iText, but iDon’t Teach With It: An Essay on i-Literacy in Teacher Education

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In this article, the author explores her observations of preservice teachers’ technological literacy as it is often enacted across iterations of a writing methods course. Using personal examples and classroom anecdotes, the author argues that the construct of digital native is flawed and, instead, the author positions preservice teachers as instructional-technology learners rather than instructional-technology experts (i.e., natives). Within the context of teacher education, the author calls for explicit instruction in multimedia literacy and technology-mediated teaching with the goal that preservice teachers develop insider knowledge of multimedia literacy and the ways in which digital texts and devices work. To this end, the author positions technological-literacy learning as parallel to early language learning as well as second-language acquisition, suggesting that preservice teachers understand technology and digital products from behind the screen before they are expected to engage in instructional-technology strategies in front of the screen.

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Action in Teacher Education, v. 37, issue 2, p. 120-137