First time classroom jitters may be a thing of the past thanks to a new teacher-training tool developed at Acadia University. Managing to Teach (M2T) simulates realistic classroom situations to allow new educators to make decisions in a safe environment – the virtual school.
“Facing a classroom for the first time is a terrifying prospect for many new teachers,” says co-creator Dr. Heather Stephens, a professor in Acadia’s School of Education. “Managing to Teach is designed to give beginning teachers an opportunity to experience classroom management decision-making in a safe, virtual environment to help them see the possible consequences of their decisions.”
M2T offers a rich multi-media experience, encompassing video of actual classroom scenes, text, images, interactions, and resource material. A number of tasks require the user to make decisions and then view the consequences. A mentor guides participants through challenges and provides just-in-time feedback. Designed for flexible delivery, the virtual learning environment can be accessed via Internet or CD-ROM.
“We recognized long ago that students enjoy dynamic approaches to learning. The virtual learning environment is one way to engage students in the learning process,” explains co-creator Dr. Scott Follows, a professor in Acadia’s F.C. Manning School of Business Administration.
“M2T allows beginning educators to assume the role of a middle school teacher and use their theoretical knowledge to manage groups of students and deal with individual student issues,” he says. “It is an exceptional tool to enhance traditional textbooks and put theory to the test.”
Managing to Teach will be available to education students across Canada, thanks to a multi-year exclusive agreement reached between Acadia’s Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTTI) and leading educational publisher, Pearson Education Canada.
“Acadia is well known to be very progressive in using technology and delivering digitally-developed content to students,” says Gary Bennet, vice-president and editorial director, Higher Education, Pearson Education Canada. “Managing to Teach will be an exceptional enhancement to Pearson textbooks and academic offerings.”
Development funding for M2T was provided by Acadia University, the Nova Scotia Department of Economic Development, and Innovacorp through the Early Stage Commercialization Fund (ESCF).
About Acadia University (WWW.ACADIAU.CA)
Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier undergraduate institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized research initiatives, small class sizes and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development.
About Acadia's Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTTI.ACADIAU.CA)
About Acadia’s Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation Acadia's Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTTI) works closely with the Division of Research & Graduate Studies to assist Acadia's research community in commercializing products resulting from research activities. The OTTI actively liaises with Acadia faculty and students, industry, government agencies, and the local community in carrying out its mandate. The OTTI also partners with a variety of organizations active in the field of technology transfer, such as AUTM, LES and other university tech transfer offices.
About Pearson Education Canada (VIG.PEARSONED.CA)
Educating 100 million people worldwide, Pearson Education is the global leader in integrated education publishing. Pearson Education provides quality content, assessment tools, and educational services in all available media, spanning the learning curve from birth through college and beyond. Its Higher Education Division is the pre-eminent provider of post-secondary learning materials in Canada. Pearson Education is a business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the international media company with market-leading businesses in education, business information, and consumer publishing. Pearson’s primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.
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