In Part 1 of this article, the authors talked about how as teacher preparation program professors in different areas of the United States, they managed to still provide valuable, worthwhile, and innovative professional development for their preservice educators and graduate students who are in-service teachers, despite the myriad ways in which COVID-19 derailed the spring semester.
In Part 2, the authors share the feedback from their students who participated in the virtual professional development.
We, six collaborators, banded together to provide professional development for pre- and in-service teachers’ professional learning experiences during their transition to emergency remote teaching (Hodges et al., 2020) through a self-initiated professional learning community (SIPLC) (Pinnegar & Hamilton, 2009). Adopting this widely practiced research method among teacher educators (Hamilton & Pinnegar, 2013), the collaboration aimed to deepen the understanding of preservice and in-service teachers’ experiences in the SIPLC as they transitioned to remote teaching under the pandemic (DuFour & Eaker, 1998; Song et al., 2020) using Zoom recordings.
The AACTE Committee on Information and Technology will host a Deeper Dive session at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, “Applying Technology-enhanced Teaching Strategies to the New Normal in 2021 and Beyond” on Thursday, February 25, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The committee members offer a preview of the panel discussion in the following article.
Over the past year, educators have learned much about technology in teacher education. Technology has become the classroom and often the location of field placements. While many of these learnings were forced due to the pandemic, lessons learned can be carried forward into 2021 and beyond to create improved responsive teacher preparation programs in the future at all levels of education. As a result, the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology Committee is offering a Deeper Dive session that includes teacher preparation experts discussing the lessons learned from remote learning and ways to move forward post-COVID with technology in teacher preparation. The Deeper Dive session will include panelists from a wide variety of teacher preparation institutions to discuss their particular lessons learned from the challenges of the pandemic. Furthermore, our panelists will share how we can move forward in teacher preparation to prepare new and veteran teachers to teach with technology in 2021 and beyond. Our panelists include the following:
Authors Caroline Forrest and Cori Woytek will be presenting a live Q&A session at the 2021 Annual Meeting, “Using Video Across Diverse Settings to Provide Meaningful Feedback & Facilitate Reflective Conversations,” Thursday, February 25, 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Providing resident teachers with meaningful feedback to improve their instructional practices is—and always has always been—a hallmark of our teacher education program here at Western Colorado University. Through the use of video coaching, which we implemented four years ago, we’ve been able to ensure this feedback is even more effective, rich, and applicable.
In Part 1 of this article, the authors talk about how, as teacher preparation program professors in different areas of the United States, they managed to still provide valuable, worthwhile, and innovative professional development for their preservice educators and graduate students who are in-service teachers, despite the myriad ways in which COVID-19 derailed their spring semester.
Many years ago, during a class on educational administration in my [Megan Reister] master’s program, a guest speaker shared an inspirational mantra he lived by as principal of a large elementary school. He shared the quote, “Prior planning prevents poor performance!” and then went on to explain how he incorporated intentional planning, thoughtful conversations, and open communication with colleagues and staff at his school to create an atmosphere of intentionality and accountability within and outside the classrooms.
As a professor of special education and early childhood education in Ohio, that expression came to mind more than once as I experienced the tumultuous second half of a semester that no one could have predicted or planned for thanks to COVID-19 in Spring 2020. No one could have prepared for what occurred—schools closing, moving to remote teaching, working full-time from home while also managing children at home full-time without the usual supports. One could hardly be faulted for poor performance no matter how much planning happened on the fly. I could only shake my head as I thought back on that statement about planning and performance that made such an impact in my early years of teaching in early March when the news broke that the university was taking a week to figure out how to move to online teaching for the next month and then again, once plans were changed and it was determined the whole spring semester would be moved to online learning.
ISTE has released its newest policy report, “From Crisis Management to Sustained Change: States Leading the Future of Learning With the ISTE Standards.”
Fueled by the rapid transition to online and blended instruction in response to COVID-19 and continued need to equitably improve student outcomes, educators, and leaders across the country have faced an unprecedented challenge to design, implement, and scale learning strategies made possible through technology. This challenge also presents a new opportunity, as systems and strategies used to address COVID-19 can also propel our schools forward towards the future of learning and better meet students’ and educators’ needs.
Increase Focus on Technology and Commitment to Equity and Diversity
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Board of Directors has approved changes to the 2013 CAEP Standards for educator preparation. The CAEP Standards guide the nation’s top schools of education, those that are CAEP accredited, in preparing future K-12 teachers. The changes the Board approved include streamlining language, strengthening emphasis on technology, equity, and diversity. The revised standards are in effect for providers with visits in spring 2022.
“The changes to the standards maintain our commitment to continuous improvement for our organization and our providers. The CAEP Standards were developed in 2013 to unify the profession under a single set of standards, with a commitment to ensure they remain rigorous. The enhancement to the standards is based on research to ensure rigor and relevance,” said CAEP President Christopher A. Koch. “CAEP providers are committed to preparing graduates that are ready to teach all students on the first day they enter a classroom.”
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.