Field Experience with a Virtual School’s Teacher: How can it be done?
Wednesday, March 4 2:45 PM-3:45 PM Location: Meeting Room 6
Presider: Heejung An, William Paterson University, United States
Abstract: Virtual Schooling (VS) for school students using distance technologies has increased rapidly since 2000 with the growth of online learning and virtual schools in more than 44 states in the USA and as e-learning in 20 clusters of schools in New Zealand. Although VS requires a special set of teaching methods, teacher education programmes are only beginning to include this new mode of schooling and so it is important to develop VS field experience, a strategy that is recognized as essential in the preparation of future teachers. This paper describes a pilot VS field experience within initial teacher education in the USA as part of a national project. It enabled future teachers to observe how an exemplary VS school teacher taught her course using blended technologies. Future teachers’ reflections revealed that they had overcome misperceptions about VS. Plans to expand this provision across the USA and in New Zealand provide an international perspective on preparing future teachers for the increasing range of educational opportunities in the twenty-first century.