some elementary school students created and were asked to critically assess these websites. The session informed the students about the necessities of technology and the ways in which ICT can 69 be integrated into teaching and learning. Most importantly it asked them to think about how teacher pedagogy using ICT can support student learning. Module 2 was developed to introduce various communication spaces to students, such as email, discussion forums, blogs and wikis. A W i k i or wik i is "a website (or other hypertext documents collection) allowing users to add content" (Krug, 2005) and to edit a Web page freely. The name " W i k i / w i k i " originated from the native language Of Hawaii , and means "quick" or "super-fast". "Wik i s supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the f ly" (Leuf & Cunningham, 2005). Wikis are commonly used for communication among small groups of people because of the convenience of access and "open editing" (Leuf & Cunningham, 2005, What lsWiki section). According to Leuf and Cunningham (2005) a wik i can allow any user to create and edit any page in a wik i Website. Wik i s are a communication space that encourages a democratic use of the Web. Democracy in this sense is a means of association, which is based on free and equal dialogue and deliberation. However, the open editing features of a wik i also make it more difficult to maintain what gets posted on the space. This creates the need to provide adequate security, which in turn raises additional issues of access, control, and authority over who can exercise this power. These concerns have already been voiced by some users of wikis. Prior to the twenty minute class session of Module 1, students were asked to read "What Teachers Need to Know about Technology?", and discuss two questions: 1) according to the article, what does the author think teachers need to know about ICT? 2) What do you, as teachers to be, think teachers need to know about ICT? To encourage collaboration, students were divided into groups o f four or five with one teacher assistant 70 in each group (This size group was chosen because it was broad enough to generate ideas, yet manageable in terms of the number of teacher assistants and time needed to discuss and respond). A s future elementary teachers, groups were given names of fruit, such as Apples, Grapes, Bananas and Oranges to simulate an elementary classroom experience. During the discussion, teacher assistants were responsible for guiding group member participation, recording the discussions and posting them on the wik i . Some comments posted on the Seeds websites are listed below: Group A : Grapes 1) What did the article say? Skills to troubleshoot the problems in teaching practices using technology for instructions and research Integrating into curriculum. Encourages the attitude to learn and incorporate these skills. 2) What is your opinion? Basic skills for teaching, eg, browsers, powerpoint, words, excel Attitudes of using technology into teaching integrate technology into teaching. Group A : Apples What does the article put forth as what teachers need to know about technology? - know how to solve problems - see technology as a tool and use it creatively to solve problems -know what useful software is out there - technology should be situation and people driven (for example brainstorming) - can use technology for classroom management for instruction and for teachers to know more about their students (for example discussion forums; learn how they think) What do you think teachers need to know about technology? - teacher's need to know and learn what software is available for them in the district and particular school - learn how 71 to use technology for instruction - need to understand your own beliefs and thoughts about technology Group A : Bananas What do teachers need to know about ICT (technology)? a. According to the article b. According to you as a pre-service teacher - teachers do not really use technology - they see it as an artifact - teachers use it more for the sake of using and not to enhance any learning outcome - it's not whether or not we use technology but how we use it - it's almost what kind — it's a certainty that we will be using it - what technology can do for. the teachers - need to know differences between computers - need to know what students are working on - spread sheets, word, kidpix - need to knew search engines, classroom file folders - basic competency in programs would be adequate - programs for reporting student marks An Analysis of CSCL, Critical Inquiry and Learning Spaces During ICT sessions, the emphasis was not focused on the skills needed to use the technology, such as a wik i . Instead critical inquiry was emphasized for students to relate technology to their own teaching or learning experience in a larger context. A s the program continued, more and more problems were identified and posted by students, many questions were raised regarding how and why the use o f technology was related to their own experience. 72 B y working in small groups, the involvement of students was enhanced. Student confidence and competence in using technology was encouraged within these small group settings. Teacher assistants helped simulating future use of a wik i . B y simulating class experiences most students began to slowly feel comfortable and confident enough later on to take over the typing and posting tasks from the teacher assistants. The groups of students first discussed topics while teacher assistants typed the discussion into laptop computers. Sometimes members o f a group took turns typing as well . After each group posted their discussion onto the W i k i , which was accessible to all students in this program, they were provided the opportunity to share their discussions with their classmates, graduate assistants, and instructors through both face-to-face and online learning environment with the support of the computers. A s a reminder, some researchers stated in the literature review that student activities in face-to-face and C S C L learning environments would be constrained by computers and the fixed classroom setting (Myers, Stiel, & Gargiulo, 1998; Stewart, Bederson, & Drain, 1999), because people who collaborate through computers must adapt their interactions to adhere to the single-user paradigm that most PCs were based on. However, the activity in the Seeds program mildly showed that students were not restrained by computers or the classroom setting. Instead, the mobility and convenience ofthe laptops created a friendly group-work setting. This virtual learning environment was not accidental but was intentionally arranged by the instructor and teacher assistants before each class to simulate ICT pedagogical practices. During these sessions, students and teacher assistants were randomly assigned to discuss collaboratively in small groups. The instructor of the program walked around the 73 class and joined different group discussions. Rather than simply asking learners questions, the instructor and teacher assistants mentored students to answer questions and helped them follow their own learning paths, instead of providing a prescriptive set of instructions. Furthermore, real time dialogue provided during discussions and through a cycle of critical inquiry was encouraged during these collaborative processes of learning that included direct experiences, observations and reflections, along with critical analysis and taking action (Krug, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002). B y sharing power with the instructor, students also assumed responsibility for guiding their own learning. They explored and shared different ideas, challenged each other to observe new perspectives and considered alternatives to traditional ways of thinking. Students began to learn to ask questions, negotiate, interpret and make decisions democratically. They grew to self evaluate their learning processes, rather than just reflect on the outcomes of these processes. Furthermore, as students learned to work collaboratively, they began to be aware o f themselves as collaborative researchers instead of just passive knowledge recipients. A good example of this was that most students became very involved and excited about the use of these collaborative communication spaces and incorporated them into other program assignments. The students' confidence in their own ability and in the ability of the group to effectively face and work through ICT problems increased as students came to rely on and be motivated by social contact with other group members. 74 Challenges Not all o f the sessions were as effective as planned. One challenge was that some students did not do their assigned reading before the session. In one of the groups to which I worked, for example, none of the four student members did the reading and they did not bring the article with them either to the session. Therefore some valuable time was used to allow them to look quickly through the article. The ICT experience then had to be adjusted in order for these students to answer the assigned question: "what do they think teachers need to know about technology?" A different technical challenge was presented by the large number of students in each session. Limited by the class time, multiple groups were asked to simultaneously post their discussions on a wik i . However, some groups' discussions could not be posted due to a networked conflict that was created when two or three groups trying to post at the same time. To deal with this challenge, the teacher assistants took turns posting the group discussions. A few times, teacher assistants posted the text on the wik i after the sessions to compensate for the difficulty. Module 2-Inquiry On the Seeds website there are several definitions o f inquiry to illustrate the multiple perspectives associated with interpreting this learning process. One reference on the Seeds website stated, "Inquiry creates opportunities for teachers to learn how their students' minds work.. .some of the skills teachers learn when using inquiry include: • knowing when to provide a nudge • knowing what hints to give each particular student 75 • knowing what not to tell students (not to give away the answer) • knowing how to read student behaviours as they work through challenges and how to design meaningful learning situations that take those behaviours into account • knowing how to help students collaborate in solving problems together • knowing when observations, hypotheses, or experiments are meaningful • knowing how to tolerate ambiguity , • knowing how to use mistakes constructively. • knowing how to guide students so that giving them control of their explorations does not mean losing control of the classroom" (Krug, 2005, Inquiry section). The goal of module two was to simulate for the education students how to apply critical inquiry into their own teaching practice to facilitate their learning processes of ICT with their students' pursuit of knowledge. One activity designed to help achieve this goal, included four vignettes developed to create opportunities for students to practice what they had learned in previous classes. For example the simulation looked at how to 1) search and evaluate information online and post on the wik i , 2) share information in a broader context, such as discussing and posting information online and/or in groups. In the bulling vignette below, students related information from a lecture they attended with their own daily teaching experience in Canadian elementary schools. 