Purpose – To explicate how to design a digital internship that encourages both the teacher candidate and the K-12 student to participate in problem-based learning. Framed by the theories of academic motivation and new literacies, this chapter presents templates to demonstrate how a digital internship can be designed that results in the learning goals of both the students and the teacher candidates being met.
Design – Digital internships provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to teach K-12 students online, observe licensed teachers design and employ lessons, and analyze this pedagogical learning space, yet education preparation programs (EPPs) fail to harness this rich learning experience. This chapter makes a case for why EPPs benefit from participating in digital internships, how they can become involved, and results from this learning experience.
Findings – Findings from digital internship research studies indicate that despite frustrations, online mentoring opportunities give teacher candidates a chance to reflect on the work needed to create relationships necessary to instruct effectively. Through them, candidates can also develop dispositions of new literacies and bridge theory and practice in EPPs. Furthermore, digital internships may serve to empower teacher candidates and support them in being successful in teacher preparation coursework.
Practical Implications – Digital internships contribute to best practices in teaching digital literacies by providing examples of how EPPs can design curriculum that situates teacher candidates to observe pedagogy in online environments. These internships provide candidates the opportunity to mentor K-12 students in these spaces and provide teacher candidates time to process how they can best motivate students and give specific feedback to encourage learning. Furthermore, digital internships can include primary resources to enrich units of instruction across content areas and grade levels.
Martin, J.M. (2018), "Digital Internships: Enriching Teaching and Learning With Primary Resources", Ortlieb, E., Cheek, E.H. and Semingson, P. (Ed.) Best Practices in Teaching Digital Literacies (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 109-121. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820180000009008
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