With more than 90,000 working educator alumni in classrooms nationwide, WGU has a deep commitment to K-12 education, and to the future teachers coming through initial licensure programs as well as master’s degree programs for educators. While much has been said in media and news outlets about the increasing needs of students, especially post-COVID-19 pandemic, some education leaders, including those at WGU, are concerned that more attention needs to be given to what teachers need after the last three challenging years.
Sharing that concern is Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox, who recently shifted the lens of her annual Show Up for Teachers conference to focus on teacher and educator personal and professional wellness with tools and resources throughout the conference breakout sessions and keynotes including guest speaker Arthur Brooks, the Harvard University researcher on happiness. In 2023, the WGU School of Education was honored to become a major sponsor of the conference.
This article was originally published by Southern Illinois University.
Split-second decisions frequently determine the outcome of a game, a medical procedure, a military battle, or a law enforcement situation. Scott Boatright, a doctoral candidate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is conducting research to see if people can train with simulation and extended reality to make judgments more quickly and effectively. His work has already garnered national recognition along with a $10,000 scholarship from the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA).
Boatright, of Tampa, Florida, has been working on the project in the School of Education’s Organizational Learning, Innovation and Development (OLID) program with Peter Fadde, OLID professor of learning systems design and technology.
“The goal is to systemize and speed up the training and learning experience,” Fadde said. “We asked ourselves, how we could take the seemingly intuitive decision-making process used by experts and capture their methodology and expertise and train others to use it faster and faster.”
Boatright said getting to work on this innovative research using video-occlusion technology, a form of virtual reality, with Fadde and other SIU faculty is what drew him to SIU.
“I developed a keen interest in applying my classroom knowledge to the real world. Specifically, the application of innovative training methods and technologies, such as extended reality, to improve human performance in dynamic, high-pressure environments,” Boatright said.
In March 2023, AACTE awarded the 2024 Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology to Kansas State University. In this article, Debbie Mercer, dean, provides a summary of the university’s award-winning body of work.
AACTE is currently accepting nominations for the 2024 Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology The deadline is September 1. Learn more and submit an entry.
Kansas State University’s College of Education (COE) has developed a significant body of work leveraging technologies for innovative remote learning opportunities. Through the use of telepresence robots in conjunction with more conventional remote communications platforms, the COE has developed an integrated body of teaching, research, and service activities that engage teacher education candidates, teachers, faculty, and students in bold new initiatives that build a vision for 21st-century learning and engagement on the traditional strengths of the institution. From remote field experiences that bring teacher education candidates to high-need rural schools, to international service-learning opportunities, to fully remote teaching internships, these initiatives are both sustainable and scalable.
The Teacher Educators’ Journal (TTEJ) is published by the Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (VACTE), a state unit of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The journal aims to stimulate discussion and reflection about issues related to teacher education; authors need not be based and research need not be conducted in Virginia for manuscripts to be considered for publication. Manuscripts submitted for consideration may be research/empirical reports and analyses, position papers, book reviews, or conceptual essays.
The Co-Teaching in Clinical Practice Topical Action Group (TAG) presented five professional educators with Engagement Awards to attend the 2022 National Association for Co-Teaching (NACT) National Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in October. Foothill Knolls STEM Academy of Innovation Principal Jennifer Morris, fifth grade teacher Amanda Soto, and special education teacher Kelly Stanger from Upland, California, attended the conference along with New York City Department of Education, District 31 Specialized Student Support Lead Contessa McNulty. College Place Public Schools Assistant Principal and Co-Teaching Support Lead Ambra Bryant of College Place, Washington, was unable to attend.
In the latest webinar hosted by SchoolSims, titled “Evidence of the Impact of Simulations on School Leader Development and Preparation,” a panel of experts in educational leadership discuss their research on school leader preparation and development and the impact of experiential learning opportunities through simulations. Panelists include including Sara Dexter, Ed.D., Jennifer Bailey, Ed.D., David De Jong, Ed.D., Mike Johanek, Ed.D., and Trent Grundmeyer, Ph.D.
The purpose of the webinar is to provide context for the potential impact of simulation practice as a targeted professional development method that may go beyond pre-service preparation and continue as a learning pathway for in-service school leaders and teachers by examining the most recent research on leadership and teacher development.
Virtual reality has a number of applications for pedagogy and teacher training; simulation training in these much-needed areas may add an essential component to the field of teacher education (Tondeur, Pareja-Roblin, van Braak, Voogt, & Prestridge, 2017). Computer simulations can provide guided practice for a variety of situations that pre-service teachers wouldn’t frequently experience during their teacher education studies (Mason, Jeon, Blair, & Glomb, 2011; Mason, 2011). Simulations can help pre-service teachers develop the skills that it takes to properly run a classroom without the high-stakes risk of causing harm to actual students (Matsuda, 2005).
