To use technology effectively in the language classroom, pre-service teachers must develop basic techno-pedagogical competences for the classroom and learn to select from abundant online resources. Research underlines the importance of autonomous, collaborative and networked approaches to in-service teacher education and the present empirical study extends this model to pre-service trainees. It investigates whether constructivist principles of group collaboration, web-based research, and social networking can inform effective course design for pre-service teachers of several target languages and to what extent these teachers can acquire techno-pedagogical skills, learn to filter online content, and adopt collaborative learning practices without direct contact with learners. Group projects involving online curation, wikis and social media were analysed and results show progress in techno-pedagogical competences, collaborative skills, and attitudes to ICT, suggesting social media can allow trainee teachers to benefit from and contribute to online teaching and learning resources, laying the groundwork for ongoing professional development.
Via Shona Whyte