Activity Three: Professional Journal
Nova Southeastern University
late submission October 2011
Instructional technologists can benefit from associating with at least one professional organization to serve as a conduit of continuing education. Conferences and email subscriptions will keep the instructional technologist aware of new trends and emerging products and services. Additional benefits will accrue to the instructional technologist who also subscribes to a professional journal.
One of the leading societies for professional advancement of technology in education is the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). With over 13,000 attendees at its annual convention, the society is a powerhouse in the education technology field. ISTE hosts three journals: one for a broad audience and two smaller publications on narrow topics. The Journal of Research (JRTE) is the leading publication issued under the aegis of ISTE. The JRTE is edited in Eugene, Oregon. The other two, Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education (JDLTE, formerly known as the Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, or JCTE) and the Journal for Computing Teachers (JCT) are publications of special interest groups. The JDLTE is a peer-review quarterly that aims "to share information about using technology in teacher education among departments" (2011c) and might be a good fit for articles about the use of video cameras in teacher training. It is edited by the special interest group for teacher educators (SIGTE). The second quarterly, JCT, is produced by the special interest group for computing teachers (SIGCT) and focuses on the "teaching of computing in grades K-12" (2011d).
Details about the journal
The focus of this article is on the broader topic journal, the JRTE, which is a quarterly publication. The audience of the JRTE are the consumers of this research, namely school employees and the administrators of schools, and policy makers who read the distilled results of the research. The journal describes its role as reporting on "original research, system or project descriptions and evaluations, syntheses of the literature, assessments of the state of the art, and theoretical or conceptual positions that relate to instructional uses of educational technology," (ISTE 2011a) with an eye on international trends.
The editor is Dr. Lynne Schrum of George Mason University and the associate editor (in Eugene, Ore.) is Andra Brichacek. There are 89 members on the editorial review board, including nine reviewers who live in countries outside the USA (Australia, Turkey, Cyprus, New Zealand, Canada, and the Netherlands). Reviewers serve an initial term of two years and the editor has the option of asking a reviewer to stay for an additional three years. Reviewers look at up to four manuscripts per year and are expected to produce a recommendation within five weeks. The per-issue cost of the publication is $155 for non-members and $54 for members.
Guidelines for publication
For the would-be author, the following points are of special interest. The editors have an online file that guides submitters of articles. The length of a typical manuscript is expected to be between four and eight thousand words with a budget of about 100 words for the abstract. The author needs to give at least four keywords to guide the process of indexing the article and provide an e-mail address and a short biographical statement for each author, and a list of references. Other requirements are standard for most publications, such as showing the "title, word count, contributor statements, and contact information for all authors (all of which are included in the word count)." (ISTE 2011a). The succeeding pages should not have the authors' names on the page, so that the review can be blind. Stylistically, when there is a reference to the authors, the word "Author" should substitute for their names.
A critical point for graduate students: There's a reason why professors focus on the details of APA style and insist on correct usage. The JRTE has a policy of returning a manuscript to the author without reviewing it.
The Review Process.
If the manuscript survives scrutiny by the editors and appears to "fit" in the journal's purview, the manuscript is sent to "at least two members of the Editorial Review Board" for "review, comment and recommendation." The review form has the following areas for open-ended comments: a) important and timeliness of the topic, b) the genial quality of the writing, c) the general quilt of the content, d) comments about the literature review, e) the theoretical framework, f) the methods and results and g) the conclusions and discussion. There is a note concerning original research: "[W]e normally expect to see an explanation of the research questions, description of the methods employed, analyses used, and recommendations for implementation and further research" (2011b). Roughly 15 percent of submissions are accepted for publication.
A typical issue has four articles. The Summer and Fall 2011 issues cover six types of articles: a) teacher training ("Promoting teachers' understanding of technology" and "Teacher's initial use of podcasts"), b) observing how teachers use technology to teach a skill to students ("Blogging to teach critical literacy"), c) studies of the impact of technology used by the teacher (studying how teachers alter behaviors when a laptop is used in a classroom), d) analysis of teaching procedures ("Predictors of teacher-directed student use of technology"), e) observing how students use technology ("Use of PDAs by clinical interns") and f) teacher attitudes ("Understanding teacher's technology acceptance")
In short, it is one of the leading peer-reviewed journals in the field of educational technology.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2011a). "JRTE submission guidelines." Journal of Research on Technology in Education Retrieved at http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/submission-information/journals-submission-information/jrte-submission-guidelines.aspx on 22 October 2011.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2011b). "Review form, Journal of Research on Technology in Education." Retrieved at http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/JRTE_Review_Form.sflb.ashx on 22 October 2011.
International Society for Technology in Education (2011c). "Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education." Retrieved at http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/journals/jdlte.aspx on 22 October 2011.
International Society for Technology in Education (2011d). "Journal for Computer Teachers." Retrieved at http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/journals/jct.aspx on 22 October 2011.
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