7 6 Teaching Vignette: Bullying Task: First, examine the image on the left. Using the Module 2: Inquiry — week 5 - your team #, area in the discussion forum, write a short description of this situation. Second, imagine that you are a new teacher at this suburban school and you saw 2 students in your class after school, describe how you would deal with this situation. Third, describe what information you feel you need that is not available from this image so as to properly handle this situation. Last, read the postings o f your 3 other group members and respond to at least 2 of them offering a critique of their response to the above questions. Discussion Forum: Post your response in the Module 2: Inquiry — week 5 - your Team # (Resource: Krug, 2005, http://www.cust.educ.ubc.ca/cust565-05/seeds/inquiry_bully.htm) A. Bullying Issues Before the first class o f module 2, students attended a lecture about bullying. To combine technology with student experience, the ICT session was designed around this topic. A PowerPoint presentation entitled "Information Literacy Skills in Searching The Net" was presented by one o f the teacher assistants. This presentation not only helped students review the lecture about bullying, but also provided information as to the 77 locations and methods used to search related data through online resources. Most importantly, issues were raised for discussion including how to evaluate and use information from the Internet as well as whether teachers and students should be critical about the information found through this medium. A t the end of the presentation, it was recommended that collaboration with other teachers who teach the same grade, or working with teacher-librarians could aid in the search for resources and information. A weblog, as a form of communication space, was introduced to students after the presentation and students had an opportunity to integrate what they had learned into a search for information about bullying through the Internet. The results of their findings were posted on a "blog". " A weblog, Web log or simply a blog, is a web application which contains periodic entries on a common webpage" (Krug, 2005). A blog can be a personal diary, chronicle a political campaign, or be found within a media program. There can be one author or a large community of authors working on a blog. Some weblogs allow visitors to post public comments while others are non-interactive (Krug, 2005). Students were encouraged to search for information and engage in discussions with their classmates, and most students left comments about various websites for the purpose of sharing more information with other students. Some of the websites students searched, as well as students' comments and evaluation towards the websites are listed below: http://www. bced.gov. be. ca/sco/guide/scoguide.pdf I think this website is really important because it has a guide of what the ministry thinks about bullying and violence in schools. It describes the vision for 78 safe, caring and orderly schools that the education community strives towards, while providing provincial standards for codes of conduct necessary to reach our vision. (A Female Student) http://www.ssta.sk.ca/research/school_improvement/97-06.htm This website provides information about research and the history of bullying. This research project gives the results of a questionnaire completed by teachers as well as students. As a result of this study, there are also recommendations for both future research and recommendations for schools. (A Female Student) http://www.bullying.org Bullying.org is a user friendly, and interactive website. We would recommend for grades three and up. It has a variety of information, both specific and general. The site also has a bullying survey for visitors to fill out. (Two Female Students) http://www.pta.org/bullying/ This website-The National Parent Teacher Association has a plethora of information on understanding bullying and how parents, teachers and students can work together to stop bullying. Easy to navigate/provides additional links to parent/teacher resources. (A Female and A Male Student) The topic of bullying, along with gathering information from online resources and students' experience in their teaching practica at schools, complemented each other in ways that enabled students to integrate issues raised at those schools and in the research obtained through various virtual learning spaces. Therefore, there was less of a focus on 79 technological skills and more of a focus on understanding the context and how and why T E S should incorporate technology into their teaching and learning practices. In this way, the focus was shifted from how the technology was used, to how technology was the medium. The connection of coursework and student experiences, communication spaces, critical inquiry and collaboration were emphasized in ICT literacy. B y understanding the educational value of technology, critical inquiry was developed when students interpreted whether and how to use a particular technology. Most importantly critical inquiry showed with whom a particular technology could be used. For example, one group of students searched, evaluated and recommended bullying websites for students attending grade three and higher. Below, a student discussion dealing with the difference between a wik i , blog and discussion forum is presented. The issue of when, where, how and with whom to use these various forms of ICT and learning spaces w i l l be further analyzed below. Challenges Students were divided into groups and collaborated with their classmates, teacher assistants and/or their instructors. The majority of students had Campus Wide Login ( C W L ) accounts but some students did not apply for their accounts so they could not use the laptops to access the wireless networking system at U B C . B. The Wiki, Blog and Discussion Forum After two classes discussing the subject of bullying and searching for relevant information, a "discussion forum", another form of communication space, was introduced to students. A discussion forum, also known as a "bulletin board" or "message board", is 80 a web application, which provides online conversation. It has become the "modern descendant of the bulletin board systems and existing Usenet news systems that were widespread in the 1980s and 1990s" (Krug, 2005). A discussion forum usually does not exist alone but as a part of a website, and is created to share conversations and discussions among users (Krug, 2005). During the subsequent class, students were asked to work in groups and discuss the differences between and advantages o f a wik i , blog and discussion forum. In addition, they were expected to identify activities that could be adopted in class to facilitate the use of these three communication spaces. However, some technical problems arose. Although students could not log in and post their discussions during the class, a good conversation resulted between students, teacher assistants and instructors. Most students were full participants in the discussion; but a few students did not join, instead they checked e-mails or engaged in other activities irrelevant to the session. After several reminders by the instructor and teacher assistants, they eventually joined the group discussion. Students brainstormed ideas as a group and their discussions were recorded by one teacher assistant. A summary is listed below: Blogs - Group responses Blogs: A communication and advising tool between parents/teachers/students and the community that is easily updated Activities • reporting fieldtrips and posting class research activities • posting class assignments and assignments for absent students 81 • school/class newsletters and bulletin board • school wide chronicle of classroom activities - for example -highlights • online exhibit of student poetry, stories and drawings that facilitates pride and allows students to appreciate peer work • use it as a tag board - for further info view www.petersangels.blogspot.com • resource list, unit and lesson plans for teachers to share, add and refer to Wikis : Group responses Wikis : A n interactive communication tool that allows editing of posted work or messages Activities • suggestion box, minutes of meetings and archive of information • homework help groups/peer tutoring • weekly time tables and daily student agendas • posting of student questions for teacher assistance • buddy activities - for example - editing/book responses • pen pal interaction - inter-city/global • brainstorming • project collaboration/group work - groups can share components of what their learning with others Concerns for a Wiki - site security and accountability o f user. Questions for the adoption of both Wikis and Bogs 1) How w i l l blogs and wikis be networked to the school computer system? 2) Why should we learn this i f we wi l l not be able to use it once we are in the schools? 82 After the discussion, one group of students were very interested in the topic and they continued this conversation through an online communication space after the class. Some of the points they posted on the wik i regarding the advantages o f using a w i k i are listed below: / think wiki's are an excellent way to assess student learning, by allowing them to post their thoughts/questions/ideas on what they are learning in school. (A Female Student called A) I agree.. .1 think wiki's would be a great place for students to post ideas/ suggestions or other comments that they might have after class. For example... (A Female Student) Yeah! With A's help I was able to figure out this whole wiki thing! I think wiki's would be beneficial to students by asking and receiving questions and answers from fellow peers about assignments. It's just like asking for help from classmates before having to ask the teacher for help and feedback. Its like the whole ask 'three before me'situation. (A Female Student) wikis can be a space for brief student responses to a class discussion or a concerning issues; or a space for simple and free, creative expressions, they can function as a space for daliy bulletins or reponses to daily quotes or messages1, wikis create a "class community"? they can definitely engage students in a dialogue, allowing those "quieter students" to participate and contribute their 83 ideas to class too. having a wiki dialogue as an integral part of students' learning may also encourage and motivate students to continue thinking about what they have learned AFTER or outside of school, as they will be constantly engaged in online dialogues with their peers and even the teacher! (A Female Student) while wikis welcome random posts & ideas, lengthy posts (like mine! ojD") may be hard to view and organize in this unstructured format?! as well, teachers may need to take caution of students being able to "edit" texts in wikis! therefore, we need to think of appropriate use of wikis while remembering to set a criteria for using them? hmm, what are some creative and effective activities students can do with the "editing" tool in wikis?