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Ensuring Safe and High-Quality Feedback to Candidates with Video Observation

This is the second article in a two-part series. Read the first part, titled “Video Observation Improves Teacher Preparation and Enhances Collaboration.” Authors Caroline Forrest and Cori Woytek will be presenting a live Q&A session at the 2021 Annual Meeting, “Using Video Across Diverse Settings to Provide Meaningful Feedback & Facilitate Reflective Conversations,” Thursday, February 25, 1:30 – 2:30 pm.

Caroline Forrest

Caroline Forrest

Cori Woytek

Cori Woytek

Many teacher preparation programs have faced unprecedented challenges this past year because of COVID-19. Schools have moved to online instruction and in-person support of student teachers has become difficult, if not impossible.

In response to the crisis, many institutions have incorporated videoed observations and feedback as part of their programs—a move that our teacher education program here at Western Colorado University took four years ago prior to the pandemic.

Fortunately, having a video feedback structure in place has enabled us to continue to support our residents – and continue to provide them with effective, rich, and applicable feedback – during this time.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance: Even in a Pandemic

In Part 1 of this article, the authors talked about how as teacher preparation program professors in different areas of the United States, they managed to still provide valuable, worthwhile, and innovative professional development for their preservice educators and graduate students who are in-service teachers, despite the myriad ways in which COVID-19 derailed the spring semester.

In Part 2, the authors share the feedback from their students who participated in the virtual professional development.

We, six collaborators, banded together to provide professional development for pre- and in-service teachers’ professional learning experiences during their transition to emergency remote teaching (Hodges et al., 2020) through a self-initiated professional learning community (SIPLC) (Pinnegar & Hamilton, 2009). Adopting this widely practiced research method among teacher educators (Hamilton & Pinnegar, 2013), the collaboration aimed to deepen the understanding of preservice and in-service teachers’ experiences in the SIPLC as they transitioned to remote teaching under the pandemic (DuFour & Eaker, 1998; Song et al., 2020) using Zoom recordings.

Video Observation Improves Teacher Preparation and Enhances Collaboration

Authors Caroline Forrest and Cori Woytek will be presenting a live Q&A session at the 2021 Annual Meeting, “Using Video Across Diverse Settings to Provide Meaningful Feedback & Facilitate Reflective Conversations,” Thursday, February 25, 1:30 – 2:30 pm.

Providing resident teachers with meaningful feedback to improve their instructional practices is—and always has always been—a hallmark of our teacher education program here at Western Colorado University. Through the use of video coaching, which we implemented four years ago, we’ve been able to ensure this feedback is even more effective, rich, and applicable.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance: Even in a Pandemic

In Part 1 of this article, the authors talk about how, as teacher preparation program professors in different areas of the United States, they managed to still provide valuable, worthwhile, and innovative professional development for their preservice educators and graduate students who are in-service teachers, despite the myriad ways in which COVID-19 derailed their spring semester.

business, education, people and office concept - businesswoman or teacher in suit pointing finger up from backMany years ago, during a class on educational administration in my [Megan Reister] master’s program, a guest speaker shared an inspirational mantra he lived by as principal of a large elementary school.  He shared the quote, “Prior planning prevents poor performance!” and then went on to explain how he incorporated intentional planning, thoughtful conversations, and open communication with colleagues and staff at his school to create an atmosphere of intentionality and accountability within and outside the classrooms. 

As a professor of special education and early childhood education in Ohio, that expression came to mind more than once as I experienced the tumultuous second half of a semester that no one could have predicted or planned for thanks to COVID-19 in Spring 2020.  No one could have prepared for what occurred—schools closing, moving to remote teaching, working full-time from home while also managing children at home full-time without the usual supports. One could hardly be faulted for poor performance no matter how much planning happened on the fly. I could only shake my head as I thought back on that statement about planning and performance that made such an impact in my early years of teaching in early March when the news broke that the university was taking a week to figure out how to move to online teaching for the next month and then again, once plans were changed and it was determined the whole spring semester would be moved to online learning.

