A partnership between the University of Ballarat, Country Education Project and Hawkesdale P12 College is trialling a 6 week Virtual Teaching Round Practicum. Two of the student teachers, Abby Schultz and Michelle Iro are in our school for the 6 weeks. 4 weeks will be used to get to know the students, classes, subjects and staff with the fifth, being the virtual teaching placement and the 6th week will be back at school again for reflection.
Week 1 was spent introducing many new web2.0 tools that could be used for online teaching. It is unfortunate that university Educational faculties are not training students for eLearning yet. Weeks 2 and 3 further developed skills in the use of web2.0
Over this time, Michelle and Abby have also been exposed to great examples of virtual classooms. The have participated in virtual learning spaces – the Boston, USA linkup with years 9/10 ICT, the two online presentations on Kanawinka and Hong Kong geoparks, in elluminate, as part of Earth Science week and a videoconference using skype with a school in Ipoh, Malaysia. Both girls have also completedtheir first session of moderator training, through Innovations and Next Practise, of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Michelle has also had the opportunity to visit Bianca’s online teaching work with grade4 students. Bianca, our third student teacher, is teaching from Senshan in China.
Week 4 is about to begin and is the final week leading up to the virtual placement. Supervising staff will meet with the girls to determine what needs to be put in place to ensure as smooth a delivery as possible for this trial.
- how many lessons will the girls attempt online
- what will they teach
- what tools will they use to teach effectively
- how will it look
- what hardware and software is required
- how can they control the class
- alternatives should the internet go down.
- how is everyone feeling about it all
- how do we enusre that the student teachers are ready?
- how do we ensure that the classes are ready – cyber safety, plaguarism, copyright issues, appropriate online behaviour, consequences of misbehaviour
- how do we ensure that the supervising staff are ready?
What suggestions do you, the readers have? Please comment below as we need feedback, encouragement and support in this HUGE endeavour.