(A Male Student) Based on the discussion, it was evident that students began to regard the technology as a means of communicating ideas relevant to their own experiences. They began to think about the adaptation and use of a w i k i and blog in their teaching practices, which demonstrated that they had begun to take more responsibility for their own ICT literacy and shape of the technology initiative. Students inquired as to how, when and to whom the application of technology could best be applied for student learning. A s shown on the previous page, one student suggested a wik i could be utilized for daily bulletins or responses to daily quotes. In addition, it could contain messages which would create a "class community" by engaging students in a dialogue and allowing those "quieter students" to participate and contribute as well . Critical awareness and reflection was also evident through students' discussion and the posts on the wik i . They began to realize that 84 the effects associated with using ICT communication spaces, such as a w i k i , could be both positive and negative. For example, some students were concerned about the site security and accountability of user for a wiki . One male student concluded that while wikis welcome random posts & ideas and lengthy posts, it might be hard to view and organize them in this unstructured format. A s a result, he concluded that teachers might need to make sure students are able to edit their own texts in a wik i . He further inquired about the "creative and effective activities" students can perform using the "editing" tool in contained in a wik i . One point of worth was that students built on and developed meaning around their classmates' comments. They also helped each to navigate this online communication space. For example, one student used "I agree" as a comment to another student's post and continued her comment based on that. Another student wrote "with A ' s help...I was able to do. . ." Students affirmed this position in post-program surveys. Online collaboration enabled students to make a wide array o f connections between their peers and people in their community that had created through a forum for public inquiry. In this v way, students collectively developed a set of critical opinions related to the use of technology in schools. The issue of collaboration w i l l be further analyzed in the section on CSCL-Collaboration between Peer Student, Students, Instructors and Teacher Assistants. Challenges ICT infrastructure problems were a continuous challenge. Login problems happened in sessions on several occasions. The biggest challenge was that some students 85 still had not applied for their C W L accounts so they could not log in online using U B C wireless service. Time was spent helping them logging in using the instructor and the teacher assistants' accounts. O f course this challenge could easily have been rectified were the students told by T E O to bring their C W L and C M S account information to each session. A t other times, some technical problems occurred which prevented students from logging into the discussion forum using the user name and password they had just created. A t one point, the teacher assistants could not borrow the two carts o f laptops they had already booked from C M S due to scheduling policy issues. However, this problem was later resolved. C. CSCL- Peer Student, Students, Instructors and Teacher Assistants The instructor and teacher assistants met every Wednesday after the last session of the day and each Friday during the program to examine and discuss the program. This was done to discuss the optimal methods of teaching and for the purpose of critical inquiry simulations where ICT is incorporated to enhance teaching and learning. This critical inquiry framework was organized to not only support teachers to develop cross curricular and student centered activities within a teacher-guided environment but also to generate opportunities for students to learn to collaboratively identify, analyze, and interpret information. During any given session there were usually four teacher assistants and one professor working with a group o f 36 students. A l l the teacher assistants were quite busy and it was difficult to meet the needs of every student. Some of the students, including some of the tech coaches eventually were quite wi l l ing to help others. 86 During one section, two tech coaches shared their experiences o f incorporating technology into their classroom teaching and course work. I was impressed by a student from group C, who presented field pictures from his practicum and applied them in the form of an "imovie" called "Winter Art" . In this way, he demonstrated to his classmates and instructors another way of incorporating technology into teaching and learning. During week four, the instructors of the program and teacher assistants had their first meeting with faculty advisors assigned to the seven classes. The faculty advisors were asked how sessions were going and i f they had any suggestions for improving the program. Two suggestions were that they preferred to have the program as a course consisting of a one-hour session once a week, in an area that is closely situated to their other teaching classrooms. Second, they said that some students questioned the relevance of the program regarding the practical application of this form of teaching in schools, since some schools in which they did their practicum did not have any computers. Once again, the purpose of the Seeds program was emphasized, that was to make students feel comfortable and confident in using technology. The expectation was that these future teachers might influence other teachers and administrators and spread the possibility of critically using ICT in schools. Other comments raised by the faculty advisors included that they meet with Dr Don Krug, the instructor of the Seeds program, either as a group, or as individuals/partners to collaboratively plan how the technology component would be incorporated and presented to students. Additionally, they all responded positively to Dr. Krug's presentation on the use of technology for student research—using library or classroom computers in both primary and intermediate student learning. 87 One question was raised as to whether this program over-lapped with the tech coaches' responsibilities in each cohort. After the discussion, the conclusion was that, the role of tech coaches was to raise the level of technology skills amongst the students and faculty advisors i f possible. However, this Seeds program was to address the necessity and importance o f ICT literacy in the teacher education program at U B C . ICT literacy encompasses more than any set of technology skills. The collaboration between peer students, students, the instructors and teacher assistants was intense throughout the whole program. It was carried out through forms of discussion, inquiry, web postings and students' engagement in critical inquiry and ICT. Searching and sharing information in both face-to-face, hybrid and online distance education communication spaces were important components as well . Although several ICT challenges occurred during the program, overall the C S C L created a public forum for inquiries with on-going feedback with people in the community at large. D. The Dean's Lecture After the reading break at U B C , the Seeds program welcomed students back with the Dean's lecture. Later, the Dean joined the students in the discussion forum and encouraged them to send him comments or thoughts about the lecture outside of the regular class time. However, none of the students obliged the Dean's request. Therefore, class time was adapted, and students were asked to write something and send it to the discussion forum. Some technical problems arose yet again. The discussion forum website's software was not sufficient, and students were not able to type their comments for more than 5 minutes. This prompted students to type their threads in a Word 88 document and to later copy and paste the text into the discussion forum. A t the end of this class, most of the students sent the Dean a message voicing their opinions or comments. Later, despite his busy schedule, the Dean, replied to some of the questions the students posted on the discussion forum thread. Some of the student comments as well as the Dean's reply are listed below. ...I believe in this form of assessment. It allows parents, students and teachers to accurately gauge the students 'performance in the classroom. However, ...As pre-service teachers, Do you honestly expect us to have the necessary skills to implement this type of assessment in our classrooms? ...Are we to expect these students to provide their portfolios every time this occurs? Also, how much of the students' time in the classroom should be dedicated to creating and maintaining their portfolio. Does this not limit the actual time spent on learning the curriculum? It reminds me about the debate on winter performances, where most of the time is spent on concert lead up and not on learning. This thread demonstrated that students had begun to ask meaningful questions about the lecture they attended and the knowledge they gained. They also related this knowledge to their past experience. / thought that the lecture was very informative. Your ideas on assessment will prove to be valuable in the classroom, as I too believe in a child-centered approach. I am looking forward to implementing these ideas and techniques in the classroom. Thank-you so much for presenting your ideology on assessment to us. 89 ... Your lecture brought in real life examples, and made me feel a little bit better about the whole assessment process. Thanks... ... I really like the idea of using portfolios...and having the students involved in assessing themselves. I also really like the idea of building on the students' collective knowledge and building the bridge from them towards the curriculum/IRPs ...I think that more and more people will start to understand the benefits of this type of thinking and you may get your assessment 'movement'. Dean's reply: Let me try to address some of the themes raised in many of the comments. Many of you seem to see the worth of student-centered assessment that involves a form of negotiation with the students. I see student self-assessment as central to our educational endeavours. As students learn...you (as a teacher) are helping them look at their efforts using a range of lens... Our goal is to develop self-improving systems... They can pursue self assessment by students individually, as groups or as a whole class. And, it can occur formally or informally. Portfolios (individual, group, project etc.) may help a student and teacher achieve a range of assessment goals including self assessment. In terms of self assessment, portfolios can serve as a means ofgathering together material for student reflection ...portfolios can serve as conversation starter for students looking at their progress with their peers, teachers and others...In terms of teacher assessment, portfolios afford teachers the opportunity to look over a range of classroom... 90. In essence, I see student-centered assessment as ongoing...and quite central to heloing students learn how to learn across any course of study. This online discussion forum simulation encouraged students to explore and relate knowledge to their experience by encouraging them to critique and post their individual responses. In this forum, communication and learning were extended beyond physical boundaries and fixed class time. Communication and learning are essential in critical inquiry. A s students explored the issues of assessment, they posed questions relating assessment to their teaching experiences. B y reading each other's threads and communicating with people in the community-at-large, such as the Dean, they benefited from sharing their learning in a public forum and by investigating ideas, and presenting them to a wide audience. Educational communication spaces are one way to explore issues to learn from others. Meanwhile, the faculty advisors also found benefits in this online communication by moderating what students knew and did not know about a topic. In so doing, they were able to be more effective facilitators in the students' learning processes. Challenges The uses of ICT provided many technical challenges. A related issue was to help students overcome their frustration during these times. Occasionally some students showed impatience when small technical problems occurred. Even more challenging was when a few students in one particular group were regularly absent. In addition faculty advisors were also encouraged to participate e.g., send their comments to the Dean or join 91 a student communication space. However, only one faculty advisor from a group o f seven sent the Dean a message on the discussion forum. E Using ICT to Conduct Inquiry—The Vignette The instructor of the Seeds program explored some ICT teaching, learning and communication strategies that teachers and students would use to conduct critical inquiry. The purpose was to simulate how critical inquiry can be conducted by relating knowledge to the students' experiences, and connecting their learning "with new situation through writing, representation, and dialogue" (Krug, 2005). Critical inquiry can also be conducted by allowing students to "observe, reflect on, negotiate, analyze, and interpret meanings and values of everyday events, issues, and problems" (Krug, 2005). A s mentioned before, the vignettes were designed to build T E S ' knowledge and understanding of pedagogy and extend their learning experience. Students were asked to complete the inquiry by reading and choosing one vignette from four simulations posted on the Seeds website: Vignette #1—Bullying, Vignette #2 — Accessing Information, Vignette #3—Collaboration and Vignette #4—Online Collaboration. In groups of four or five, students selected a group leader who was responsible for monitoring and providing a summary o f the group discussion. Students were required to post their own responses to the discussion forum. They were also asked to read and respond to other group members' postings. One example is listed below: 92 Teaching Vignette: Collaboration Task: First, examine the image above. Using the Module 2: Inquiry — week 5 - your team #, area in the discussion forum, write a short description of this situation. Second, imagine that you are the teacher at this school and you saw 1 student excluded from a group project in your class, describe how you would deal with this situation. Third, describe what information you feel you need that is not available from these 2 images so as to properly handle this situation. Last, read the postings of your 3 other group members and respond to at least 2 of them offering a critique of their response to the above questions. Discussion Forum: Post your response in the Module 2: Inquiry — week 5 - your Team # Resource: Krug, 2005, http://www.cust.educ.ubc.ca/cust565-05/seeds/inquiry_collab.htm) Student responses: Teaching Vignette- Collaboration S H O R T D E S C R I P T I O N : - a girl is working by herself because she is being excluded from the other girls SECOND TASK: - ask outgoing/friendly students to include the student in - go over the rules of behavior THIRD TASK: - did an event occur to lead to exclusion? - did the child choose to work alone? 