Teachers as Designers of Technology-Enhanced Outdoor Inquiry

Keren Sarah Levy, Yael Kali, Tali Tal
Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning  •  Volume 11  •  2015  •  pp. 209-235
Implementing inquiry in the outdoors introduces many challenges for teachers, some of which can be dealt with using mobile technologies. For productive use of these technologies, teachers should be provided with the opportunity to develop relevant knowledge and practices. In a professional development (PD) program in this design-based research, 24 teachers were involved in adaptation of a learning environment supporting inquiry in the outdoors that included the use of mobile technologies. They first experienced the learning environment as learners, then adapted it for their own use, and finally, enacted the adapted environment with peers. We examined the scope and character of teacher involvement in adaptation, and the consequent professional growth, by analyzing observations, questionnaires, interviews and the adapted learning-environments. Findings indicate that all teachers demonstrated change processes, including changes in knowledge and practice, but the coherence of the learning environments decreased when substantial adaptations were made. Some teachers demonstrated professional growth, as reflected by their implementation of ideas learned in the PD program in their daily practice, long after the PD program had ended. This study demonstrates how the Teachers as Designers approach can support teacher learning and illustrates productive use of scaffolds for teacher growth and professional development.
Teachers as Designers (TaD), mobile learning, teacher professional development (PD), TPACK, outdoor inquiry
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