By Marni Kay, Stephanie Luke and Shane Trenta
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?
By Bryan Carter
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher preparation programs are faced with the difficulty of how to support and evaluate candidates in the field. Here in Washington state, we already face a shortage of willing mentors to host our candidates. A recent study by Western Washington University and my colleagues at the University of Washington estimated that only 3-4% of teachers serve as mentors any given year. According to the findings of a state workgroup in which I participated, this trend is even more pronounced among rural and remote school districts. As a result, programs throughout our state are looking for effective ways to further support our candidates in the field, particularly in rural and remote areas.
One solution that is effective and can support efforts to maintain teacher certifications, including during the pandemic, is the use of online observations. We began using Edthena in 2015, and over the last 5 years, we have witnessed tremendous success and accessibility, especially for candidates in rural and remote school districts. We utilize Edthena’s platform as part of multiple measures to assess candidates in field placements. Field supervisors can use the online video tool in conjunction with traditional in-person observations, providing a nice mixture of evidence for our program to assess our candidates’ readiness towards licensure. Here are some of the highlights of our experience using online video observations.
By Ann E. Larson
COVID-19 has forced educators to say goodbye to their classrooms and embrace adapting their pedagogy to online formats overnight. They have learned new technology, found creative ways to engage students remotely, and most importantly, kept education moving forward. The current public health crisis has placed a well-deserved spotlight on teachers. As parents struggle to balance work, supervise virtual classrooms, and co-educate their children, a new awareness and appreciation for the influence, power, and value of great teachers has emerged.
We have all read headlines about COVID-19’s drastic impact on the education system. We have seen firsthand the pandemic’s sweeping effect on our education institutions and students. And we have all been challenged to find remote learning opportunities that ensure teacher candidates are well-prepared to enter their own classrooms—whether in-person, hybrid, or virtual. While the hurdles we face are multidimensional, overcoming them is essential. To quote Linda Darling-Hammond, “If you don’t have a strong supply of well-prepared teachers, nothing else in education can work.”
By Monika Jo
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:
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
By Jacqueline Rodriguez
As every educator in the country can attest, effectively leveraging technology in our classrooms, both in the virtual and brick and mortar environment, is paramount. To support our members, earlier this spring AACTE joined more than 70 education organizations in the COVID-19 Education Coalition formed by the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). The Coalition’s purpose is curate, create, and deliver high-quality tools and support for educators as they keep the learning going during extended school closures caused by the global pandemic. ISTE and coalition members have launched LearningKeepsGoing.org, a free, online portal with resources for educators and a help desk with experts from across the country to provide real-time support to educators. LearningKeepsGoing.org will also list weekly webinars, offering educators and administrators direct access to national experts.
As AACTE’s assistant vice president of programs and professional learning, I am co-leading the Higher Education subcommittee of the Coalition with David Sykhuis, assistant dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, AACTE Innovation and Technology co-chair, and chair of the National Technology Leadership Summit. Members of the subcommittee include:
By Anna Arias, Brett Criswell, Joshua Ellis, Larry Escalada, Shelly Forsythe, Heather Johnson, Donna Mahar, Amy Palmeri, Margaret Parker and Jessica Riccio
COVID-19 challenges all of us in teacher education to reimagine how to prepare our candidates for the complexity of teaching when they cannot be placed in authentic classroom contexts. Our responses to this challenge will likely require us to stretch the “approximations of practice” that Grossman et al. (2009) described. One strategy that might offer us a means for executing this stretch is video analysis. However, for video analysis to be a meaningful approximation of practice, teacher educators need both useful video case resources and the tools to support candidates’ exploration of these cases.
A group of science teacher educators from across the country has been using the ATLAS library as our main video case resource and the Framework for Analyzing Video in Science Teacher Education (FAVSTE) as our tool for maximizing the learning from these cases. ATLAS has videos (generally 15 -20 minutes in duration) submitted by teachers applying for National Board certification, along with the commentary (Instructional Context, Planning, Analysis, Reflection) associated with the videos. This allows teacher candidates to both see the action occurring in actual classrooms and then read about the thinking of the teacher before and after the lesson that produced that action.
By Paul Floeckher
This article originally appeared on the Kennesaw State University news site and is reprinted with permission.
The Bagwell College of Education’s mixed-reality avatar lab simulates a multitude of situations that teachers can experience, but Kennesaw State faculty probably didn’t envision that one of those scenarios would be providing field experience for teacher candidates during a real-life pandemic.
After universities and PK-12 school systems throughout Georgia transitioned from classroom courses to remote learning last month, the Bagwell College and the Department of Inclusive Education configured the avatar lab for remote access. Unable to be in their actual classrooms, student teachers and master’s candidates have been utilizing the avatar lab online to simulate teaching to a group of students.
“Our teacher candidates are able to take the lesson that they were supposed to teach in the real classroom and do it in our avatar lab, from the comfort of their home,” said Kate Zimmer, an associate professor of special education and the director of the avatar lab. “By no means are we saying that the lab should replace field experience, but, especially in times like these, it definitely makes a difference and helps prepare the best teacher candidates we can.”
By Monika Jo
Would 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.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
By David Slykhuis, Liz Kolb, Lisa Dieker, Jon Clausen, Michael McVey and Robert Moody
This past March, face-to-face instruction was canceled as universities began to implement emergency procedures for remote teaching due to COVID-19. In response, AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology (ITC) presented a webinar with guidelines for emergency remote teaching. Constituents can view that webinar and access additional resources.
