ERIC Number: ED282209
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
Responses of Prospective Language Arts Teachers to an Electronic Letter Writing Project.
Labercane, George D.; And Others
The view that computers are crucial tools in current educational technology raises questions concerning their importance for prospective teachers and invites concern about how preservice teachers might react to interacting with both computers and children in an educational setting. Preservice language arts teachers with little computer experience were paired randomly with 30 fourth grade and 29 fifth grade children to form pen pal pairs. They exchanged letters via floppy disks carried back and forth between the college and the elementary school. Each pen pal pair completed six exchanges over four months. Findings indicated that the elementary school students gained writing and punctuation skills by modeling on the college students' letters, and that many pen pal pairs developed close, open relationships. Also, the majority of the preservice teachers expressed positive feelings about the project. Major benefits involved learning to use the computer and word processing software and developing a close relationship with an elementary school student. Major concerns and criticisms arose from technical problems, such as scheduling the use of the single available computer and having two college students share one elementary students pen pal. Most prospective teachers recommended that the project be continued and that it be extended with more exchanges and more computer training. (Author/SKC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Partial funding for project was provided by Apple Canada Education Foundation.