Digital Bridges for Global Awareness: Pre-Service Social Studies Teachers’ Experiences Using Technology to Learn from and Teach Students in Thailand
Keywords:social studies, global education, technology, university, methods
In order to ensure teachers are willing and ready to promote global perspectives in their classrooms, pre-service social studies teachers must know how to teach about the world, its people, and issues (Merryfield, 2002). This manuscript describes an empirical research study that undertook an eight month qualitative investigation at a large Midwestern university into secondary social studies methods students' perceptions of participating in a digitally mediated global learning project with secondary students in Thailand. Methods students participated in weekly correspondences and learning activities with Thai students that aimed to advance cross-cultural understandings and global learning. Findings reveal that methods students believed their participation in this project served as an authentic opportunity to learn and apply best practices in teaching and learning- in particular, in social studies and global education, and that their participation in this project was beneficial as it provided a necessary concrete example to build off of in planning and implementing their own digitally mediated global learning project. Finally, implications of these findings and future lines of inquiry are discussed.