93 - does exclusion occur on a regular basis for this child? WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING TOGETHER IN GROUPS (face to face)? - immediate response - clarification - if you're not comfortable or used to dealing with the use of technology, your questions are more likely to be answered face to face (A Female Student/ Led by the instructor of a course, one group o f students did a case study using the discussion forum. so, then Therese Carmen and science. Let's discuss the issues first. The issue isn't science! think about what you know about curriculum and professional decision making. What does TC see as the role of the teacher and what does she believe about teaching young children? (Posted by the instructor) ...In addition, one ofthe negative points of her teaching is something I experienced, and quickly learned not to do during my practicum (A Female Student). If you were TC, what would you do when the principal came to observe? and how could TC get some concrete support (in the long term) with understanding the curriculum? (The Instructor) 94 This is so fun, I can't stand it! Whatever happened to motivating your students? Could Teresa Carmen not have adapted her lessons to make them fun for her students?(A Female Student) I too agree with TC's need to be adaptable, flexible, and reflective! Like Holly noted above... (A Female Student) so far so good with identifying issues. What do you think about TCs view of young children? and her role in teaching them? (The instructor)... Starting with an open-ended question that an instructor posted, this dialogue continued as students explored more coherent and meaningful questions, which lead to more exploration and evaluation. B y posting their thoughts and questions online, students were able to communicate with their classmates, instructor and people in the at-large community. In this way, they both taught and learned from each other. The instructor was also able to learn about the students in order to provide immediate feedback guiding them in their investigations to answer these questions. Learning in this collaborative and critical learning environment using critical inquiry, students were able to experience problem-solving, reflect on decision-making and learn to use research skills through the use of ICT. F. E-Portfolio The fifth week of module 2 introduced the concept of "e-portfolio" to students. The emphasis was on the importance of creating an e-portfolio as a communication space 95 for students to represent their learning and performance. Therefore most students created a personal page related to their life experiences and a professional page with their teaching philosophies. The eportfolios were very modest once again because ofthe time constraint of the program. The subsequent classes of module 2 were devoted to teaching students how to create their own e-portfolios using Dreamweaver, which is an application that allows one "to edit web pages and manage web sites through a graphical environment" ("Elevate IT", 2005, Glossary section). The sample e-portfolio contained an intro page, a personal page and a professional page. A PowerPoint presentation that dealt with web and networking construction also introduced students to methods required to upload and save their web pages to a server at U B C . This allowed students to author and administer their web pages and to make them publicly viewable over the Internet. The public presentation of the websites was a form o f formative assessment based on self and social critique. Challenges and Solutions Two teacher assistants within the program shared with me their experiences of teaching. According to them, some of the students were not patient with the technology they were learning and they showed their impatience and frustration in front of the teacher assistants and the instructor in the class. After a discussion among some of the students, teacher assistants and the instructor, the progress of module 2 was slowed down so that students had more time to become familiar with the technology. Two groups of students had some problems due to the inadequate supply of computers in the C M S computer lab. Some students had to use laptops, which increased the difficulties to access, upload and save the web pages from their C M S accounts to the 96 server. One student was very impatient when uploading and saving files from their C M S account to the server. However, no matter how frustrated this student was, he/she chose to stay after the class to observe the methods I used to save and upload the file. I also got a chance to work with a physically challenged student who was very interested in ICT and active in the class. Instead of following the class, this student chose to work at his/her own pace and perform the tasks in a less structured way. The teacher assistants spent extra time with this student to meet his/her individual needs. Students were encouraged to discuss and assist each other throughout the program. A s the program continued, they became more and more comfortable with ICT. A good example was when students became familiar with authoring their e-portfolios online. Most of them became less dependant on the teacher assistants and began to aid each other or confer with their classmates when assistance was needed. Sometimes when I worked with one student, another student would jo in the discussion and together we solved a problem or even discovered a new function of authoring online. Teacher assistants spent the majority of their time attending to students who had been absent from many classes. Due to these absences, these students fell behind the rest o f the class and required additional assistance to complete their e-portfolios. Incorporating ICT into the Curriculum A large part o f Seeds program was delivered through an ICT online environment. The Seeds website was created for students to review the three modules, check assignments and respond through online communication spaces. Students were able to review presentations presented during the sessions, communicate with the instructor and 97 teacher assistants during and after classes, and explore more information through the resource links provided in the website. Rather than delivering the program on paper with handouts and paper assignments, the Seeds program demonstrated the possibility of incorporating ICT into curriculum. Module 3-Assesment During the final week of the term, post-class surveys were distributed to students at that time. Three of the four groups handed in their completed surveys the next day. The teacher assistants felt appreciated when students conveyed their gratitude at the end of the program. Twenty-four out o f eighty-three students (one group did not hand in the post survey) completed their optional post survey comments. Some representative post survey comments are listed below: This was a helpful class because it made me lose my fear of technology. Well at least be more interested in incorporating technology in my classrooms. I would support a future required class on technology in classrooms. (Female - age 20) I thought the idea of instructing us in technology was great however Ifelt limited by time constraints feel I didn 't take a lot away from classes because they were too rushed. I think it should be a full course. (Female — age 30) Thank you very much for all the instruction and help in creating a website. I never thought I could do it and it is pretty easy to use within the classroom and with 9 8 children, so thank you. And I feel so much more comfortable working with computer than I did in the beginning. I now feel more prepared to use technology within the classroom. Thank you once again. (Female student, 30) I thought this tech class was helpful. But it was not long enough and it was too basic. I think if we had an actual tech class we would learn more. But the problem with that would be that everyone is at different levels. Personally I want to make video on the computer. For those who knew how to do basic things he tech class was not that helpful. Thanks for everything. (Female - age 20) Although it was interesting to learn how to use dreamweaver, I would have liked to learn how to create a web page with a less specialized piece of software, as I probably will not have access to that software in my schools. (Female - age 20) If this is going to be a course it needs to be slower and things need to be linked to why/how this would be used in the classroom. There needs to be more time spent on creating and putting together for those who are not computer literate! You need to be in a room where all computer work. The laptop labs were very frustrating! (Female - age 30) According to these post-program surveys, most students felt more comfortable and confident using computers after having completed this program and some of them indicated that it had raised their interest in using computers within their own teaching practices. Time constraint was the most frequent complaint from students. Most students 99 had hoped that this program could develop into a course that would allow them to learn at a slower pace and meet their individual needs as they relate to ICT literacy. Summary In this chapter, I described the Seeds program in detail and analyzed how C S C L , critical inquiry and various learning spaces challenged and enhanced T E S learning of ICT literacy during the Seeds program. While there were many social, technical and curricular challenges, which resulted from the introduction of ICT, none of these challenges were insurmountable or stifled social interaction during the program. I believe the above analysis provides a useful overview for understanding how and why ICT can be successfully incorporated into a T E P . The Seeds program successfully enabled teacher education students to use ICT confidently and competently within their own teaching practices. The post surveys, exit interviews, and classroom conversations provided some evidence as to what success meant in the context of the Seeds program. This pilot research broadly demonstrated that some students did increase their ICT literacy as well as their interests in incorporating ICT into their practice after the program. A more complete summary is provided in Chapter 5. 