Virtual Teacher Trainee Practicum – why it has to happen!

Why it is imperative to support digital or eLearning in education – both at the classroom level and at the Teacher training Institutions?

The University of Ballarat, Country Education Project and Hawkesdale P12 College have formed an informal partnership to trial virtual trainee teacher practicums.  Some possible reasons are listed below.

Teacher Training Institutions/Student Teacher Undergraduates

  • Teacher trainees are not exposed to teaching and learning with digital technology  at University or other training institution to any depth.
  • Teacher trainees neither expected or made to use technology.
  • Teacher trainees are entering schools with little experience in digital learning and teaching and as grads they will not pursue this as a first strategy for teaching. It is too daunting!
  • Teacher trainees realise students come to school and are not fully stimulated
  • Training in the media would open their minds to what’s at there at their finger tips and be able to choose the tools that best suit their teaching style and content of lesson.
  • Ultimate in www. Learning ….. where-ever, whatever, when ever!!!  Anywhere, anytime and any how!
  • Lets teacher trainees take risks and make mistakes within a structured framework!
  • Teaches them learning can take its own course with individuals
  • Allows for more student directed learning
  • Teaches them to be facilitators not deliverers of information – the future direction of 21st century education.
  • Teaches them they don’t have all the answers and are not supposed to.
  • Teaches them to get students to source information and to take risks yet verify it.
  • Allows them to work in a blended learning environment.
  • Empowers them with skills to teach across schools eg virtual teaching of specialist subjects in small country schools to ensure students do not miss out on breadth and depth of education.
  • Prepares them for the ultranet – a huge PLUS!
  • Enables them to establish a wide personal learning network who will support, mentor and share with them.
  • This will teach educator trainees to rethink teaching and shape who they are as a teacher in the 21st century!

Why bring digital learning into the classroom for student learning

Why bring digital learning into the classroom for Student learning

  • Students need to be engaged with what they are doing to improve learning outcomes – technology engages them.
  • Teaches students to be thinkers/learners/risk takers in a sheltered environment.
  • Teaches them not to rely on the teacher…be accountable themselves…become independent!
  • Teaches digital literacy.
  • Teaches them valuable employable skills in a digital world –appropriate online behaviour, good digital citizenship, cybersafety, plaguarism, working with virtual teams, self discipline in a virtual world etc
  • Broadens the horizons of many students as it exposes students to the world outside their country town.
  • Fits in with Rural Education where students in small rural schools need no longer be disadvantaged by distance and isolation, as technology allows them to learn virtually and maintain their subject choices, allows eg  LOTE (languages) and other specialist subjects to be taught across schools by a virtual teacher.
  • A more intimate environment than one through distance education.
  • Inspires them to seek more from school
  • Gets kids to go to school!

This article has been written in conjuncetion with Lesley MacGregor, Country Education Project.

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