Weaving technology in the design of learning experiences in world language teacher education: the development of a cognitive tool, an instructional device and an exploration
This dissertation constitutes a first step toward improving our understanding of how better and more sophisticated uses of technology in the context of world language teacher education (WLTE) can be achieved. This work includes (a) the design and development of a prototype of a cognitive tool intended to support the design of language learning experiences; (b) an article that advocates project-based learning (PBL) as a powerful instructional device to support sophisticated learning experiences in WLTE; and (c) the exploration of conceptual and interactual aspects of said cognitive tool. Chapter 2, "Project-based learning: A promising pathway to technology integration in world language teacher education" proposes a taxonomy of complex WLTE tasks. This article discusses how some of the possibilities that PBL offers can be operationalized in WLTE and argues that providing preservice language teachers experiences with and exposure to sophisticated pedagogical interventions, such as the ones supported by PBL, can improve the integration of technology into the design of language learning activities. As this article shows, PBL is suitable to take full advantage of the complexity of WLTE to immerse preservice teachers in rich design experiences that integrate technology. However, implementing PBL in WLTE poses many challenges. Technology tools that facilitate the conceptualization, creation and management of projects may help in the implementation of PBL in WLTE. Chapter 3, "Postcards from the Mind: Designing language learning experiences with technology," is a design-based research study that explores a prototype of such tool. This research gives us some insights into the cognitive processes involved in the design of language learning experiences. The cognitive processes identified included (a) the activation of composite forms of knowledge, such as pedagogical-content knowledge (PCK) and technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK), which have been hypothesized to be a prerequisite for the effective integration of technology into learning experiences; (b) the iterative consideration of general pedagogical guidelines; and (c) the application of a mental model to the design of language learning experiences. Interactual and conceptual aspects of the tool that did or did not support the users' cognitive processes are discussed. Findings from this study have implications for WLTE and interface design.