This review examines the design cycles of innovation in response to changing policy, technological and practical imperatives. It begins with the initial creation of an information and communication technology course in an early childhood teacher education program and describes its evolution into a contemporary topic. Program changes occur because of policy-driven trends, including the expansion of the definition of what constitutes technology and the incorporation of innovations into curricula and pedagogical practices. We characterize these changes in three design cycles. In the first cycle, courses to prepare preservice teachers for early childhood centers focused primarily on computer-based skills. In the second cycle, new technologies were integrated into the curricula and teaching programs and incorporated into the practicum. In the third cycle, the principles and practices inherent to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (stem) education were adopted to extend the role of new technologies in contemporary curricula and pedagogies. These new learning ecologies were characterized by the application of inter-disciplinary knowledge in authentic learning contexts. The reviewed case studies included students in three new technologies course projects in an early childhood teacher education program. The findings revealed that early childhood preservice teachers expected more opportunities to practice and apply new technologies in innovative learning spaces focused on stem learning. Furthermore, they believed that university teacher education courses should be applicable to practice-based contexts. The implications of this review inform the process of change in the design of teacher education programs from technology-based learning to the pedagogical innovations needed to prepare future teachers. It illustrates that new technologies for learning should consider changing learning ecologies in their design and implementation, and should support early childhood teachers in understanding and using child-centered pedagogical approaches.
Xinyun Hu and Nicola Yelland
New Directions for Effective Practices
Edited by Nicola Yelland, Greg A. Neal and Eva Dakich
This book brings together a number of academics who have conducted research and written about effective practices and pedagogies that incorporate the use of information and communications technologies (ICT). The book is intended for graduate and undergraduate students in Teacher Education programmes, as well as teachers and those who are interested in contemporary educational issues. The authors in this book have been engaged in rethinking education with ICT. Implicit in this, is the view that we need to reconceptualise our pedagogies and practices in order to make schools relevant to the lives of the young people who inhabit them. The chapters in this book are based on empirically grounded research work. The chapters illustrate the various dimensions of innovative practices with ICT that can extend teachers’ pedagogies and engage learners so that they are able to extend their potential for knowledge building in new and dynamic ways.