Cal State LA receives NSF grant to enhance STEM teaching in urban schools

Photo: A screenshot of Cal State LA student-teachers interacting virtually with avatar pupils in a simulated classroom. (Credit: Cal State LA)

California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA ) has been awarded a three-year, $586,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to train future teachers in math and science instruction using a simulation lab.

The grant will establish Simulations for Minority Interactive Learning Environments (SMILE): A Design and Development Project at Cal State LA. The project will feature a simulation lab that will help prepare elementary teachers who will work in high-need urban schools to offer a successful learning experience in math and science.

Researchers will also study the integration of the use of mixed-reality virtual simulations in teacher preparation across several courses in the university’s Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program. Faculty in Cal State LA’s Charter College of Education (CCOE) will create scenarios and develop scripts specifically intended to teach STEM concepts.

Developing Technology Excellence in Teachers Requires Lots of Practice

This article originally appeared on the ISTE blog and is reprinted with permission.

Two women working on computer

If teacher candidates are to learn how to integrate technology, teacher educators and PK-12 mentor teachers must value, promote and demand that technology be an essential element to good teaching. Furthermore, teacher candidates and novice teachers must have ample opportunities to practice teaching with technology during their field experiences and student teaching.

A new paradigm for practice

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes about the connection between practice and success. Experts, he writes, do not “float effortlessly to the top while practicing a fraction of the time their peers did.” Gladwell believes dedicating an enormous amount of time to practice is one of the most important factors in developing excellence. As such, “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

Educators concerned with developing expertise remind us that not all practice is created equal. In a recent blog post, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits (2018), writes, “…at any level of skill, (if you) practice in the same way you always have you’ll get the same results you always have.” Applying a more purposeful and powerful conception of practice to educational technology calls for teacher educators and PK–12 mentor teachers to distinguish between time spent in repetitive activities to integrate research-based teaching from how time practicing is actually spent as a way to improve teaching with technology.

AACTE Announces 2020 Technology Implementation Grant Recipients

Applications Now Accepted for AACTE’s Video Observation Technology Implementation Grant banner

AACTE is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the new AACTE Video Observation Technology Implementation Grant. AACTE offered the grant in partnership with Edthena to help educator preparation programs enhance training for future teachers in methods courses, field observations, skill building, and group learning via advanced technology.

“Both AACTE and Edthena understand that video observation technology has the potential to positively impact candidates during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “AACTE is proud to collaborate with partners like Edthena to promote technology growth in schools and colleges of education.”

Take Clinical Practice to the Next Level at AACTE’s 2021 Annual Meeting

Engaging Diverse Communities
Take your clinical practice program to the next level with proven tips and best practices revealed during AACTE’s virtual 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26. Discover ways to explore, expand, and inspire new ideas about effective, clinically-rich partnerships in educator preparation through concurrent sessions focused on conference Strand IV: Clinical Practice and Community Engagement. Register now for access to the latest content on how to produce educators who are confident, learner-ready, and contextually aware in sessions such as:
  • Eliminating the Drive-By Field Experience: Co-Constructing a Model Based in Community Engagement
  • Exploring the Inequities of Student Teaching During the COVID Crises
  • Preparing University Faculty for Clinically-oriented, Practice-based Teacher Education
  • The Other Pandemic: Engaging Black Families During COVID-19
  • Incorporation of Virtual Simulations to Prepare Special Education Teacher Candidates to Collaborate with Racially, Culturally, and Linguistically Diverse Families
  • Pivoting into a Paradigm Shift: Clinical Experiences in Online Classrooms
  • Entrepreneurial School-Based Leadership and University Partnerships
Learn about these sessions and more in the AACTE Online Event Planner, available with 160 plus concurrent sessions!
 
