If you could build a teacher prep program from scratch, what would it look like?
This wasn’t a theoretical question for Loleta Sartin. In 2005, Sartin helped develop—from the ground up—a progressive teacher education program at Middle Georgia State University, formerly known as Macon State College.
So what did she focus on? Giving candidates as many classroom experiences as possible. The program “ensured our teacher candidates were not just staying in the ivory tower,” explained Sartin. On day one, the faculty taught their courses on-site at local schools.
A decade later, Middle Georgia State found a way to provide its teacher candidates with even more diverse classroom experiences by adopting a video-based assessment tool called GoReact.
Soon, GoReact became an indispensable tool for Sartin and her colleagues to better prepare their candidates while saving their program time and money.
Considering the ramped-up emphasis on online and remote learning, deans, department chairs, and their faculty are taking a new look at learning goals and related curricula in preparation programs to assure teacher candidates are prepared to effectively use technology for teaching and learning. Programs can no longer claim that a single “techie” faculty member or a stand-alone course on “ed tech” will provide teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills they need to be proficient with integrating technology into the learning experiences they plan.
The COVID-19 pandemic we have all experienced has clearly illustrated the need to address technology integration in more depth than siloed approaches could ever provide. An infusion approach, where technology is addressed throughout an entire teacher preparation program—from beginning to end—brings methods courses, practica, student teaching, and even liberal arts and sciences content faculty and PK-12 mentors into this framework for scaffolding candidate development.
But, wait. Just to be clear—What is the difference between integrating technology and infusing technology?
Teresa Foulger, associate professor of educational technology from Arizona State University, explains the difference in a new book, Championing Technology Infusion in Teacher Preparation: A Framework for Supporting Future Educators (Borthwick, Foulger, & Graziano, 2020):
Register today for the final two webinars in AACTE’s Back to School Webinars Series this month. On August 18, join AACTE and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to review and discuss survey data and case studies that cover higher education’s ability to help PK-12 schools integrate technology. Then, on August 26, rejoin EdPrepLab to learn how educator preparation has been shaped by the experiences of the spring and the demands of the new school year. Read on for more webinar details.
ISTE: Integrating Digital Technologies in Remote K-12 Learning: Lessons for Higher Education Preparation Programs
August 18, 2020 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET
As a result of the global health pandemic, teacher preparedness to integrate digital technology into their teaching has become a leading topic of conversation in both the PK-12 and higher education communities. How well are PK-12 teachers being prepared to integrate digital technologies and the ISTE Standards into their PK-12 teaching? What is higher education doing well? Where are the gaps?
In this webinar, you will hear from AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee co-chair Liz Kolb and Victoria Carter from the University of Michigan about two survey results pre and post COVID-19. The first survey, pre COVID-19, investigates PK-12 teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of how well new teachers are prepared to integrate technology tools and the ISTE Standards for Students. The second survey focuses on how teachers experience remote teaching and learning during the pandemic. While both are national surveys, we will focus on the state of Michigan as a case study. The presentation will include suggestions and implications for teacher preparation in higher education as well as PK-12 district professional development for moving toward high-quality preparation of teacher candidates for face to face, remote, and blended learning environments with technology tools.
As K-12 student populations continue to diversify, it is essential for educator preparation programs to ensure teacher candidates possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to meet the needs of all learners. Mixed reality simulation is an effective tool to facilitate the development of culturally responsive and sustaining educators and to foster self-reflection. Through virtual simulations, instructor and peers provide critical feedback and observation of candidates’ performance via video.
Join AACTE and Mursion for the webinar, “Fostering Critical Self-Reflection: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners through Mixed Reality Simulation,” at 1:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, August 18. This session will detail the process used in a STEM methods course to engage candidates in addressing the needs of English language learners and provide examples of how candidate thinking and planning changed as a result. The presenters include:
Join AACTE on August 12 and 13 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. for its first back to school webinar series. Over the course of these two sessions, panelists with experience in using the Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools (ATLAS) library with the FAVSTE framework will introduce participants to these tools and how to use these tools to effectively utilize video tasks in teacher preparation. These ideas are applicable across different levels of certification (elementary, middle, and secondary) and school contexts.