100 Chapter 5 Summary and Suggestion The research objectives of this thesis were first, to identify the need for introducing ICT literacy into the T E P course of study generally and the 2-year elementary T E P specifically based on a thorough review of educational literature and theory, and second to describe and analyze relations, tensions, and contradictions that occurred when critical inquiry and C S C L were introduced to enhance ICT literacy in the T Y E T E P course o f study. In chapter 2 and chapter 3 I identified the need for introducing ICT literacy into the T Y E T E P course of study, based on current literature as well as the ICTSS report conducted by Statistic Canada. In this final chapter, I summarize the data and findings from previous chapters and provide my own interpretation of the second research objective, the relations, tensions, and contradictions that occurred when critical inquiry and C S C L were introduced to enhance ICT literacy in the T Y E T E P course of study. Relations The Seeds program was designed to combine both critical inquiry and ICT literacy in order to have students feel comfortable and confident in using educational technologies within their own pedagogical practices. To provide students opportunities to feel comfortable using both Mac and Windows operating systems in each class, one cart of 20 Windows and one cart of 20 Mac laptop computers were at the students' disposal. Students also had the opportunity to work in both Mac and Windows computer labs and try different browsers, such as Internet Explore, Netscape, Safari, and Moz i l l a . Through 101 the Seeds program students had opportunities to create their own e-portfolios and engage in and think about communication spaces. In order to do this, some basic html programming and file transfer protocol skills were taught. However, these technical skills were not taught for the sole purpose of using an ICT application, instead the emphasis was on the context of teaching and learning and creating an e-portfolio that highlighted their professional learning and personal interests. Learning Spaces B y introducing various learning spaces, such as asynchronous and synchronous communication systems (e.g. wik i , blog and discussion forum), virtual learning environments were created for students to converse in small groups which allowed them opportunities to collaborate on course assignments, not only with their classmates, but also with the session instructor, teacher assistants and the faculty advisors. Faculty advisors were very reluctant to directly participate in most ICT sessions. Discussions were sometimes focused on an article regarding the knowledge and attitude required by teachers involved in the use of ICT. On several occasions, after these discussions and debates, one student in a group was responsible to either post their collaborative conclusions on a wik i , blog or discussion forum or present this information in front of the class. Occasionally, their discussions were posted on the W i k i with the help of a teacher assistant. In this way, students not only reflected on the article in small groups but also had the opportunity to critically relate contextual information and read other groups" discussions. During this program, students learned not only to collaborate and communicate with each other, but more importantly they learned how to address issues 102 from multiple perspectives on topics such as bullying and assessment (reading and lecture topics) in their teaching by sharing conversations with their classmates, teachers and administrators (Beaudry, Krug, Najafi, Vanston, & Zhang, 2005). A s mentioned before, group size usually consisted of three-five students and one teacher assistant. This was the most productive group size when trying to use computer supportive collaborative learning. Critical Inquiry and Pedagogy Another important finding was that critical inquiry had the potential to enhance ICT literacy during the program. For example, as described in chapter 4, students posted their thoughts on a wik i about an article they read which discussed what teachers need to know about ICT. They also posted questions on a blog and discussion forum about vignettes that were directly connected to another article and a lecture they had attended. To add continuity to the program, students identified and posted more questions and also questioned the validity of the questions they asked. Critical inquiry provided ways for students to move beyond merely reflecting on ideas to consider issues in relation to contextual conditions in society and how to use particular technologies to best enhance the social conditions of student learning. Most importantly critical inquiry guided the use of ICT to engage students in heated discussions and ways to explore multiple meanings and values. For example, one group of students searched, evaluated and recommended bullying websites for students attending grade three and higher. Then they used a vignette posted on a website to talk about the social consequences of their own particular practices related to how they would handle a bullying situation. 1 0 3 Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Collaboration among peer students, students, the instructors and teacher assistants was intense throughout the whole program. It was carried out through forms of discussion, inquiry, web posting and students' responses to questions. Searching and sharing information in both face-to-face, hybrid, and online communication spaces were important components as well. Overall, through various communication spaces, CSCL created a public forum for inquiries with on-going feedback from people in the community-at-large. Students benefited from this public forum by investigating ideas, presenting them to a wide audience, exploring issues, and learning in a collaborative and critical environment. Students developed problem-solving, decision-making and research skills as they took responsibility for their own learning. For example, students searched information about bullying issue emerged in Canadian elementary schools. They evaluated and shared the information retrieved from the websites with their classmates, the instructor and teacher assistants on the discussion forum. Further discussions were developed when students posted questions and responded to others'. Meanwhile, faculty advisors also found benefits in this online communication by learning more about their students with regards to what they know and do not know. In so doing, the faculty advisors were able to be slightly more effective as facilitators in their students' learning processes. Of course with greater participation on the part of the faculty advisors, this potential would also increase. Rather than simply ask questions, the instructor and teacher assistants guided students to ask their own questions and then assisted them with following their own learning paths during the program. Furthermore, real time dialogue provided during 104 discussions and critical inquiry was encouraged throughout the collaborative processes and simulations. Students also took on responsibility guiding their own learning. They explored and shared different ideas through discussions, challenged each other to observe new perspectives and considered alternatives to traditional ways of thinking. They grew to feel comfortable with self-evaluation of their learning processes, rather than seek attainment of predetermined outcomes. Furthermore, as students learned to work collaboratively in groups, they began to be aware of themselves as collaborative researchers instead of just passive knowledge recipients. A good example of this is that most students became very involved and excited about the use of ICT like the W i k i and Blog as a collaborative communication space. The students' confidence in their own ability and in the ability o f the group to effectively face and work through problems increased as students came to rely on and be motivated by social contact with other group members. These positive aspects of ICT and the changing roles of teachers and students were also echoed in the literature review of C S C L . Some researchers stated in the literature that student activities in face-to-face and C S C L learning environments can be constrained by computers and the fixed classroom setting (Myers, Stiel, & Gargiulo 1998, and Stewart, Bederson & Drain, 1999) because as people collaborate using computers they must adapt their interactions to adhere to a single-user paradigm that most PCs are based on. The activity in the Seeds program mildly showed that students were not restrained by computers or the classroom settings. Instead, the mobility and convenience of the laptops created a group-friendly classroom setting. This virtual learning environment was not accidentally achieved but was 105 intentionally arranged by the instructor and teacher assistants before each class to simulate ICT literacy. Tensions Some of the tensions listed here might seem small in comparison to the overall goals of the project. However, in the day-to-day grind of classroom activities, these tensions did not feel like minor events at the time. A s the coordinator of weekly time blocks during the program, the instructor and the teacher assistants could only mentor the program as a supplement to other activities in the for credit courses. There were tensions that did not allow easy combination of pedagogy and ICT literacy, such as time constraint (most sessions are 20 minutes), classroom locations (far from the computer lab and other classrooms), as well as the lack of positive values and different understanding of ICT and pedagogy between the faculty advisor of each class and the mentors in the Seeds program. Some social problems occurred at times during the program, such as 1) teacher assistants could not always borrow the two carts of laptops they had booked form C M S due to scheduling policy issues, 2) students didn't do the work they were asked, specifically, posting their response about the Dean's lecture after school, 3) some of the students did not apply for or forgot their C W L and /or C M S accounts, which required the instructor and teacher assistants to spend class time helping them to log in at the beginning of each class. The second and third problems revealed that the ICT learning environments were not viewed by some students as an integrate part of T E P for several reasons listed below: a. N o grade was attached to student assessment. b. Seeds program was facilitated by an outside mentor (not as a faculty advisor) 106 c. Some faculty advisors did not participate in the program d. Some students doubted the availability of computers at B . C . schools There were also infrastructure and technical problems that hindered the process of the class. Instances of these tensions were: 1) a lack of appropriate software application (video editing and graphic manipulation) and computers available through C M S (36 students sharing 20 computers); 2) a delay for students posting their comments simultaneously on the W i k i , so students had to take turns posting or had to wait after the class in order to post; 3) a router conflict that prohibited it from refreshing the IP addresses. This hardware problem prohibited multiple users of one computer to log in after each other. The result was that some students could not log into a communication space to post their responses to an assignment. Contradictions There were several contradictions between the literature reviewed and the perspectives o f the T E S and the conditions of their earlier practicum experiences. The first contradiction was that the ICTSS reported more than 90% of principals agreed that ICT not only allowed students to go beyond the prescribed curriculum but also broadened and enriched teacher perspective towards the hidden curriculum and instruction. However the monthly technical support time per computer at Canadian schools was only 12 minutes per computer (Table 3). Further, most schools continue to be challenged by funding for technology and there is not enough professional development opportunities for teachers (Plante & Beattie, 2004). 