mance with their fellow students and instructors. Teachers’ annotations and an archive of student work associated with the lessons further enrich the resource.

A multimedia database of video clips of expert teachers using a range of instructional and classroom management strategies has been established by Indiana University and the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (Duffy, 1997). Each lesson comes with such materials as the teacher’s lesson plan, commentary by outside experts, and related research articles. Another technological resource is a set of video-based cases (on videodisc and CDROM) for teaching reading that shows prospective teachers a variety of different approaches to reading instruction. The program also includes information about the school and community setting, the philosophy of the school principals, a glimpse of what the teachers did before school started, and records of the students’ work as they progress throughout the year (e.g., Kinzer et al., 1992; Risko and Kinzer, 1998).

A different approach is shown in interactive multimedia databases illustrating mathematics and science teaching, developed at Vanderbilt University. Two of the segments, for example, provide edited video tapes of the same teacher teaching two second-grade science lessons. In one lesson, the teacher and students discuss concepts of insulation presented in a textbook chapter; in the second lesson, the teacher leads the students in a hands-on investigation of the amount of insulation provided by cups made of different materials. On the surface, the teacher appears enthusiastic and articulate in both lessons and the students are well behaved. Repeated viewings of the tapes, however, reveal that the students’ ability to repeat the correct words in the first lesson may mask some enduring misconceptions. The misconceptions are much more obvious in the context of the second lesson (Barron and Goldman, 1994).

In yet a different way in which technology can support preservice teacher preparation, education majors enrolled at the University of Illinois who were enrolled in lower division science courses like biology were electronically linked up to K–12 classrooms to answer student questions about the subject area. The undergraduates helped the K–12 students explore the science. More important, the education majors had a window into the kinds of questions that elementary or high school students ask in the subject domain, thus motivating them to get more out of their university science courses (Levin et al., 1994).


Technology has become an important instrument in education. Computer-based technologies hold great promise both for increasing access to knowledge and as a means of promoting learning. The public imagination

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