Panelists will include the following:
- Brett Criswell – West Chester University
- Heather Jo Johnson – Vanderbilt
- Jessica Anna Arias – Kennesaw State University
- Lawrence T Escalada – University of Northern Iowa
- Shelly Forsythe – Texas State University
Register today to attend the two-part webinar: ATLAS and FAVSTE: A Tool and a Framework for Using Video in Teacher Preparation.
Higher education and PK-12 school systems around the country continue to persevere through the pandemic while the policies that structure the new school year continue to change day-to-day. Since the onset of COVID-19, our partners have observed how the pandemic has affected teacher and leadership preparation programs and are excited to share lessons learned. This August, join us for a “Back to School” webinar series with three of our strategic partners: EdPrepLab an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and Bank Street Graduate School of Education, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools (ATLAS) group. In each, we will discuss how to apply what was learned this past spring to the upcoming academic year within higher educator preparation programs.
Education leaders’ outlook for the 2020-21 academic year anticipates a widening gap in the supply of new teachers, according to a recent survey of nearly 200 responses from individuals in leadership roles at colleges of education. The survey, conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting educator preparation programs, reveals that nearly half of respondents indicated that field placements (student teaching) have been discontinued for at least some of their students.
Teacher preparation is multidimensional, and clinical experience is an essential aspect in becoming a successful educator. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, teacher candidates’ face-to-face classroom training has come to a halt, causing them to miss out on the opportunity to hone their in-class, instructional skills before they are in front of their own students.
“Our survey examines the critical demands in teacher preparation as we continue to navigate the global health pandemic and prepare for the academic year beginning in the fall,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “With critical shortages already in the teacher pipeline, it is more important than ever to use technology innovation to move field placements forward.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many teachers, students, and parents rushed to navigate online learning. Some schools may reopen with social distancing guidelines in place, while others may incorporate a virtual component. To limit COVID-19 exposure while maintaining the quality of education for students, educators will need to embrace online instruction.
Navigating new technology can be a big hurdle for veteran teachers. As many school districts are announcing plans to incorporate virtual learning for the upcoming school year, there will be little time for teachers to prepare. Seasoned educators will need a lot of training to master remote instruction and help their students succeed.
Teacher candidates enrolled in online programs can help bridge the gap. These candidates have developed technology skills and experienced asynchronous learning, which puts them in a great position to pivot to remote teaching. With 50 years of experience in distance education and online learning, Walden University faculty are prepared to provide teacher candidates with the knowledge and experience needed for online instruction in PreK-12 schools. Walden even helps teacher candidates develop and practice their skills for the classroom through virtual reality training simulations.
Since AACTE and Mursion launched the Education Roundtable series, we have had the pleasure of showcasing the work of educators, who have integrated teacher training via virtual reality (VR) simulation into their respective programs or are studying the various aspects of this modality.
In an upcoming three-part mini-series, Carrie Straub, executive director of education programs and research at Mursion, will host a team from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) who have generously offered to share the magic behind their work. They will upack and discuss the following:
- Recruiting and training simulation specialists
- The development of simulations including how participants are oriented into Mursion experiences, models for simulation designs, and post simulation activities aimed at transferring skills
- The development of four simulations developed through the Reach Every Reader grant which HGSE designed to develop teachers as critical thinkers and learners in the classroom alongside their students
In March, when news of the coronavirus began to spread, one of our first tasks was to decide what to do with the hundreds of candidates who were in schools completing clinical experiences. This was new territory for everyone and no procedures for this type of situation had ever been developed. The decision was made to continue full-time internships, but all other field-based work was halted to allow P-12 teachers to focus on their own instruction and students. Through the strong partnerships we have with our school districts, we were able to navigate the situation and successfully graduate over 400 interns Spring 2020.
As we plan for the fall semester, while we now have some experience and advanced knowledge of the situation, the P-12 landscape will be even more varied—both within and across school districts. It has quickly become apparent that we will need to supplement our field-based work in other ways. We are assembling a range of options, including organizing a video repository, creating data-rich case studies from previous assignments, and building a tutoring network to offer virtual tutoring services to children in our local communities while simultaneously allowing candidates the opportunity to plan, implement, and evaluate their instruction. Another important option we will be utilizing to provide practice opportunities to candidates is SIMTeach@TU, our Mursion simulation system.