107 Despite that the average student to computer ratio in British Columbia is 5.0 to 1 and the average student to Internet-connected computer ration is 5.6 to 1 (Plante & Beattie, 2004), some schools, especially in B C ' s inner cities, continue to have an inadequate number of computers for their students. According to the Seeds pre survey, as well as questions raised by students during the sessions, most students seemed to be concerned with the insufficient number of computers at schools where teaching practices were undertaken. In the research paper (Plante & Beattie, 2004), 35.2% o f schools indicated that 75% of the teachers or more possess the required technical skills to engage students in using ICT effectively to enhance their learning. Teachers' Perspectives reported that nearly every teacher in the survey had used a computer frequently, and regarded a computer as essential or important in the way they teach. Most of the teachers were learning ICT on the job, self-taught or relied on other teachers or their students (O'Haire, 2003). Also , according to the pre survey for Seeds, approximately 79% of the T E S computer skills were self-taught and about 57% learned these skills from friends or relatives. However, according to the pre surveys, most faculty advisors and students felt neither comfortable nor confident to incorporate ICT into their teaching and learning at the beginning of the Seeds pilot study. Stil l provided with the opportunities of learning ICT during the Seeds program, some of the faculty advisors and students did not participate, despite the fact that all faculty advisors and students agreed to be fully involved at the beginning of the program. For example, the faculty advisors were encouraged to send their comments to the Dean after his lecture and jo in the student/Dean 108 discussion. However, only one faculty advisor from a group of seven sent the Dean a message on the discussion forum. S i g n i f i c a n c e While some attention in Canada has been paid to the professional development of teachers' attitude and competencies towards integrating ICT into teaching and learning, little attention has been paid to the T E P . This thesis draws attention to this gap by providing a close examination of ICT literacy education in T Y E T E P at U B C , especially how ICT can be integrated into the curriculum and the ways in which faculty advisors and future teachers responded to one attempt to integrate ICT through a systemic program. Some of the tensions and contradictions, such as the social and technical problems mentioned above were anticipated before the program started. However, these concerns were not seen as significant enough as to drastically modify the curriculum. Overall, the purpose of this pilot program was to observe and collect data for future ongoing development in this area of study. This thesis was designed to help report on this preliminary data collected from the Seeds program. F u t u r e S t u d y A t the writing of this thesis, it is anticipated that the Seeds of Possibility: Integrating ICT into Teaching and Learning w i l l be developed into a one-hour per week program which wi l l run through the whole academic year. Instead of developing a stand-alone course separated from other courses, a research mentorship team w i l l work with 109 faculty associates and students on integrating it into all courses offered through the T Y E T E P . The first step of the new Seeds Program w i l l be to integrate ICT literacy into the existing methodology courses. The next step w i l l be to integrate learning technologies into the practicum courses, and then to work with sponsor teachers who work directly with students during their extended practicum experiences. According to the post-program surveys, most students felt more comfortable and confident using computers after having completed the Seeds program and some of them indicated that it had raised their interest in using ICT within their own teaching practices. I believe further research w i l l need to be conducted to extend understandings of how pedagogical and communication practices are changing in light o f integrating ICT into curricula. B y observing and documenting empirical evidence of teaching practices this data can provide researchers a way to analyze whether these students w i l l actually benefit from integrating ICT into their teaching practices and whether these seeds o f possibility students can help spread their ICT literacy among other seasoned teachers. Furthermore, it would be of value to consider what kind of ICT that students adopt in their teaching practices, and particularly to consider the degree to which ICT is used as part of professional communication and learning. The Seeds program can perhaps offer on-going professional research for fostering links between teacher education students and their first couple of years of teaching. Dillenbourg (1999) mentioned four characteristics of C L namely: situations, interactions, processes, and effects. It would be of value to examine and analyze these four factors, especially in relation with C S C L when ICT was introduced to T E P . 110 Dimensions of ICT and CSCL Each new finding can lead an individual to ask fresh questions, change their perspective or explore new horizons. The main reason why people study new things, whether they be new facts, theories, concepts or philosophies, is the potential influence they w i l l have on people's understanding and behaviour. When introducing a new concept of learning, it w i l l greatly influence the educational system at all levels, from micro to macro. The implementation of C L and critical inquiry through the Seed program not only changed the role of the teacher and student at the micro level of the daily practice, but also had the potential to influence the teachers philosophical position, the structure and purpose of the school system and ICT 's potential in society. The Role of Teachers How can teachers overcome not only the challenges o f C L but also take advantage of the power of C S C L ? This question w i l l be the focus of my future research. After this research, my conclusion is that, critical inquiry, C L and C S C L environments can enable teachers to act more as guides, tutors, facilitators or even partners, rather than merely experts or authorities. Teachers can guide learners to answer their own questions, instead of simple asking learners to memorize prescribed content. They can also help learners follow their own learning routes, and assist them in making informed decisions about what they should do. This was the case when the instructor and teacher assistants during the Seeds program offered in-time feedback and encouraged students to critically analyze ICT issues in the context of personal experiences and contemporary educational issues. I l l However, it was not easy for the instructor to fulfill this role because of the challenges mentioned in both the literature reviewed and the actual day-to-day workings of the program. To overcome these challenges, specific learning materials and tasks were developed to use in the C S C L environment. The instructor and teacher assistants had to be also critical of their own practices in order to overcome several technical problems. A s Simons et al. (2002) concluded, teachers have to deal with several class management challenges: the management of technologies, information, time and learning groups. Meanwhile, introducing C S C L into classrooms w i l l necessarily require teacher support, for example, technical support, professional development, guidelines and symmetrical computer supported collaborative teaching evaluation for teachers, to mention just a few. I believe, the key to all o f the above challenges wi l l require ongoing dialogue through a cycle of critical inquiry, which is not only between teachers and students, but also between teachers, parents, administrators and beyond. Within a community of practice people from the school to the local community and from national and international groups w i l l need to participate and discuss, learn from and support each other, and build a collaborative learning and research environment. The Role of Students Through critical inquiry and within the C S C L environment students can explore and share different ideas, challenge each other to look at new perspectives and consider alternatives to traditional ways of thinking, through discussions with others within the learning institution, in the local community, the country and even internationally. Students can learn to ask questions, negotiate, and make decisions democratically. Rather 112 than attempting to control ideas, they can learn to respect and listen to others. They also can learn to evaluate their own learning processes, rather than just the outcomes of those processes. Sharing power with teachers, students can learn to cherish and make effective use of that power by taking more responsibility for their own learning. A s students learn to work collaboratively, they w i l l become aware o f what it means to be a collaborative researcher instead of a passive recipient of knowledge. The students' confidence in their own ability and in the ability o f the group to effectively face and work through problems can increase as students come to rely on and are motivated by a social contact with other supportive group members. Conclusion Finally, I would like to use a metaphor to summarize the relationship between C L , C S C L , critical inquiry, learning spaces and ICT integration. If life-long learning is like the growth of a tree, then this tree should grow with the development of effective theory and practice. If teachers are gardeners, then they w i l l use their knowledge to water this tree. If C L is one of the branches on the tree, it may not be strong enough to support other branches upon which to grow. ICT can be used as a kind of fertilizer to help strengthen this branch. But in this use, we have to consider factors such as what kind of fertilizer, how much to apply and the actual methods of application that should be used by the gardener. 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Computer supported collaborative learning using wirelessly interconnected handheld computers. Computer & Education, 42, 289-314. 122 Appendix A Program Schedule seeds o? possibil i ty i n t e g r a t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n t e c h n o l o g i e s T W O - Y E A R E L E M E N T A R Y P R O G R A M T E A C H E R E D U C A T I O N U B C F a c u l t y o f E d u c a t i o n H I . Ml M M 1 P r a c t i c i * i m > 1 M P r a I c t i c \ j m M n module 1 (40 minuto*) module 1 (20 minutes) m XI n H Uullytiiy leutuie • u module 2 (40 minutes) FebritJMv 2005 M m Ml TM M m module 2 (40 minutes) module 2 (20 minutes) module 2 (20 minute*) 1 module 2 (20 minutes) M tl 1 1 U ml d - term brea k Dean's lecture n module 2 (20 minute*) 1 _ module 2 (40 minutes) module 2 (20 minutes) • modulo 3 (40 minutes) • module 3 (20 minutes) u u module 3 (40 minutes) u module? (20 minute*) • M module 3 (40 mlnuM*) module 3 (20 minute*) P H M n 1 123 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: G r o u p A Room Bookings Seeds of Possibility M o r n i n g Session D a t e : 1 / 2 4 / 0 5 - 3 / 3 0 / 0 5 D a y : M W T i m e : I 0 a m - 4 p m R o o m : S c a r f e 1128 (36+scat room) * * ( A L L C L A S S E S W I L L M E E T IN S C A R F E 1128) C o m p u t e r L a b s : 1006 (mac) , 1011 (win) N o t e b o o k s : (mac) and (win) D a t a P r o j e c t o r : I per room G r o u p A (10:45-11:35) (20 or 40 minute t ime w i l l fal l w i th in this t ime slot) Lorn a Lewis M W Scarfe Ponderosa 203 1023 (Debbie Jeroff) M W Ponderosa Scarfe 127 210 M o d u l e 1 In t roduc t i on M 01/17 (40 minutes) W 01/19 (20 minutes) M l ( c o n ' t ) M 01/24 Bullying Lecture W 01/19 (40 minutes) M o d u l e 2 I n q u i r y M 01/31 (40 minutes) W 02/02 (20 minutes) M2(con ' t ) M 02/07 (40 minutes) W 02/09 (20 minutes) M i d - t e r m B r e a k 02/14-02/16 M2(con ' t ) M 02/2J Deans Lecture W 02/23 (20 minutes) M2(con ' t ) M 02/28 (40 minutes) W 03/02 (20 minutes) M o d u l e 3 M3(con ' t ) M 3 (con' t ) ePo r t f o l i o (Assessment ) M 02/28 W 03/02 M W M W 03/07 03/09 03/14 03/16 (40 minutes) (20 minutes) no session . (20 minutes) (40 minutes) (20 minutes) 124 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group B Room Bookings Seeds of Possibility Af te rnoon Sess ion Date: 1 / 2 4 / 0 5 - 3/30/05 Day: M W Time: 1 0 a m - 4 p m Room: Scarfe 1128 (36+scat room) * * ( A L L C L A S S E S WILL M E E T IN S C A R F E 1128) Computer Labs: 1006 (mac) , 101.1 (w in) Notebooks: (mac) and (w in ) Data Projector: 1 per room Group B (1 :00 - 1:40) (20 or 40 minute t ime w i l l fa l l w i t h i n this t ime slot)»see January 17 & 19* Carla Rae M W Scarfe Ponderosa 210 121 Bev Parslow ' M W Scarfe