The College of Idaho (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 5090-5101
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Second-generation Web (Web 2.0) technologies allow for the linking of people as well as information. As a result, they enable hybrid learning spaces that travel across physical and cyber spaces according to principles of collaboration and participation (Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009). These interactive forms allow for publication, participation and networking through blogs, wikis, twitter and various social networking sites. The types of interaction made possible by Web 2.0 applications allow users to exercise authorship, communicate with an audience and produce text or multimodal artifacts (Warschauer & Grimes, 2007). For most pre-service student teachers, Web 2.0 technologies are a preferred mode of communication outside the classroom but rarely used in school.

The construction of a teaching self (identity) is an important factor in both the success of pre-service student teachers during their practicum and the subsequent decision to make teaching their profession (Burwell, 2003). This case study explores the use of Web 2.0 software among a cohort (n=11) of pre-service student teachers. A number of concepts associated with the work of Mikhail Bakhtin ( authoring, dialogism, heteroglossia and ventriloquation) are used to provide a theoretical framework for understanding how interactive collaboration and participation in Web 2.0 applications helps (or hinders) pre-service teachers as they negotiate the complex and often conflictual process of student teaching.

According to Bakhtin (1981), we “author” an identity by positioning our voice in relationship to the voices of others. The construction of a teaching identity is especially complex in the multifaceted context of a student teaching experience where the student teacher is confronted with a multitude of competing voices in constant dialogue. Some of these voices are authoritative and are likely to be resisted while others are internally persuasive and are assimilated. Web 2.0 applications extend dialogical interactions into virtual spaces where both centrifugal (hierarchical, ordered, centralized) and centripetal (dispersed, horizontal) forces are at work. Some applications privilege authorship while others emphasize collaboration and community building.

The central finding of the study was that participants with strong teaching identities tended to favor Web 2.0 applications that they believed facilitated collaboration and community building (i.e. wikis) while those who were struggling to construct a teaching identity favored those applications that gave them a more effective space for authorship (i.e. blogs).

Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogical Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press.
Burwell, D. (2003). Dialogical Voices: An Exploratory Analysis of the Role of Narrative, Voice, and Metaphor in the Construction of Teaching Identity among Student Teachers. Ph.D Dissertation, University of Idaho, Moscow.
Greenhow, C., Robelia, B., & Hughes, J. (2009). Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship in a Digital Age: Web 2.0 and Classroom Research: What Path Should We Take Now? Educational Researcher, 38(4), 246-259.
Warschauer, M., & Grimes, D. (2007). Audience, Authorship, and Artifact: The Emergent Semiotics of Web 2.0. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 27, 1-23.

Web 2.0, Pre-service teachers, Teaching Identity, Bakhtin, collaboration.