Time is running out to get discounted rates for the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting! Register by December 18 to receive the early bird registration rate! Visit www.aacte.org for conference details, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTE21.

AACTE’s President/CEO Reflects on Using Virtual Simulation in Teacher Prep During Fireside Chat

AACTE & Mursion Virtual Reality ClassroomsMursion CEO Mark Atkinson hosted AACTE’s President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone for a virtual fireside chat in culmination of a multi-part series highlighting how Mursion’s virtual simulation classroom is being used in educator preparation programs. To start the conversation, Gangone reflected on how the pandemic has shaped the need to collaborate and to think differently on the delivery of instruction in the P-20 setting. She noted, “In our strategic planning process we created a vision to revolutionize education for all learners. We had no idea how prescient that was because of the pandemic.”

Rethinking clinical practice with the use of simulation is just one way in which innovation has supported the delivery of high-quality preparation without having to be on-the-ground. This helped accelerate AACTE’s collaboration with Mursion.

In addition to addressing the challenges and innovations brought on by the shift to virtual learning, Gangone and Atkinson also discussed efforts nationally to promote an antiracist agenda in schools to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of students. Gangone mentioned the importance of AACTE’s work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We know that we all have implicit bias and that systemic racism exists,” she said. “So AACTE has been doing a lot of work in this area, from entrance exams into programs to other barriers to enter the profession.”

The discussion also focused on how simulation can support both teacher candidates and teacher preparation faculty in addressing their own inherent or implicit biases, which often carry into the classroom. “Simulation gives us an opportunity to deal with our own biases in ways that are really powerful and not bring harm,” commented Gangone. Engaging teacher education faculty in the simulation space could not only help to address biases and equity, but to better understand social and emotional learning, and effective pedagogy. There are a great number of possibilities when thinking through combining scholarship with simulation to move the field of education forward. Atkinson noted, “There is so much that we can bring to the floor, for teachers and leaders together, to really improve the way children experience school once they can get back into them again.”

Listen to the full recording of this conversation.

AACTE and Mursion are collaborating to support teacher preparation through the pandemic and beyond. Learn more details about this collaboration.

Leveraging Teacher Candidates as Assets During the Pandemic: A Win-Win for All

Supporting Inclusive SchoolsLast month, AACTE partnered with CCSSO, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at the American Institutes for Research, and the CEEDAR Center to discuss how teacher candidates can be leveraged as assets for PK-12 districts navigating online learning and uncertainty during the pandemic. During the webisode hosted by CCSSO, Loretta Mason-Williams from Binghamton University, Jacqueline Rodriguez from AACTE, and Christian Rodgers from AASA set the stage for how the needs of teacher candidates, schools, and families are changing in 2020. With this shift in needs comes opportunities for both schools and teacher candidates.

This webisode also featured faculty and staff from AACTE member institution, Boston University, and Boston public schools, along with Lindsey Decker, a current teacher candidate. Decker shared her experiences supporting her mentor teacher in an online environment and noted “teachers are looking for additional adults to be in the classrooms.” In the virtual environment, Decker said she works with learners in small breakout groups and “one-on-one to lessen the gap that we’re seeing from the pandemic.”

Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson to Host Lynn M. Gangone for a Fireside Chat on the Future of Education

Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson to Host Lynn M. Gangone for a Fireside Chat on the Future of EducationPlease join us Tuesday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. ET for a joint reflection on 2020 and a look forward to the coming year. Mursion Co-founder and CEO, Mark Atkinson will host a fireside chat with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone. Join the conversation as they share their perspectives on

  • The current state of teacher prep programs
  • What will go back to “normal” vs. what innovations for coping with the pandemic will stay
  • Models and systems are on the table for reinvention, writ large, what does this mean for higher education?

Register now for the free event.

The recorded session will be available for viewing.