Scarfe 1003 1003 Module M l ( c o n ' t ) Module 2 M2(con" t ) Mid-term Break M 2 ( c o n ' t ) M 2 ( c o n ' t ) Introduction M 01/17 W 01/19 M 01/24 w 01/19 Inquiry M 0.1/31 W 02/02 M 02/07 W 02/09 02/14-02/16 M 02/21 W 02/23 M 02/28 W 03/02 no session (Handout art ic le to students) (60 minutes) (2 :30-3:30) Bullying Lecture (40 minutes) (40 minutes) (20 minutes) (40 minutes) (20 minutes) Deans Lecture (20 minutes) (40 minutes) (20 minutes) Module 3 M 3 ( c o n ' f ) M 3 (co iv t ) cPortfolio (Assessment) M 02/28 W 03 /02 M W M W 03/07 03/09 03/14 03 /16 (40 minutes) (20 minutes) no session (20 minutes) (40 minutes) (20 minutes) 125 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group C Room Bookings Seeds of Possibility A f t e r n o o n Sess ion Date: 1 / 2 4 / 0 5 - 3 / 3 0 / 0 5 Day: M W Time: 10am - 4 p m Room: Scarfe 1128 (36+seat room) **(ALL CLASSES WILL MEET IN SCARFE 1128) Computer Labs: 1006 (mac) , 1011 (w in ) Notebooks: (mac) and (w in ) Data Projector: I per r o o m Group C (1 :50-2 :30) (20 or 40 minu te t ime w i l l fa l l w i t h i n th is t ime s lot) * please sec OI/I 9 tor time difference. Laurie Kocher M W Ponderosa Ponderosa 123 123 Jim Morris M W Scar fe Scar fe 1024 1023 Module 1 M l ( c o n ' t ) Introduction M 01 /17 W 01 /19 M W 01/24 0 1 / 1 9 (40 minutes) (20 minutes) *( 1:40-2:00) Bullying Lecture (40 minutes) Module 2 M 2 ( c o n ' t ) Mid-term Break M 2 ( c o n ' t ) M 2 ( c o n ' t ) Inquiry M 01/31 (40 minutes) w 02 /02 (20 minutes) M 02 /07 (40 minutes) W 02 /09 (20 minutes) 02 /14 -02 /16 M 02/21 Deans Lectin W 02 /23 (20 minutes) M 02 /28 (40 minutes) W 03 /02 (20 minutes) Module 3 M 3 ( c o n ' t ) M 3 (con ' t ) ePortfolio (Assessment) M 02 /28 (40 minutes) W 03 /02 (20 minutes) M 03/07 no session W 03 /09 (20 minutes) M 03 /14 (40 minutes) W 03 /16 (20 minutes) 126 Appendix B Classroom Bookings: Group D Room Bookings Seeds of Possibility Af te rnoon Sess ion Date: 1 / 2 4 / 0 5 - 3 / 3 0 / 0 5 Day: M W Time: 1 0 a m - 4 p m Rooms : 1006 (mac) . 1011 (w in ) , 1128 (36+seat room) Group D (2 :40-3 :10) (20 or 40 minute t ime w i l l fa l l w i t h i n this t ime slot) '(Please see o i / i9 for time difference) Peter Bay ley M W Ponderosa Scar fe 121 203 Marian Rosse M W Scar fe Scar fe 1023 1328 Module 1 Ml(con't) Module 2 M2(con't) Mid-term M2(con't) M2(con't) Module 3 M3(con't) M 3 (con't) Introduction M 01 /17 (40 minutes) W 01 /19 (20 minutes) (2 :10 M 01/24 Bullying Lecture W 01 /19 (40 minutes) Inquiry M 01/31 (40 minutes) W 02 /02 (20 minutes) M 02 /07 (40 minutes) W 02 /09 (20 minutes) Break 02 /14 -02 /16 M 02/21 Deans Lecture W 02/23 (20 minutes) M 02 /28 (40 minutes) W 03 /02 (20 minutes) cPortfolio (Assessment) M 02/28 (40 minutes) W 03 /02 (20 minutes) M 03/07 no session W 03 /09 (20 minutes) M 03/14 (40 minutes) W 03/16 (20 minutes) 1 2 7 Appendix C Pre Survey Seeds of Possibility Pre-Course Survey Section A: Please circle your answer for each of the questions listed below: Age closest to 20 30 40 50 Gender M F What computer system do you have at home None Mac Windows Linux Other What kind of computer do you have? None Laptop Desktop What is your home internet connectivity? None High-speed with Telus/Shaw High Speed Wireless Dial-up Where do you most frequently access the internet? Home University internet cafe library friend's house Other: Where did you learn your computer skills? (circle all that apply) Have none Self-taught High School University Workplace Friends/Relatives Other: Section B: Please indicate your degree of current competence for each of the activities listed below: Choose "None" if you have no knowledge of, or experience with, this task. Choose "Low" if you have some limited experience with the task, but are unsure of your ability to complete it unassisted. Choose "Medium" if you feel reasonably sure of your ability to complete this task. Choose "High" if you are sure of your ability to complete this task to the point that you could teach it to someone else. r Create or modify a spreadsheet document. None Low Medium High Create or modify a database document. None Low Medium High Make a backup copy of a computer file. None • Low Medium High Create a folder or directory. None Low Medium High Copy a file from one disk to another. None Low Medium High Use a scanner to create a digital image. None Low Medium High Use a digital camera to create an image on a computer. None Low Medium High Create a presentation e.g.: PowerPoint or SlideShow. None Low Medium High Place an image or graphic into a document. None Low Medium High Make a web bookmark or favorite. None Low Medium High Do an advanced search with AND and OR operators None Low Medium High Download files to your computer. None Low Medium High Create or record your own music using a computer. None Low Medium High Bum a CD. None Low Medium High Use an FTP program to upload files. None Low Medium High Save or use an image from a web page. None Low Medium High Install an application or program onto a computer. None Low Medium High Modify an image or graphic with the computer. None Low Medium High Use advanced word processing features such as tables/templates. None Low Medium High Create a chart or graph with a spreadsheet program. None Low Medium High Download a plug-in for your browser. None Low Medium High Participate in an on-line discussion or newsgroup. None Low Medium High Create and upload a web page on the World Wide Web. None Low Medium High Create and use a biog or wiki. None Low Medium High Seeds of Possibility Pre-Course Survey Page 1 of 4 128 Section C: How important do you think it is that you know or attain the following competencies in your teacher-education program? Create a document with a word processor. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Use advanced word processing features such as tables/templates. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Create/manipulate graphics or images with a computer. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Create a chart or graph with spreadsheet software. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Create a document with database software. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Create a presentation with presentation software. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Conduct research using the library. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Conduct research using the Internet. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Send or receive e-mail with an attachment Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Use a search engine to find useful information on the Web. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Download a file from the Internet or the Web. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Burn a CD . Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Participate in an on-line discussion, forum, or bulletin board. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Create a web page and upload It to the World Wide Web. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Be able to integrate computers into your classroom lessons. Not Important Somewhat Important Important Very Important Section D: Should there be a required course on computer use in the Teacher Education Program? Yes No Should computers be Integrated on a regular basis into course instruction? Yes No What sort of computer support would you find most helpful? Onsite Help Desk remote help desk—phone/email peer tutorials online tutorials workshops As a student, to which of these services do you feel the university should provide ready access ? (check all that apply) Computers printers e-mail computer lessons web access basic software technical assistance specialist software Seeds of Possibility Pre-Course Survey Page 2 of 4 129 Section E: As a prospective teacher, indicate your level of agreement with these sentences: I am interested in learning more about how to use technology in the classroom. Don't K n o w St rongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I would like to use the Internet as an instructional resource. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e St rongly A g r e e New technologies have a positive effect in transforming instruction. Don't K n o w Strongly D i sag ree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I would like to teach computer skills in my future classroom. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e The use of technology promotes student-centred learning. Don't K n o w St rongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I would like to use educational software in my classroom. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I understand the ethical issues involved in using technology in the classroom. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e It's not really important for teachers to know how to use technology. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Integrating the use of technology across subjects maximizes student learning. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e St rongly A g r e e I think that there is too much emphasis on using technology in the classrooom. Don't K n o w St rongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e St rongly A g r e e I feel competent in using technology in my classroom in a meaningful manner. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I do not plan to use technology in my future classroom. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e St rongly A g r e e I would like to use technology for assessment and evaluation in my classroom. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isag ree A g r e e St rongly A g r e e I would like to use multimedia to explore different ways to represent concepts. Don't K n o w St rongly D isag ree D isagree A g r e e St rongly A g r e e / am going to write extra comments on the next page. N o Y e s Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey! Seeds of Possibility Pre-Course Survey Page 3 of 4 130 Feel free to leave additional comments here. Seeds of Possibility Pre-Course Survey Page 4 of 4 Appendix D Post Survey Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Section A: Please circle your answer for each of the questions listed below: Age closest to 20 30 40 50 Gender M F What computer system do you have at home None Mac Windows Linux Other What kind of computer do you have? None Laptop Desktop What is your home internet connectivity? None High-speed with Teius/Shaw High Speed Wireless Dial-up Where do you most frequently access the internet? Home University internet cafe library friend's house Other: Where did you learn your computer skills? (circle all that apply) Have none Self-taught High School University Workplace Friends/Relatives Other: Section B: Please indicate your degree of current competence for each of the activities listed below: Choose "None" if you have no knowledge of, or experience with, this task. Choose "Low" if you have some limited experience with the task, but are unsure of your ability to complete it unassisted. Choose "Medium" if you feel reasonably sure of your ability to complete this task. Choose "High" if you are sure of your ability to complete this task to the point that you could teach it to someone else. Create or modify a spreadsheet document. None Low Medium High Create or modify a database document None Low Medium High Make a backup copy of a computer file. None Low Medium High Create a folder or directory. None Low Medium High Copy a file from one disk to another. None Low Medium High Use a scanner to create a digital image. None Low Medium High Use a digital camera to create an image on a computer. None Low Medium High Create a presentation e.g.: PowerPoint or SlideShow. None Low Medium High Place an image or graphic into a document None Low Medium High Make a web bookmark or favorite. None Low Medium High Do an advanced search with AND and OR operators None Low Medium High Download files to your computer. None Low Medium High Create or record your own music using a computer. None Low Medium High Burn a CD. None Low Medium High Use an FTP program to upload files. None Low Medium High Save or use an image from a web page. None Low Medium High Install an application or program onto a computer. None Low Medium High Modify an image or graphic with the computer. None Low Medium High Use advanced word processing features such as tables/templates. None Low Medium High Create a chart or graph with a spreadsheet program. None Low Medium High Download a plug-in for your browser. None Low Medium High Participate in an on-line discussion or newsgroup. None Low Medium High Create and upload a web page on the World Wide Web. None Low Medium High Create and use a blog or wiki. None Low Medium High Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Page 1 of 6 132 Section C: As part of your teacher-education program COURSEWORK, how frequently did you: Create new graphics or Images using graphics software? