PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOLS

NEWS, EVENTS, OF INTEREST

As we begin the 2013-2014 academic year, be sure to check this space regularly to follow the accomplishments of our faculty.

To view previous year's accomplishments, please visit "Partnership Highlights."

 

Sherri Weber, Jing Zhang, Jevon Hunter, and Chris Shively, Assistant Professors, Elementary Education and Reading

Sherri Weber, Jing Zhang, Jevon Hunter, and Chris Shively, all assistant professors of elementary education and reading, presented "How Teacher Preparation Is Being Transformed by Digital Technologies at an Urban Comprehensive College" at the American Educational Research Association’s 2014 annual conferencein Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 3–7. Their talk focused on four distinct Internet technologies:

 

Weber investigated how blogs facilitated the reflections of preservice teachers who experienced an international professional development school. She found that blogs enabled preservice teachers to share reflections with one another, with their professor, and most importantly, with future preservice teachers, because the blogging software enables posts to transcend time.

 

Zhang examined her use of a collaborative writing tool called Storybird with her graduate students. Her research indicated that her students thought Storybird improved their interest and engagement in her course. They felt it was a useful tool for teaching writing and believed that 3- and 4-year-old children could benefit from this web-based application.

 

Hunter looked at Twitter as an instructional and learning tool with his graduate students. His students believed that this social networking tool could be used by teachers and students to accomplish English language arts learning objectives. Despite Twitter's pedagogical potential, Hunter’s students also became frustrated with their ability to use this online tool. He attributed their frustration to the ongoing debate among American educators regarding the effectiveness of emerging pedagogies, such as Twitter.

 

Shively demonstrated the pedagogical potential of using a wiki to facilitate the co-construction, by graduate students and their professor, of technological pedagogical content knowledge (known as TPaCK) (Mishra and Koehler, 2006) in an online course. Lesson plans, reflections, and feedback data revealed that graduate students were able to identify many affordances and constraints of the technologies they used, which led to their development of technological pedagogical knowledge but not their technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge. This might have been caused by their lack of teaching experience and/or their observations of inadequate teaching with technology. Data suggested that they did not understand what made the concepts they were teaching difficult or easy for the grade level designated for their lesson.

 

During their presentations, each researcher established the pedagogical potential of using these free online pedagogies as "cognitive partners" (Angeli et al., 2008, p.14) with graduate students. With each of these technologies, the computer facilitated the exchange of ideas between a classroom full of students that transcended traditional school-based time frames. The results of their research are important to education professors because technology has the potential to transform content learning for diverse learners (Rose and Meyer, 2002; Angeli and Valanides, 2008). As the surrounding educational landscape becomes more diverse, teacher educators need to provide their teacher candidates with learning experiences that develop their pedagogical knowledge, a knowledge base that should include online tools.

 

Leslie Day, PDS Co-Director, Nominated for Supervisor of the Year at Buffalo State

Leslie Day, PDS Co-Director, was nominated by Kaitlyn Gardner for the Supervisor of the Year award at Buffalo State; Kaitlyn felt that Leslie is among the best and deserved to be recognized.  Leslie has received congratulations from the 2013-2014 Student Employment Awards Committee for her outstanding contribution to the college and WNY Community!

All nominees for the Supervisor of the Year Award, as well as all student nominators will be recognized at the Student Employment Awards Reception on Wednesday April 23, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in Butler Library, Room 210.

 

Dr. Keli Garas-York, Literacy Program Coordinator

Thanks to creative teachers and innovative technology, 80 students improved their reading skills this summer through SUNY Buffalo State’s literacy specialist program. Under the guidance of program coordinator Keli Garas-York, associate professor of elementary education and reading, 26 Buffalo State graduate students taught students at the Charter School for Applied Technologies (CSAT).  

To read more about this story:  http://newsandevents.buffalostate.edu/news/high-tech-pens-filmmaking-improve-reading-and-writing