The use of live video mediated communication to deliver teacher education in real time.
International Forum on Teacher Education (3rd) 2007, Shanghai Shi, CN,
12 - 15 Nov 2009.
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The School of Education within the University of Southampton has been conducting research and evaluation of webcasting and video-conferencing in teacher education. These projects are all aimed at enabling learners, through Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), to be ‘tele-present’ with tutors in other places, in such a way as to mirror real-life experience and as a substitute for what is currently on offer through text-based communications. The projects aim to produce the impression and sensation of ‘being there’, and to investigate the efficacy of an interactive video tutor as a means of providing teacher education at a distance. A synthesis of two projects is provided. The original project was funded by the UK government through the Department of Education and Skills (DfES) to undertake a study of the use of digital technology to observe trainee teachers operating in their own classrooms at a distance from their parent Universities (Dyke, Harding and Liddon 2008). This project observed lessons live, in real time, and enabled the tutor-observer to interact with the class, the trainee teacher and provide immediate feedback and tutorial support. A second project reported at the American Educational Research Association (Dyke, Harding, Taussik 2008) focused on the use of live video-conferencing to deliver interactive lessons with the teacher at a distance from the class. In this case the teacher was at the University and the students in regional colleges.
While others in the field of e-learning are currently exploring abstracted and three dimensional animated environments such as Second Life, this research reports an alternative approach to online learning, one that is quietly emerging from the realm of video conferencing, webcasting and use of tools such as Adobe Connect and Skype. These video environments, particularly those with high-end video and audio, facilitate the exploration of real life experience, enabling participants to be tele-present with each other. The approach advocated here is trying to put the ‘real’ back into virtual reality.
Paper presented to the International Forum on Teacher Education 12 – 15 November 2009, East China Normal University, Shanghai. Dr Martin Dyke University of Southampton UK*
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