The purpose of this blog post is to revisit the webinar guidelines with suggestions that can be incorporated into planning for 2020-21 blended or online instructional implementation plans:
Survey faculty and students to identify digital inequities and access needs. Develop easy to use support system for devices, reliable Internet access, and technical support.
Use Your Current Tools
If face-to-face instruction is not an option, now is not the time to revamp the current learning systems. Universities should encourage faculty to use the same tools (e.g., your Learning Management System) prior to and during COVID-19. Encourage instructors not to overwhelm students with too many new tools. Select a few versatile tools (e.g., Google Suite) and encourage innovative integration throughout a course or program.
By Lynn M. Gangone
You, like many AACTE members, are likely facing pauses and interruptions to the clinical practice partnerships in your educator preparation program due to COVID-19. AACTE wants to provide you with solutions, and as such, I am excited to announce our collaboration with Mursion to provide our members access to virtual reality classrooms. This technology enables teacher candidates to receive experiential learning to continue their career development in virtual settings. View the complete details at aacte.org/vrclassrooms.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video and learn more about this special member-only benefit and other ways to engage with your Association this month. Stay positive and rest assured that AACTE is here to support you through this difficult time.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
By University at Albany
The University at Albany School of Education, in order to support a greater need for remote learning in K-12 education, on Wednesday launched the website Remote Education Resource Center, or RemoteEd.
The site, which has immediate critical value in the current coronavirus crises, will not only help teachers incorporate remote learning tools into their classes, but also foster a community of practice in the Capital Region. RemoteEd had its unveiling on Wednesday during a webinar with area teachers.
“The School of Education at the University at Albany has a deep purpose and commitment to assist the special, urgent needs of teachers, leaders and schools to support student learning in this current dynamic time,” said Jason Lane, interim dean of the School. “Our faculty and graduate students have worked tirelessly to bring this resource to reality. We’re all in this together to support our children and students.”
By Jacqueline Rodriguez and Caitlin Wilson
At a time when the nation’s universities and colleges are moving to an online learning environment, AACTE is prepared to support the transition through webinars, resource sharing, and engagement. Next week, technology and online learning experts from the AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee are hosting a 90-minute webinar, Thursday, March 26 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. The webinar is open to all AACTE members.
The How to Transition to an Online Learning Environment webinar will address transitioning to online instruction for 30 minutes, followed by a 60-minute Q&A session for members to ask questions of AACTE resident experts. Much like virtual office hours, AACTE members can access our Innovation and Technology Committee members with questions specific to their local context.
The webinar will be recorded and hosted on our resource page for members to access at any time.
By Lisa Dieker
The University of Central Florida (UCF) has moved their work with TeachLivE to remote servers to allow teacher candidates throughout the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic to use simulations of classrooms to observe student teaching competencies. UCF invites teacher educators from other teacher training institutions to use the TeachLivE platform.
TeachLivE now has the capability to observe student teachers interacting with elementary (option for inclusive setting), middle, and high school (option for inclusive setting) classrooms. Users may request English Language Learning avatars (Spanish).We also support preparation for parent-teacher and teacher-principal conferences. These virtual simulations can occur with an instructor observing a prospective teacher interacting remotely with students in one of the TeachLivE environments or used in an online setting with peers watching each other to provide feedback. The instructor can record data about specific student teaching competencies and providing feedback to the prospective teachers.
By Lara Luetkehans
The AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology is charged with developing the Association’s classroom reform and technology agendas related to PK-12 and postsecondary education. This year the committee’s focus has been on promoting use and facilitating communication and interaction in learning and technology. To do so, committee members have been planning the third iteration of the Information and Technology Preconference Workshop to be offered at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Feb. 27.
The Preconference Workshop will highlight Exemplars and Partners in Integrating Technology in Teacher Preparation. This half-day session will provide attendees with an opportunity to engage with key stakeholders from universities and professional organizations who are committed to preparing future educators to effectively integrate technology for student learning. Panels and sessions on academic program and faculty development, partnerships, diversity, and social justice will showcase the work and outcomes of exemplary researchers, practitioners, and organization leaders. Participants will engage in thinking about how to build capacity at their own institutions. Please join us on February 27, 1:00-5:00 p.m. for a packed agenda. To learn more and register, visit aacte.org.
Developing Trauma-Informed Teachers: The Story Of One Teacher Preparation Program
By Brenda Morton and Anna Berardi
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
Long before the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey illustrated the dire consequences of adverse events on children, educators have known that today’s students are more stressed than previous generations. They face greater challenges developing executive functioning skills needed to succeed in social-emotional and academic tasks. Trauma-informed school approaches have flourished in an attempt to more effectively teach students suffering the consequences of home-based or social-cultural trauma. But we know that this challenge requires more than just offering teachers conferences or webinars on trauma-informed school techniques. We need multi-level systemic change in the way our profession conceptualizes what it truly means to incorporate advances in the neurobiology of trauma and learning.
In our open access, no cost text Trauma-Informed School Practices we address this challenge by detailing systemic change processes in the application of trauma-informed knowledge. The Trauma-Informed School Practices Tri-Phasic Model (diagram #1) outlines best-practices as applied to students. It is embedded in the Six Elements of Education System Change (diagram #2) needed to ensure a lasting incorporation of this paradigm shift. The reality is, we can’t place the burden of change on current teachers; all of us need to participate.