October 31, 2014

Teaching practice in a virtual world

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UCF demo of software

UCF demo of software

Ortega, S. (2014) UCF teaching technology spreads to 33 universities Central Florida Future, January 6

I haven’t heard a lot in the last year about virtual worlds, so I was interested to see that faculty at the University of Central Florida have developed a virtual world/simulator for student teachers. The aim is to ‘simulate teacher practice aid, teacher education and research and development…. TLE TeachLivE™ is primarily a virtual classroom software designed to help teachers …train and prepare for an actual classroom setting. Automated student atavars react to student input, thus avoiding real children being negatively affected by inappropriate student activities.

It has been found specially useful for training teachers to deal with special needs children, such as children with autism. This doesn’t replace activities with real children, but is combined with other teaching practice. ‘I wanted somewhere that teachers could practice specifically targeted skills without having to put students, especially those with disabilities, at risk of feeling upset or bad and putting more responsibility on the teacher,” said LisaDieker, an education professor at UCF.

TLE TeachLivE™ is  being used in 33 universities and has already helped train over 10,000 teachers and as a consequence has impacted on over half a million school children.

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