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.
This article originally appeared on the ISTE blog and is reprinted with permission.
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.
Read the recent JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This interview features insights on the article entitled, “Using Video to Highlight Curriculum-Embedded Opportunities for Student Discourse” by Abby Reisman and Lisette Enumah. The article was published in the November/December 2020 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
Article Abstract: History classrooms remain stubbornly resistant to instructional change. We explored whether using classroom video to help teachers identify curriculum-embedded opportunities for student discourse improved their understanding and facilitation of document-based historical discussions. We observed a relationship between teachers’ capacity to notice curriculum-embedded opportunities for student discourse in classroom videos and their growth in enacting document-based history discussions. For three of four teachers, the intervention appeared to improve both their analysis of document-based discussion facilitation and their enactment of the practice. Teachers’ incoming proficiency and familiarity with document-based history instruction appeared to inform their experience throughout the intervention. We discuss implications for practice and future research on professional development for history teachers.
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.”
Have you visited the AACTE Video Wall lately? It offers a wide range of video content for teacher educators, pre-service and in-service teachers to showcase the impact that educator preparation is making in teaching and learning today. The videos are designed to help you understand critical issues in education and the resources available to you to get involved and support the teaching profession. AACTE videos can be viewed as part of classroom curricula, as well as shared with education leaders, policy makers, and local communities to learn more about the positive work educator preparation professionals do every day.
From event highlights, lectures, and short documentaries to webinars and podcasts, the videos featured on the AACTE Video Wall offer you tools and resources to stay updated on the latest in educator preparation within just a few minutes of viewing time. The video platform can be used to promote the innovative work of educators by utilizing its embedded capability to easily share a video on your social media or to send an e-mail.
Mursion 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.
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 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.
The 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.
In early spring of 2020, AACTE joined ISTE’s LearningKeepsGoing Coalition. The Coalition subcommittees include Higher Education, of which I co-chair along with AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee Co-Chair David Slykhuis.
Each subcommittee developed resources that address the COVID19 pandemic in our nation’s public schools. The Coalition recently released two new resources for Institutions of Higher Education Educator Prep Programs and teacher candidates! The resources target different audiences. The student agency infographic is a resource for educator candidates and educator preparation faculty. As colleges and universities develop online course offerings, candidates are faced with learning how to access and benefit from online instruction. The infographic begins by amplifying five areas of student agency. Ten strategies guide students to advocate for online learning supports, use their own assets, and seek our mentors, to name a few. Students can also take an online learning readiness assessment to determine their preparedness for online instruction. Educator preparation faculty and staff are encouraged to disseminate this infographic to candidates who are learning online.
The following article is an excerpt from Inspire Magazine and is reprinted with permission.
After schools shut down in March due to COVID-19, teacher Sarah Thornburg and her team tackled remote teaching with gusto.
“We were like, ‘Let’s go.’ We found out, not only could we not teach the way that we wanted, but we shouldn’t,” the Columbus, Ohio, teacher said. “Everything had to slow down and focus not on content but on (students’) mental well-being.”
Some high-schoolers doubled work hours to pay bills. Some feared they would expose grandparents to the virus. Families lost businesses.
“That’s a burden that’s incredible for anybody to have, much less for a 15-year-old to deal with,” Thornburg said. “You can’t teach a child who’s completely freaking out about, ‘Are we going to lose our home?’ That was eye-opening.”
The following is a quote from AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone from the article, which originally appeared in EdSurge and is reprinted with permission:
“With a 120-hour curriculum, it’s hard to find space to add more,” Gangone says. “There’s the basic ed-prep work, and then you’ve got all the other things that end up being initially seen as ancillary but aren’t—like social and emotional learning.”
On an ordinary June morning, kids descend on the campus of Auburn University to try science experiments at the college of education’s annual STEM camp. It’s an opportunity for the future teachers who are enrolled at the college to apply what they learn in class in a practical setting, testing out lesson plans with real elementary students.
This year, camp is canceled due to COVID-19. But education students still need to work on lesson plans, and kids still need summer activities. So the college is asking its future teachers to make online activity guides and videos for Home Works, a new distance learning program designed to help kids connect the curricula they usually learn in person at school or camp with what’s going on in their real lives—which right now mostly means being stuck at home.
“I want to make sure my undergrads are thinking about their impact outside of a formal classroom,” says Martina P. McGhee, assistant clinical professor of elementary education at Auburn University.
The following article features a podcast interview with AACTE’s Jacqueline Rodriguez addressing higher education’s strategies to ensure teacher and educator candidates access and benefit from the digital learning environment.
The Digitalachia Podcast hosted by Robert Brown of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) welcomed Jacqueline Rodriquez, vice president of research, policy, and advocacy with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). The topic of discussion is higher education and incorporating virtual and blended learning models in the digital world.
As many parents have questions about how to navigate the current school year with their children at home, ABC 10News anchor Lindsey Peña offered them an opportunity to talk with Reyes Quezada, chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching from University of San Diego USD, about their concerns. Reyes fields questions about distance learning, early childhood education, and bilingual education during the segment.
His advice includes tips that families can use to replicate what’s happening in schools to support their students at home. During the interactive session, Reyes also emphasizes the different ways teachers can communicate to meet the needs of the students during remote learning, including socio-emotional learning.
Watch the full interview on ABC10News Facebook page.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Education Commission of the States, and Whiteboard Advisors will host a webinar on October 7 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss how states and districts are continuing to embed digital citizenship and media literacy into instruction during COVID-19 and remote learning.
Creating a Renewed Vision Around Digital Citizenship
Wednesday, October 7, 1:00 p.m. ET