Text and Context: Learning How to Mean and What to Mean in Email Tutorials and Brief Encounters with Netscape in Preservice Teacher Edcuation
Dr Merles Illes, Department of Education, James Cook University, Northern Queensland.
Preservice teacher education students, particularly those in early childhood and primary strands, are significantly 'pre-literate' when it comes to using and learning through new information technologies. Not only are such students consciously unskilled in the use of such technologies, they are often highly resistant to participation in these technologies. The outcome of not addressing this area of preservice student literacy is obvious: yet another generation of teachers who cannot and/or won't engage their students in new technologies in K-6 classroom contexts. Such teachers will find it increasingly difficult to understand the 'mental set' of the students whose out-of-school worlds are constructed across the boundaries of real and virtual reality, and whose literacies stretch beyond what is imaginable by a mind that hasn't been 'lost' in the 'Net'. This paper reports a case of preservice teacher education where students are required to use both email and Netscape to learn (and reflect on learning) about key processes and issues in Curriculum and Teaching Studies.