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Pandemic May (Finally) Push Online Education Into Teacher Prep Programs

The following is a quote from AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone from the article, which originally appeared in EdSurge and is reprinted with permission:

kid building robot with online robotic technology lesson, remote education

“With a 120-hour curriculum, it’s hard to find space to add more,” Gangone says. “There’s the basic ed-prep work, and then you’ve got all the other things that end up being initially seen as ancillary but aren’t—like social and emotional learning.”

On an ordinary June morning, kids descend on the campus of Auburn University to try science experiments at the college of education’s annual STEM camp. It’s an opportunity for the future teachers who are enrolled at the college to apply what they learn in class in a practical setting, testing out lesson plans with real elementary students.

This year, camp is canceled due to COVID-19. But education students still need to work on lesson plans, and kids still need summer activities. So the college is asking its future teachers to make online activity guides and videos for Home Works, a new distance learning program designed to help kids connect the curricula they usually learn in person at school or camp with what’s going on in their real lives—which right now mostly means being stuck at home.

“I want to make sure my undergrads are thinking about their impact outside of a formal classroom,” says Martina P. McGhee, assistant clinical professor of elementary education at Auburn University.

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