Experiencing disruptions to your elementary mathematics or science methods courses due to COVID-19? We may be able to help!
ETS is currently recruiting teacher educators who will be teaching elementary mathematics or science methods courses in the fall 2020 semester to participate in a new NSF-funded study (#2032179). The study will provide simulated teaching practice through the Mursion® virtual environment to pre-service elementary teachers (PSETs) enrolled in your methods course.
The simulated teaching tasks used in the study focus on leading argumentation-focused discussions in either mathematics or science at the fifth-grade level. Teacher educators selected to participate will incorporate one simulated teaching task into their course as an assignment for their PSETs and will agree to participate in surveys and focus group interviews reflecting on their experience.
For a more detailed description, please follow this link, where you will also be able to apply. Applications close July 27.
Heather Howell is a research scientist at ETS.
Face-to-face clinical field experience cancelled? Find out how teacher candidates can safely practice instructional strategies through virtual reality (VR) classrooms.
Join the AACTE and Mursion co-sponsored webinar, “Feasibility & Utility of Mixed Reality Simulations in Higher Education,” presented by guest speakers from AACTE and Kennesaw State University tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The presenters will share their wealth of experience using mixed reality solutions and will engage in critical dialogue on the feasibility and utility of mixed reality simulations in higher education. You will discover how virtual simulations help teacher candidates develop high-leverage practices before entering real-world clinical experiences.
Parents and teachers have had to deal with unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their demand for data is as strong as ever. The Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) fifth parent poll and third teacher poll—conducted by The Harris Poll—makes clear that, especially during these uncertain times, parents and teachers value data. DQC’s national polls found that parents overwhelmingly want more information to support student success and teachers want more data on how the COVID-19 crisis has affected student learning—but teachers also want training and resources to use that data effectively. As state leaders pursue efforts to restart school in the fall, state policymakers and school leaders must take action to give parents and teachers the information and resources they need to ensure their students succeed.
“While the pandemic causes uncertainty in and out of schools, we know that parents and teachers want data and need more support to use it to help their students succeed,” said Data Quality Campaign President and CEO Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger. “As state and district leaders prepare for instruction to resume—whether it’s in person, virtual, or a hybrid—they must prioritize getting parents the information they need and ensuring that teachers have both the data they need and the tools to use it. Taking steps toward both of these goals will ensure that those closest to students have the data they need to make decisions that best serve students.”
Parents see the value of data. They want more data to understand the effects of school closures on student learning in their communities and to inform recovery efforts to best meet students’ and families’ evolving needs.
As we look toward fall 2020, it is clear that PK-12 schools will continue to use some blend of online and face-to-face learning as they deal with social distancing requirements and a possible resurge of COVID-19 cases. Teaching effectively with technology is now an essential competency for all educators.
This summer provides a window of opportunity to deepen teacher candidates’ ability to effectively use technology to support learning. But that shift will not happen through checklists or tool training alone. Educators need explicit strategies and peer support. They also need professional learning experiences that will count towards their ongoing career development and continuing education credits.
To address these issues, AACTE is proud to team up with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to launch a Summer Learning Academy designed to prepare K-12 educators and teacher candidates for teaching in online and blended learning settings this fall.
This fun 3-week summer learning experience will provide the online teaching support educators have been asking for in a flexible format that meets their needs. Educators who successfully complete the program earn continuing education units (CEUs) and graduate-level credit.
Like many educators, I experienced a crash course in teaching via Zoom during 2020. More than another technological tool, videoconferencing has helped me rethink and refine my pedagogical practice—for both online and face-to-face settings.
In my typical class sessions, we jump into instruction and activities to model “on-task” productivity. However, Zoom has reminded me that giving attention to procedures and expectations is time well spent.
In a videoconference setting, these “norms” often relate to technical set up—microphones, chatroom, camera, etc. Such issues relate to all sorts of teaching environments. How can students use phones or other devices? What should they write down or record? When and how do they talk with one another and the instructor? These are all important questions, and answering them at the start establishes expectations for successful learning (Finley, 2013).