A simSchool Synopsis: Can Virtual Students Train Teachers of the Future?
Amy Trombley, Anjum Najmi, Tebring Daly, University of North Texas, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Charleston, SC, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-67-9 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
No two students are alike and novice teachers often struggle to adapt their classrooms to fit the needs of all students. Approximately 50 percent of new public school teachers quit after 5 years of teaching (National Education Association, 2008). Since teaching ability develops with experience, it would be beneficial for new teachers to have the opportunity to practice teaching in a simulated environment to emulate the real thing. The simSchool simulation model offers pre-serivce and in-service teachers the opportunity to practice and refine their classroom management and instructional skills by interacting with electronically created students (Christensen, Knezek, Patterson, Wickstrom, Overall, Hettler, 2007). At all times the teacher controls both the student and the environment. Although simSchool offers several dynamic features, a few key areas should be improved for future editions of the program.
Trombley, A., Najmi, A. & Daly, T. (2009). A simSchool Synopsis: Can Virtual Students Train Teachers of the Future?. In I. Gibson, R. Weber, K. McFerrin, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2009--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 3207-3209). Charleston, SC, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).