Tag Archives: pre-service teachers

My Students’ Blogs

I have been offering the Technology and Materials Design Course in the department for the last few years. As the requirement of the course, students (pre-service teachers of English) are supposed to open up their personal blogs and share course related materials there. Weekly, students have assignments such as creating a podcast, preparing an online poster, creating a digital story, etc. (I will write another post later explaining these tasks in detail.) Students upload their products on their blogs and me, as the instructor, and their peers view their posts regularly. Students are also supposed to write an entry for each post to explain the task and reflect on the task completion process. Keeping a blog has many benefits for students. For example:

  • Blogs become their own personal online space- to share their voice
  • They learn how to blog and improve their blogging skills as they keep posting
  • Their blogs become an ongoing portfolio of samples of their work
  • As pre-service teachers, they experience blogging as a student themselves. Thus, they can implement it in their future classrooms with confidence.

When the course is over, I encourage the students to continue blogging. Some of them do. Here are the links to the blogs of Teodora Delibaşoğlu, Nazmi Dinçer, Halil İbrahim Aksakal and Yasin Kokarca. They all keep posting about ELT related issues. I follow them and feel very proud of them. I hope more and more students continue blogging after the course and I can share them with you.

TPACK and Professor Mishra

The framework of TPACK has been the focus of my research for almost 5 years. TPACK refers to the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge.  The framework was introduced by Mishra and Koehler and has been developed/discussed over time through a series of publications (e.g., Koehler, Mishra, Hershey, & Peruski, 2004; Koehler & Mishra, 2005; Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Koehler, Mishra, & Yahya, 2007). TPACK describes “how teachers’ understanding of technologies and pedagogical content interact with one another to produce effective teaching with technology” (Koehler & Mishra, 2008, p. 12). Here is its diagram (from tpack.org):


Why did I focus on the development of TPACK in my PhD dissertation? As an instructor in the ELT department, I have been supervising pre-service teachers in their student teaching for several years. One of the very common problems I recognized in their micro and macro teachings was the ineffective use of technology. In many instances, I realized that PTs were using technology for the sake of using it. They did not have a “real” purpose for their technology integration. Besides, the technology they used did not bring any change to the teaching and learning process. I mean pre-service teachers were still using traditional teaching methods, classrooms were teacher-fronted and students were passive recipients of the input. Knowing about technology was not enough for teaching English with technology. In other words, teachers needed a specific type of knowledge for effective technology integration. That was TPACK. Since then, I have been designing my courses in the department to develop this specific type of knowledge in pre-service teachers. In the coming posts, I will be discussing how.

When I decided to focus on TPACK for my thesis, I contacted dear Professor Punya Mishra via e-mail and he was so kind to accept to help me throughout my study.  He guided me in the design of my study and provided invaluable help and support whenever I needed. I feel very privileged and lucky to have worked with him. He was present at my dissertation defence through Skype as one of the members of the committee. An unforgettable experience for me! Here is the post he wrote about my dissertation. He was also very kind to present a paper based on my dissertation at the SITE Conference (2013) held in New Orleans. Below you can find the abstract of the paper, its slides and the paper.

I owe a lot to Professor Mishra so I wanted my first post to be about him.

If you are interested in TPACK, please follow his page for the most informative posts and links to relevant sources.

Kurt, G., Mishra, P., & Kocoglu, Z. (2013, March). Technological pedagogical content knowledge development of Turkish pre-service teachers of English. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, New Orleans, LA. Abstract retrieved from http://academicexperts.org/conf/site/2013/papers/38476/

Abstract: Changes having occurred in the field of education have affected the body of knowledge that teachers need to promote successful language learning of their students (van Olphen, 2008). The present study aims to examine the TPACK development of Turkish PTs of English as they participated into a study explicitly focusing on the framework of TPACK and designed following Learning Technology by Design approach. Participants were 22 PTs enrolled in the ELT program of a state university in Istanbul, Turkey. During the 12-week study, PTs were informed about the TPACK framework, explored various technologies collaboratively, developed technological materials, designed technology-integrated lessons and taught in a real classroom setting. Data came from the adapted version of the Survey of Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology (Schmidt, et al., 2009). Results showed that there was a statistically significant increase in TK, TCK, TPK and TPACK scores of PTs of English from the beginning to the end of the study.

Here you can find the slides and the paper.