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create a chart or graph with spreadsheet software? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Burn a CD? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use the internet to obtain teaching resources? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create lessons that incorporate subject-specific software? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create lessons that incorporate simulation software? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create or record your own music using a computer. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create or modify a spreadsheet document N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Do an advanced search with AND and OR operators. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create or modify a database document N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Make a backup copy of a computer file. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create a folder or directory. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use a scanner to create a digital image. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use a digital camera to create an image on a computer. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create a presentation e.g.: PowerPoint or SldeShow. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Place an image or graphic into a document. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Make a web bookmark or favorite. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Download files to your computer. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create lessons using presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint)? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create lessons incorporating student use of digital video, graphics or sound editors? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use software to maintain student grades? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Introduce a new approach to technology to your school or faculty advisor? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use email to communicate with your faculty advisor? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use email to communicate with your school advisor? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Use email to communicate with your students or their parents? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Participate in on-line discussions related to your education program? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Participate in a school or district technology workshop? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Section D: As part of your teacher-education program PRACTICUM, how frequently did you: Create new graphics or images using graphics software? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Create a chart or graph with spreadsheet software? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Burn a CD? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Page 2 of 6 133 U s e the in ternet to ob ta in t e a c h i n g r e s o u r c e s ? N/A Never A Few T imes Week ly Daily Crea te l e s s o n s that i nco rpo ra te s u b j e c t - s p e c i f i c s o f t w a r e ? N/A Never A Few T imes Week ly Daily Crea te l e s s o n s that i nco rpo ra te s i m u l a t i o n s o f t w a r e ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily Crea te o r reco rd y o u r o w n m u s i c u s i n g a compu te r . N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily Crea te o r mod i f y a s p r e a d s h e e t d o c u m e n t . N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily Do an a d v a n c e d s e a r c h wi th A N D a n d O R ope ra to rs . N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily Create o r mod i f y a d a t a b a s e d o c u m e n t . N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily M a k e a b a c k u p c o p y o f a c o m p u t e r f i le. N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily Crea te a f o l de r o r d i rec to ry . N/A Never A Few T imes Week ly Daily U s e a s c a n n e r to c rea te a d ig i ta l image . N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily U s e a d ig i ta l c a m e r a to c reate an image o n a c o m p u t e r . N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily Crea te a p resen ta t i on e .g . : P o w e r P o i n t o r S l i d e S h o w . N/A Never A Few T imes Week ly Daily P l a c e an image o r g r a p h i c into a d o c u m e n t . N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily M a k e a w e b b o o k m a r k o r favor i te. N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily D o w n l o a d f i les to y o u r c o m p u t e r . N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily Crea te l e s s o n s u s i n g p resen ta t i on so f tware (e.g., P o w e r P o i n t ) ? N/A Never A Few T imes Week ly Daily Crea te l e s s o n s i nco rpo ra t i ng s t u d e n t u s e o f d ig i ta l v i d e o , g r a p h i c s or s o u n d e d i t o r s ? N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily U s e so f tware to ma in ta in s t u d e n t g r a d e s ? N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily In t roduce a n e w a p p r o a c h to t e c h n o l o g y to y o u r s c h o o l o r facu l ty a d v i s o r ? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily U s e ema i l to c o m m u n i c a t e wi th y o u r facu l ty a d v i s o r ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily U s e ema i l to c o m m u n i c a t e wi th y o u r s c h o o l a d v i s o r ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily U s e ema i l to c o m m u n i c a t e wi th y o u r s t uden t s o r the i r p a r e n t s ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Week ly Daily Par t i c ipa te in on- l ine d i s c u s s i o n s related to y o u r e d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Weekly Daily Par t i c ipa te in a s c h o o l o r d is t r i c t t e c h n o l o g y w o r k s h o p ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Week ly Daily S e c t i o n E : A s par t o f y o u r p r a c t i c u m , h o w f requent ly d i d y o u have v o u r s t u d e n t s : U s e w o r d p r o c e s s i n g p r o g r a m s to c o m p l e t e wr i t ten w o r k ? N/A Never A Few T imes Week ly Daily U s e the internet fo r r e s e a r c h ? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily U s e mu l t imed ia so f tware w i th an ima t i on , s o u n d , g r a p h i c s a n d / o r v i d e o ? N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily Crea te w e b p a g e s ? N/A .Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily U s e e d u c a t i o n a l C D - R O M s ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Week ly Daily U s e ema i l to c o r r e s p o n d w i th o the r s c h o o l s ? N/A Never A F e w T imes Week ly Daily U s e p resen ta t ion so f tware s u c h a s P o w e r P o i n t o r S l i d e s h o w ? N/A Never A Few T imes Weekly Daily Par t i c ipa te in on- l ine in terac t ive p ro jec ts wi th o the r s c h o o l s (exc lud ing e m a i l ) ? N/A Never A Few Times Weekly Daily Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Page 3 of 6 134 Section F: Indicate your level of agreement with the following statements: Males are more comfortable using information technology than are females. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Teachers should advocate less corporate involvement related to information technology in schoo ls . Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e My practicum school provided teachers with adequate means to use information technology in instruction. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e My practicum school provided teachers with adequate means to use information technology for professional development. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Females are less likely to use information technology while teaching than males. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Female students have less access to information technology within the school environment than do males. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e The World Wide Web advances gender and racial equity. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Information technologies are just tools. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Significant electronic game playing (i.e., 2 hrs+ per day) promotes hyperactive, aggressive behaviour. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Online courses improve the learning process and outcomes for students who are unsuccessful In traditional educational systems. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Online distance education courses reduce employment opportunities for teachers. Don't K n o w Strongly D isag ree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Internet access at home is essential to education for North American school-age students. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Males are less concerned with the implications of information technology than are females. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e Section G: As a prospective teacher, indicate your level of agreement with these sentences: I am interested in learning more about how to use technology in the classroom. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I would like to use the Internet as an Instructional resource. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isagree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e New technologies have a positive effect in transforming instruction. Don't K n o w Strongly D isagree D isag ree A g r e e Strongly A g r e e I would like to teach computer skills in my future classroom. Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Page 4 of 6 135 Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The use of technology promotes student-centred learning. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I would like to use educational software in my classroom. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I understand the ethical issues involved in using technology in the classroom. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree It's not really important for teachers to know how to use technology. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree Integrating the use of technology across subjects maximizes student learning. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I think that there is too much emphasis on using technology in the classrooom. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I feel competent in using technology in my classroom in a meaningful manner. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I do not plan to use technology in my future classroom. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I would like to use technology for assessment and evaluation in my classroom. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree I would like to use multimedia to explore different ways to represent concepts. Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree / am going to write extra comments on the next page. N o Yes Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey! Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Page 5 of 6 136 Feel free to leave additional comments here. Seeds of Possibility Post-Course Survey Page 6 of 6 

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