There are numerous benefits to game-based learning, including improved learner motivation and engagement, constructive knowledge frameworks, exploratory and independent learning and, at times, higher achievement outcomes over traditional pedagogy (Boyle et al., 2016; Cheong, Flippou, & France, 2015; Peterson, 2019). Simulations can allow pre-service teachers to see their students from a different perspective, gain insight into the best ways to manage their future classroom, and understand the direct consequences of their actions in the classroom (Ferry et al., 2004). Including simulations in pre-service teaching coursework has demonstrated an increase in the confidence and effectiveness of first year teachers (Englebert, 2010).
Understanding learner variability helps disrupt the idea of a one-size-fits all approach and paves the way for more equitable teaching and learning. The intersection of culturally responsive practice with the science of learner variability can provide great insight into what it takes to successfully implement culturally responsive instruction with both teachers and students. It also helps us understand why culturally responsive practices are necessary for reaching and embracing the whole learner.
On November 10, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., we will hear from our distinguished panelists, Courtney Teague, Angela Elkordy, and Leigh Ann Erikson, on how they approach culturally responsive practice in their courses and practice. We’ll discuss some of the key findings from the research on culturally responsive practices, where the research gaps are, and the importance of culturally responsive practices in teacher education and K-12 classrooms. Register today for the Learner Variability and Culturally Responsive Practices, hosted by Digital Promise and AACTE.
AACTE is currently accepting entries for the 2023 awards. The AACTE Awards Program recognizes excellence in both member institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of educator preparation.
For most of the awards, programs and individuals can be either self-nominated or nominated by a third party. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2022. Learn more about the 2023 AACTE Awards, eligibility and criteria.
Rachel Besharat Mann will share her experience in translating learning sciences into practice using the Digital Promise Learner Variability Navigator tool during the webinar co-hosted by AACTE, “Learning Sciences Research for the Classroom” on September 26, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Below, Mann offers a preview about her experience using the web app for whole child learning.
You can read all of the teaching books and take all of the courses but being in the classroom is a completely different experience. You are working with individual people with varied backgrounds and needs and their behaviors; strengths, and needs can change based on a variety of factors outside of a teacher’s control. There is no roadmap to tell you how students learn differently or even if they are learning at all. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way over the years and have vowed to help my higher education students avoid the same pitfalls in K-12 classrooms that I did.
AACTE has teamed up with the leaders of Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project to address systems-level transformation that directly addresses the challenges students face by using the Learner Variability Navigator (LVN); a free open-source tool to make learning sciences research accessible to educators. Earlier this year, a representative group of AACTE members were introduced to the project and navigation tools, and using their feedback, AACTE is pleased to bring you the webinar series that lifts up tools and practices with the Learner Variability Project most relevant to the educator preparation field.
Clinical experience is critical to the success of teacher candidates. It allows them to receive real classroom experience while they foster relationships with students and build their own instructional skills.
But, even with the skills they learn leading up to the clinical experience, teacher candidates can’t just enter the field and be expected to succeed. There’s a whole host of skills that cannot be taught in a college classroom or via a textbook. And, teacher candidates—just like classroom teachers themselves—need ongoing coaching and feedback to continuously improve their practice.
The University of Wyoming College of Education and UW Trustees Education Initiative (TEI) have partnered with Mursion, a company that develops virtual reality training simulations, to present the inaugural College WYTeach competition.
UW and Wyoming community college students who are freshmen or sophomores and interested in becoming teachers can participate in the contest. The top three participants will be awarded scholarship money to UW or a Wyoming community college.
In Wyoming and across the nation, schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers. The WYTeach competition was developed to get students interested in teaching careers and provide a stream of highly qualified teachers into classrooms. This exposure will provide students the opportunity to practice their professional skills and put their teaching abilities to the test by leading a class of students inside a virtual reality simulation.
The Teacher Educators’ Journal, is the journal of the newly formed Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (from the merging of ATE-Virginia and the Virginia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education). The journal is published once per year, in electronic form. Please review the call for proposals as we continue to expand the reach—research shared and readership—of the journal beyond Virginia.
The Teacher Educators’ Journal (TTEJ) is published by the Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (VACTE), a state unit of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The journal aims to stimulate discussion and reflection about issues related to teacher education. Manuscripts submitted for consideration may be research/empirical reports and analyses, position papers, book reviews, or conceptual essays.
This fall, AACTE is excited to continue supporting an opportunity for members to try out the PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and pre-service teachers while they are lesson planning in Google Docs.
Five AACTE member institutions have participated in introductory sessions and have determined that they are interested in trying out the PlanWise™ tool with their pre-service teachers. We are welcoming an additional five institutions to try out the tool this fall.