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Trying Teaching Methods, Virtually

by D. Frank Smith

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EdTech Magazine

Article excerpt

Virtual Classrooms: A Vision of the Future of Teacher Training

Stepping in front of a classroom of skeptical students can be nerve-wracking for first-time teachers, but a new teaching platform at the University of Central Florida gives educators-in-training the option of conquering their classroom jitters in a virtual environment.

Our take

In Teaching: Practice Makes Perfect

We often learn by doing, but it can be stressful to do before we’ve learned! This is particularly true in professions like teaching where the first time in front of a classroom of students can create certain consternation. Technology can help, in this case providing virtual experiences, including student avatars, to expose teachers—new and experienced—to various classroom situations. Could this be a way to bring greater confidence to your instructors?

The ability to rehearse in a quasi-real world setting can certainly provide benefits for instructor. This classroom simulator puts teachers in virtual situations that mimic real life: unruly students, overly chatty students, even behaviorally disturbed students. It’s not really real, of course, but it could be the next best thing.

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