Applications Now Accepted for AACTE’s Video Observation Technology Implementation Grant

Applications Now Accepted for AACTE’s Video Observation Technology Implementation Grant banner

Applications are now being accepted for the new AACTE Video Observation Technology Implementation Grant. This opportunity, in collaboration with Edthena, is available exclusively to AACTE members.

Given the many challenges that educator preparation programs have weathered in 2020, AACTE and Edthena have created this grant opportunity to provide some much needed relief for up to 20 AACTE members. Each grantee will be awarded up to $25,000 in grant funds, which will be utilized to implement the Edthena platform for the upcoming Spring 2021 semester.

For those AACTE member institutions interested in applying:

  • Active AACTE members in good standing, and not already an Edthena partner, are eligible for the grant.
  • Matching of grant funds are not required during this Spring 2021 offering.
  • Continuing Edthena implementation after the grant period is not required.
  • Grantees will receive implementation and planning support from the Edthena team to build a deployment strategy for the spring semester.
  • Awardees will receive access to the relevant edTPA toolsets needed for your program (where applicable).
  • AACTE team members will also participate in onboarding training with grantees, where possible, to help connect awardees with additional resources.

AACTE and Edthena to Offer $500,000 in Grants for Teacher Preparation Video Observations

AACTE logo | Edthena Logo

AACTE is collaborating with Edthena to provide $500,000 in grant funding to teacher education programs for Spring 2021.

AACTE member institutions may apply by December 7, 2020, to receive up to $25,000 for implementing video observation technology to support their teacher candidates during COVID-19 and beyond. Through this partnership, up to twenty AACTE members will receive grants for the upcoming Spring 2021 academic term.

A leader in video observation and collaboration technology, Edthena is widely used by schools, districts, and teacher education programs across the country. The technology platform enables teacher candidates to upload videos of their practice and faculty to provide feedback at specific moments in time. An approved edTPA platform provider, Edthena’s video technology can be utilized in methods courses, field observations, edTPA skill building, and group learning, making it possible to capture data for candidate growth and program improvement.

From Pivoting to Disrupting the Status Quo

This is Part 2 of an article by Hannah Reeder and Betsy Rosenbalm of Appalachian State University in which they share how they’ve moved from pivoting to disrupting the status quo as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Being forced to think creatively about how to support student teachers and beginning teachers at Appalachian State University  has resulted in changes that we are now continuing into this semester and beyond.   Using virtual platforms such as Zoom, we have been able to establish connections that have reached more people without the logistical barriers that are typically present.  Taking away barriers such as travel, parking, and time constraints that previously seemed inevitable and unavoidable, have challenged us to consider if they are indeed necessary. What we have realized is that what started out as Plan B is now becoming Plan A.  Providing seamless support for students and teachers that disrupts the status quo has many advantages. 

Overcoming barriers and offering meaningful learning opportunities for pre-service and in-service teachers has led us to think differently about how we support our students and teachers.  During the summer of 2020, both of our offices teamed up with the Reich College of Education’s Math & Science Education Center to host a virtual education conference called IDEA-CON.  The conference offered a variety of sessions for educators of all levels, from beginning teachers to teacher educators.  From brief resource sharing sessions to 30-minute idea discussions to panels to plenary speakers, IDEA-CON had something for everyone.  And best of all, we were able to offer this conference for FREE.

Complete CEEDAR Survey on Virtual Instruction

A girl with disabilities using a laptop for a school lessonThe CEEDAR Center is working on a collaborative effort to collect information from educator preparation programs across the country who are implementing effective, practice-based opportunities for teacher candidates within a virtual space. We’d like to invite you, your colleagues, and your partners (if applicable) to participate in a survey focused on online education for teachers of students with disabilities. 

If you previously utilized an online teacher education program before COVID-19, and/or have adapted your program and/or clinical preparation model to accommodate a hybrid and/or online teacher education model during COVID-19, CEEDAR would love to hear from you. Please spend a few minutes completing this survey.

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