Virtual Math Mentorship Project: Partnering Elementary Math Methods Course with Rural Title 1 School
Photo Credit: Ben Wyrick
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.
This article was written by Jennie M. Carr of Bridgewater College and Tammy T. May of Rockingham County Public Schools.
Educator preparators are often seeking unique and meaningful experiences for their teacher candidates. With the knowledge that high quality mentoring relationships can demonstrate positive improvements in academic performance, attendance, feelings of self-confidence, resilience, perceived social acceptance, and relationships with others, we began working collaboratively to create a mutually beneficial math mentorship partnership between Bridgwater College and an elementary school in the Rockingham County Public School District (Coller & Kuo, 2014; Masters & Kreeger, 2017). The logistics of managing a traditional face-to-face mentoring experience was too difficult and there is no required field experience in the college’s elementary math methods course. Because online tools are typically utilized on college campuses and with the school district’s recent 1:1 Chromebook adoption, we crafted the virtual math mentorship (Hartun & Harvey, 2015).
Connecting the virtual math mentorship to teacher candidates’ capstone project in the math methods course was vital to its success. The eight-week project consisted of a teacher candidate field trip to the elementary school, two virtual Google Hangout sessions, four virtual Seesaw pen pal exchanges, and the creation of a personalized and interest-based differentiated math lesson for a fifth grade mentee, which was implemented during the students field trip to Bridgewater College.
The Maker Movement has been gaining momentum over the past 14 years with the publication of MAKE magazine in 2005 and the first Maker Faire sponsored by John Dougherty. The book titled Invent to Learn, 2nd Ed. (2019) has become what is known as the Maker’s Movement Bible. Written by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager, the book goes into detail about how teachers and students can let loose their creativity in a myriad of ways if they are provided with space and materials to do so.
There have always been “makers” who used their hands, brains, and hearts to invent and produce the things that people use for work and play. Classrooms have long been known as places where students could be caught making things on any given day. Why the hype about maker spaces, then?
Perhaps it has to do with the disconnect that appears to have occurred due to the technology revolution that has moved learning through exploring with material objects to learning from screens. On our small campus in Northeast Ohio, we have seen a constant move toward emptying the library of books and journals in favor of digital texts. Getting a hard copy of a textbook from publishing companies is becoming more of a challenge as well. Students on all levels rely more on Google than library stacks to conduct their research. It may be that the pendulum, as it always does, is beginning to swing the other way, and humans are craving the need to get back to hands-on learning that can leave printing ink on your hands, and clay under your finger nails.
This article originally appeared in The Carolinian and is reprinted with permission.
With a new multi-million-dollar grant, UNC-Greensboro’s (UNCG) School of Education will create a new teaching program focused on bringing high-tech thinking to two rural North Carolina counties.
The 5-year, $6.1 million grant comes from the Teacher Quality Partnership grant program under the United States Department of Education.
UNCG School of Education will use the grant money to establish the Piedmont Teacher Residency Partnership. The Partnership will train new teachers in new technology and problem solving, and the teachers will be placed in some public schools in Rockingham and Surry counties.
AACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone and I had the privilege of demonstrating the Association’s commitment to Inquiry and Innovation during a recent visit to New Orleans.
AACTE collaborated with member institution, the University of Central Florida, to present the TeachLivE™ Lab (TLE Lab) to members of Grantmakers for Education during their recent conference in Louisiana. Grantmakers for Education is the nation’s largest and most diverse network of education grantmakers dedicated to improving educational outcomes and increasing opportunities for all learners.
This article and photo originally appeared in Cobb Life Magazine and are reprinted with permission.
Teachers encounter all sorts of situations when they’re instructing students in the classroom, and the Bagwell College of Education at Kennesaw State University is taking an animated approach to preparing teacher candidates for scenarios they will experience as educators.
Bagwell has a new laboratory where KSU students and faculty utilize mixed-reality technology to interact with avatars of children and adults, simulating a variety of situations and challenges teachers can encounter. The student avatars each have their own unique personalities, and the scenarios have low, medium and high settings requiring varying levels of problem-solving.
“The lab’s capabilities are endless for providing purposeful practice for teacher candidates before they ever step foot in a classroom,” said Kate Zimmer, interim chair of the Department of Inclusive Education and an associate professor of special education.
This article and photo originally were originally published in SmartBrief Education and are reprinted with permission.
We all know the numbers are sobering. A 2018 brief from the Council for Exceptional Children showed critical shortages of special education teachers in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Fifty-one percent of all school districts and 90% of high-poverty school districts report difficulty recruiting highly qualified special education teachers. The exit rate for special education teachers is nearly twice that of general education teachers and enrollment in teacher training programs has declined by 35% over the previous five years.
It seems a dismal picture, but there is light at the end of the tunnel — one that prepares teachers to enter this dynamic field and equips them with tools to help them skillfully and confidently persist in the profession.
This article and photo originally appeared on the University of La Verne website and are reprinted with permission.
The University of La Verne’s LaFetra College of Education welcomes the new Center for Teacher Leadership & Learning Innovation, a first-of-its-kind lab, designed to support and train educators from across Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire in 21st-century learning competencies.
“As a College of Education, which prepares community and school leaders, support providers and teachers, it is imperative that our faculty be
This article and photo originally appeared on the Advancing Research & Innovation in the STEM Education of Preservice Teachers in High-Need School Districts (ARISE) website and are reprinted with permission.
Despite heavy investment in STEM (e.g., STEM for ALL), most PK-20 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction remains heavily siloed. To date, educators have not agreed on a clear definition of STEM. Is it curriculum or a teaching technique/pedagogy? Can a science lesson be called STEM, even if the other domains are not fully represented? As technology advocates, we think STEM curricula should have a strong representation from all four domains.
The STEM movement was intended to address science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in order to produce students who are prepared for the unique needs of today’s workforce. With regard to the “T” component of STEM, the only way to develop teacher candidates who fully embrace the power of technology for P12 is to infuse technology throughout their preparation.
A “technology infusion” approach
AACTE is committed to recognizing excellence in educator preparation through its prestigious annual Awards Program. Among the nine categories of awards, the Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology honors AACTE members that infuse technology throughout their curriculum in an innovative way. AACTE’s Committee on Innovation and Technology sponsors this award and selects a school, college, or department of education that uses technologies to stretch beyond standard practices in teacher education.
The video above features AACTE member institution Northeastern State University’s (NSU) College of Education, the 2018 recipient of the Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology. Dean Vanessa Anton explains how NSU’s Robotics Academy of Critical Engagement (RACE) program works and why it received the award.
This article and photo originally appeared in Illinois State University News and are reprinted with permission.
For several years, the College of Education has prioritized the redesign of classrooms and computer labs to reflect the flexible learning needs of aspiring educators and their future students.
The first reimagined collaborative space was Studio Teach. The third-floor, approximately 2,000-square-foot area overlooks the University’s Quad. It features dozens of flexible seating options, stations where multiple students can connect to a single monitor, SMART Boards, a 3D printer, an educational gaming area, a writeable white board partition, multiple wall-mounted monitors, and an array of technology available for checkout.
Storage areas on DeGarmo’s garden level have also been converted to classroom spaces with several interactive monitors that can be controlled individually or together through a single source. In addition, several classroom spaces in DeGarmo have been remodeled with a few more to come this fall. They too incorporate flexible seating and cutting-edge educational technologies.
The Richard L. Benson Flexible Learning Space was created with the help of funding by the alumnus for which it was named.
It’s a shift in mindset reflective of the evolving state of PreK–12 learning environments across