Pre-service teachers' experiences of using social software applications for collaborative inquiry
Teemu Valtonen, Stina Hacklin, Sini Kontkanen, Anu Hartikainen-Ahia, Sirpa Kärkkäinen, Jari Kukkonen
Computers & Education Volume 69, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This case study focuses on the use of social software applications for supporting pre-service teachers' collaborative inquiry. Second year pre-service teachers (N=98) were instructed to carry out an inquiry using a selection of suitable applications to support their work in a forest ecology field course. Although they were not specifically instructed on the use of the software applications, the assumption was that being ‘digital natives’ they would be familiar with them or would readily adopt them. The study reports the students' experiences of the course. Results show variations in their experiences: differences in the way they saw the adequacy of their ICT skills, the suitability of the software, and in their opinions about familiarizing themselves with the software applications as part of the inquiry process. The results also indicate that in future it is important to: (i) concretize and explain the pedagogical aspects of using social software applications as part of the learning process; (ii) highlight the reasons why software applications are used for supporting learning, i.e., the added value; and (iii) encourage students to explore and make use of different software applications for different learning purposes.
Valtonen, T., Hacklin, S., Kontkanen, S., Hartikainen-Ahia, A., Kärkkäinen, S. & Kukkonen, J. (2013). Pre-service teachers' experiences of using social software applications for collaborative inquiry. Computers & Education, 69(1), 85-95. Elsevier Ltd.