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Author Archive

Developing Teachers as Critical Thinkers and Learners

Since AACTE and Mursion launched the Education Roundtable series, we have had the pleasure of showcasing the work of educators, who have integrated teacher training via virtual reality (VR) simulation into their respective programs or are studying the various aspects of this modality.

In an upcoming three-part mini-series, Carrie Straub, executive director of education programs and research at Mursion, will host a team from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) who have generously offered to share the magic behind their work. They will upack and discuss the following:

  • Recruiting and training simulation specialists
  • The development of simulations including how participants are oriented into Mursion experiences, models for simulation designs, and post simulation activities aimed at transferring skills
  • The development of four simulations developed through the Reach Every Reader grant which HGSE designed to develop teachers as critical thinkers and learners in the classroom alongside their students

Join Webinar on Virtual Reality Simulations for Ed Prep

Mursion Virtual ClassroomFace-to-face clinical field experience cancelled? Find out how teacher candidates can safely practice instructional strategies through virtual reality (VR) classrooms.

Join the AACTE and Mursion co-sponsored webinar, “Feasibility & Utility of Mixed Reality Simulations in Higher Education,” presented by guest speakers from AACTE and Kennesaw State University tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The presenters will share their wealth of experience using mixed reality solutions and will engage in critical dialogue on the feasibility and utility of mixed reality simulations in higher education. You will discover how virtual simulations help teacher candidates develop high-leverage practices before entering real-world clinical experiences.

Noticing and Wondering in Mixed Reality: How to Enrich Classroom Conversations Webinar

Noticing and Wondering in Mixed Reality: How to Enrich Classroom Conversations Webinar

Are you curious to find out more about what it’s like to incorporate Mursion into your program, including how to recruit and train your own simulation specialist? Come hear AACTE member institution Southern Methodist University (SMU) share their experiences as a licensee of the Mursion simulation platform during the Education Roundtable on Tuesday, June 23, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Register to attend (or to receive the link to the recording of the event).

The webinar will feature SMU’s Jillian Conry, research and evaluation coordinator, and Paige Ware, associate dean and professor of education. They will share how Mursion can be used in a number of flexible ways: as a tool for practicing skills and receiving feedback, as a way to evaluate specific teaching competencies, and as a way to create shared experiences that enrich classroom conversations.

How a Best-in-Class Technological Innovation Is Modernizing Teacher Prep

According to the 2017 Workplace Learning Report, over 50% of learning professionals say that developing strong leaders is the number one objective for their organization. Coaching, communication, and collaboration top the list of skills for leaders, and large organizations report communication skills are more in demand than technical skills. This applies not only to companies’ employees but also for preparing teachers—who need to be adept at having high stakes conversations with their students, peers, administrators and students’ parents and guardians. Now add to that mix a public health crisis that has forced the issue of training while working from home (WFH).

In this white paper ,“Best in Class Leadership Development: How Virtual Reality and Avatars are Changing the Learning Landscape,” you will learn about modern, remote learning experiences that harness today’s technology to affect real behavior change. Backed by research, and no longer novel, simulations and use of avatars to assist learning is playing an increasingly major role in improving human interactions. Here is an outline of the white paper:

Experts Share Findings from Pilot of New SIM PD Study

Simulated Virtual ClassroomWould teachers find professional development via simulated classrooms useful? This was one of three questions that Toni M. Smith, principal researcher, and  Rachel Garrett, senior researcher, from the American Institutes for Research (AIR), explored in the Simulated Instruction in Mathematics Professional Development (SIM PD) Study. The following are excerpts from a summary of their research findings and from what they shared at a May 14, 2020 online event hosted by Mursion, whose virtual reality learning platform was used in the study.

Funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, SIM PD is a pilot of an exciting, new PD program being conducted by AIR. SIM PD offers opportunities for teachers in grades 4–7 to (a) learn about questioning strategies and facilitation of student discourse to promote engagement and understanding of math concepts and (b) practice implementing those approaches using a mixed-reality classroom.

They randomly assigned 16 partnering schools to either participate in SIM PD or continue with business-as-usual professional learning during the 2018-19 school year. They collected documentation of SIM PD activities during implementation and video-based observations of math lessons from both groups of teachers.

Join AACTE and Mursion for a Roundtable Discussion and Live Virtual Classroom Simulation: May 19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Virtual Classrooms Roundtable Series

As part of our Education Roundtable Series, Mursion will host three leaders for a conversation on the current state of upheaval that is bringing about a transformation in teacher preparation. Join hundreds of your colleagues tomorrow, Tuesday, May 19, 1:00 p.m. ET to engage in conversation with amazing, pioneering women in education. Plus see a simulation of a virtual classroom between a teacher and avatar students. Register to attend (or to receive the link to the recording of the event). Here’s the agenda for the hour:

Jacqueline Rodriguez, assistant vice president for programs and professional learning at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), will speak about the following:

Protecting the National Pipeline of Teachers

How Virtual Classrooms Can Help Train Preservice Candidates

Teachers using virtual teaching program

“Currently, under normal times, this would not count in Texas. This may change with pandemic issues,” chimed a participant at a recent Mursion Roundtable webinar. This was not an ordinary Zoom event though. It was a group of educators who gathered to test drive a classroom simulation for “Introducing Content for Middle School.” Messages in the chat were flying. In true teacher form, they were engaged, curious, forthright and funny. Several chat messages started with “I’m here to learn …”

What does it actually mean to train a teacher candidate in a simulated clas sroom? What does that look like? How does it feel? One brave volunteer blurted, “I’m terrified …and excited, but mostly terrified.” For those who have observed a first-time participant jump into a simulation, what follows is quite predictable. The learner starts out very tentative. Within minutes of the student avatars appearing on screen, they’re conversing and chuckling at the students’ responses. Then at their command “pause simulation,” they pop out of the scenario with a sigh and a wow. “That was very realistic,” is the usual description of this new experience.

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