Face-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.
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Re-opening Schools During COVID-19: Will the Federal Government Help?
The topic of reopening schools is demanding attention at all levels of government—both for K-12 and higher education. The questions far outnumber the answers and the keywords seems to be flexibility and local decision-making. With governors, public health agencies, state and local school leaders, parents, and teachers all weighing in, the web of perspectives is complex. Finding a path to ensure public safety, equity and access to effective education is the challenge of the day. And finding the money to do what needs to be done—and in the midst of a polarizing election cycle—is looking like a herculean task.
This week, the House Committee on Education and Labor held its second hearing related to education and the pandemic, Inequities Exposed: How COVID-19 Widened Racial Inequities in Education, Health and the Workforce. In his testimony about education, John B. King Jr, president and CEO of the Education Trust, highlighted ongoing inequities in both K-12 and higher education and how COVID-19 has exacerbated them. He urged the federal government to act and recommended the following provisions for the next COVID-19 relief bill:
As we look toward fall 2020, it is clear that PK-12 schools will continue to use some blend of online and face-to-face learning as they deal with social distancing requirements and a possible resurge of COVID-19 cases. Teaching effectively with technology is now an essential competency for all educators.
This summer provides a window of opportunity to deepen teacher candidates’ ability to effectively use technology to support learning. But that shift will not happen through checklists or tool training alone. Educators need explicit strategies and peer support. They also need professional learning experiences that will count towards their ongoing career development and continuing education credits.
To address these issues, AACTE is proud to team up with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to launch a Summer Learning Academy designed to prepare K-12 educators and teacher candidates for teaching in online and blended learning settings this fall.
This fun 3-week summer learning experience will provide the online teaching support educators have been asking for in a flexible format that meets their needs. Educators who successfully complete the program earn continuing education units (CEUs) and graduate-level credit.
Like many educators, I experienced a crash course in teaching via Zoom during 2020. More than another technological tool, videoconferencing has helped me rethink and refine my pedagogical practice—for both online and face-to-face settings.
In my typical class sessions, we jump into instruction and activities to model “on-task” productivity. However, Zoom has reminded me that giving attention to procedures and expectations is time well spent.
In a videoconference setting, these “norms” often relate to technical set up—microphones, chatroom, camera, etc. Such issues relate to all sorts of teaching environments. How can students use phones or other devices? What should they write down or record? When and how do they talk with one another and the instructor? These are all important questions, and answering them at the start establishes expectations for successful learning (Finley, 2013).
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.
The effects of COVID-19 on students and families require district leaders to collaborate with local stakeholders — including administrators, classroom teachers, school support staff, parents, and students — to plan strategic actions that allow digital learning to effectively and equitably continue into the summer and beyond.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Turnaround for Children, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), and the New Hampshire Society for Technology in Education (NHSTE) — who are members of the broader COVID-19 Education Coalition — provide three key considerations that districts must keep in mind as they build immediate and long-term plans: equitable infrastructure, active digital learning content, and educator capacity building.
View this new resource: Providing Effective and Equitable Digital Learning for all Students: Key Considerations for Districts.
While some of our most vulnerable learners are left behind due to lack of computers or internet connectivity, and we need to strive for policies to end the digital divide, the COVID-19 pandemic also has revealed the long-term staying power of teaching and learning in both brick-and-mortar and distance learning environments.
As a teacher educator preparing new and veteran teachers to use technology in learning, I know the magic sauce of technology integration is not found in the tool itself, rather the instructional strategies that teachers use in conjunction with the tool.
In order to prepare new teachers to integrate technology to support blended learning, I show teachers how to use the Triple E Framework to evaluate how well a lesson is integrating technology using research-informed approaches. The Triple E Framework is a validated research-informed tool to assess how effectively the technology and the instructional strategies around the technology is helping to engage students in the learning goals, enhance students’ understanding of the learning goals, and extend students’ everyday connection to the learning goals. The Triple E Framework encourages teachers to ask three questions related to each E (engagement, enhancement, and extension) when designing or evaluating lessons with technology. As the teacher answers each question, a score is given, with each question receiving a score between 0 and 2. Ultimately the teachers’ lesson ends up with a total score in a range from 0 to 18. The closer the score is to 18, the better connected the technology choices, instructional strategies, and learning goals are observed in a lesson. When a lesson has a score less than 13, teachers are encouraged to 1) reconsider the tool choice, and/or 2) consider adding research-based instructional strategies around the tool to help boost the score, thus making the technology tools and strategies around the tool better connected to the learning outcomes.
To address this trying time for education in general, and teacher education specifically, the Graduate School of Education at AACTE member institution Touro College will present a virtual discussion with leaders in the profession as they contemplate what comes after sheltering in place for teacher preparation.
AACTE Board member Jacob Easley II, dean of the Touro College’s Graduate School of Education, will moderate the session. Panelists include Judy Beck, president of the Association of Teacher Educators and dean of the School of Education, University of South Carolina; past AACTE Board Chair Wanda Blanche J. Blanchett, Graduate School of Education
Wanda J. Blanchett, former AACTE board chair, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University; and Rene Antrop-Gonzales, incoming dean and professor, School of Education, SUNY New Paltz.
RSVP to join the webinar, “What’s Next? Teacher Education Post Coronavirus,” on Thursday, June 18, 3:30-4:45 p.m. EST.
The past several months have gone by in a blur for the world as rushed plans were created in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. There were many questions that surrounded education. How would we transition to an online learning platform? How would we ensure all students had equal access to devices and the internet? How would we reach students’ social-emotional needs?
Another challenge facing school districts was how to best support teachers. The short turnaround time that brick and mortar districts had to transition into online schools was a daunting task! How would professional development be facilitated? How would the delivery be and when/how would they require teachers to complete the training?
As our education system continues to provide online learning in the wake of the pandemic, all learning institutions will need to consider the element of equitable access to technology for their students. In the past, increasing our student’s digital access in online and blended learning environments has been on the shoulders of families as opposed to schools. Now that technology is being leveraged for learning in our school systems, low-and moderate-income (LMI) youth need education leaders to build the capability or partner with institutions that can support computers, broadband, and technological support access.
The National Center on Digital Equity in collaboration with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), is hosting a series of webinars titled “Community Reinvestment Act, Digital Equity and Systemic Inclusion.” In this four-part series, the FDIC will walk participants through systemic approaches that advance digital equity in LMI communities in support of financial and economic inclusion. With the immediate shift to online learning within our education system, this series brings our focus to stabilizing LMI youth and their communities.