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Applying Technology-enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond

Education concept: Education Technology on Building background, 3d renderThe AACTE Committee on Information and Technology will host a Deeper Dive session at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, “Applying Technology-enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond” on Thursday, February 25, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The committee members offer a preview of the panel discussion in the following article.

Over the past year, educators have learned much about technology in teacher education. Technology has become the classroom and often the location of field placements. While many of these learnings were forced due to the pandemic, lessons learned can be carried forward into 2021 and beyond to create improved responsive teacher preparation programs in the future at all levels of education.  As a result, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology Committee is offering a Deeper Dive session that includes teacher preparation experts discussing the lessons learned from remote learning and ways to move forward post-COVID with technology in teacher preparation.  The Deeper Dive session will include panelists from a wide variety of teacher preparation institutions to discuss their particular lessons learned from the challenges of the pandemic. Furthermore, our panelists will share how we can move forward in teacher preparation to prepare new and veteran teachers to teach with technology in 2021 and beyond. Our panelists include the following:

Teaching Online: Moving from Emergency to Planned

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

This past March, face-to-face instruction was canceled as universities began to implement emergency procedures for remote teaching due to COVID-19. In response, AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology (ITC) presented a webinar with guidelines for emergency remote teaching. Constituents can view that webinar and access additional resources.

The purpose of this blog post is to revisit the webinar guidelines with suggestions that can be incorporated into planning for 2020-21 blended or online instructional implementation plans: 

Needs Assessment 

Survey faculty and students to identify digital inequities and access needs. Develop easy to use support system for devices, reliable Internet access, and technical support. 

Use Your Current Tools

If face-to-face instruction is not an option, now is not the time to revamp the current learning systems. Universities should encourage faculty to use the same tools (e.g., your Learning Management System) prior to and during COVID-19. Encourage instructors not to overwhelm students with too many new tools. Select a few versatile tools (e.g., Google Suite) and encourage innovative integration throughout a course or program.

Simulation: Creative Solutions to Observing Student Teaching Competencies

Teacher using TeachLive virtual classroom

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has moved their work with TeachLivE to remote servers to allow teacher candidates throughout the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic to use simulations of classrooms to observe student teaching competencies. UCF invites teacher educators from other teacher training institutions to use the TeachLivE platform.

TeachLivE now has the capability to observe student teachers interacting with elementary (option for inclusive setting), middle, and high school (option for inclusive setting) classrooms. Users may request English Language Learning avatars (Spanish).We also support preparation for parent-teacher and teacher-principal conferences. These virtual simulations can occur with an instructor observing a prospective teacher interacting remotely with students in one of the TeachLivE environments or used in an online setting with peers watching each other to provide feedback. The instructor can record data about specific student teaching competencies and providing feedback to the prospective teachers.

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