From the perspectives of Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), this study examines the design and implementation of a simulated teaching environment in Second Life (SL) for prospective teachers to teach algebra for diverse learners. Drawing upon the Learning-for-Use framework, the analyses provide evidence on the development of student avatars in construction and role-playing activities. The study reveals challenges, procedures, and suggestions for future simulations. This study also calls for research efforts toward preparing mathematics teachers for cultural diversity.
Recent reform efforts and the next generation science standards emphasize the importance of incorporating authentic scientific practices into science instruction. Modeling can be a particularly challenging practice to address because modeling occurs within a socially structured system of representation that is specific to a domain. Further, in the process of modeling, experts interact deeply with domain-specific content knowledge and integrate modeling with other scientific practices in service of a larger investigation.
Reasoning about ecosystems includes consideration of causality over temporal and spatial distances; yet learners typically focus on immediate time frames and local contexts. Teaching students to reason beyond these boundaries has met with some success based upon tests that cue students to the types of reasoning required. Virtual worlds offer an opportunity to assess what students actually do in a simulated context. Beyond this, mobile devices make it possible to scaffold and assess learning in the real world.
Wang, S.-K. Hsu, H.-Y. & Jean Posada. (2014). Use of Google Earth, Cyber Databases, and Geotagged Photos to Enhance Students’ Scientific Practices and Understanding. Science Scope, 37(6), 37-42.
While access to computers, other technologies, and cyber-enabled resources that could be leveraged for enhancing student learning in science is increasing, generally it has been found that teachers use technology more for administrative purposes or to support traditional instruction. This use of technology, especially to support traditional instruction, sits in opposition to most recent standards documents in science education that call for student involvement in evidence-based sense-making activities.
Field placements serve as the traditional ‘clinical’ experience for prospective mathematics teachers to immerse themselves in the mathematical challenges of students. This article reports data from a different type of learning experience, that of a clinical simulation with a standardized individual. We begin with a brief background on medical education’s long-standing use of standardized patients, and the recent diffusion of clinical simulations to teacher and school leader preparation contexts.