TRANSLATING THE EXPERIENCE OF DIGITAL PROJECT LEARNING: WHAT DO STUDENT TEACHERS LEARN ABOUT WHAT WORKS IN THEIR OWN CLASSROOMS?
New teachers often find they need to balance and adapt the instructional aspirations that they have developed in their teacher education courses to the realities of their classrooms. This is even more evident when the new teacher aims to integrate ICT into the teaching and learning activities. Towndrow (2007) notes that when teachers implement ICT-enabled pedagogies, the challenges that they face are ‘multidimensional and complex … but not impossible to meet’ (p.117).
In an intensive course to enhance student teachers’ English language skills, the participants create a digital video project that:
1) is grounded in constructivism,
2) integrates practice in writing, speaking, and listening skills,
3) weaves a sequence of ICT-enabled tasks into a blend of on-campus facilitation and off-campus e-learning and field work.
The course participants experience the reality of a learning design that wraps activities to enhance their English language skills into a digital project task. An end-of-course activity asks the participants to envision how they might apply elements of the course’s ICT-enabled design in their own future teaching. After a two-month practicum, the student-teacher participants revisit the task, to identify how the realities of the classroom might influence what could be practically implemented from the original digital project course design.
The presentation aims to:
1) describe the elements of the course design,
2) highlight some of the key ways that the participants envisioned themselves implementing ICT-enabled learning activities before practicum, and
3) compare these with some of their key thoughts about implementation after returning from practicum.
The presentation is situated within the educational context of Singapore, but a similar course and its role in expanding student teachers’ thoughts on implementing ICT-enabled pedagogies could equally be applied to other contexts in which new teachers want to translate their experiences learning with ICT to their own classrooms.
 Towndrow, P. (2007). Task design, implementation, and assessment. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.