Virtual Students

While reading the Education Wonks I came across an interesting article in The Indianapolis Star entitled Teachers Find Simulators Stimulating

Apparently, “The STAR Classroom Simulator, a partnership between Simiosys LLC, the Haberman Educational Foundation and the University of Central Florida, mixes computer technology and a human role-player.”  It is supposed to give teachers a chance to practice their teaching skills and responses in different situations to help them learn how to respond in effective ways. 

The article begins with this little scenario, “A loud boy launches spit balls at a classmate. Another kid slumps in his seat, oozing apathy and his desire to be anywhere else. Other students laugh mockingly and make inappropriate sounds as the rookie teacher faces his worst classroom nightmare.” I am sure any seasoned teacher (and many new teachers) have found themselves in similar situations.  Would they have been better prepared to respond if they had been able to practice via a simulation?

I am not sure whether I think a simulation would be useful or not… here are some of my thoughts…

  • It seems to me it will be difficult for the teacher to respond in an authentic way because he/she knows it is not a real situation and thus does not have the same consequences associated with it.
  • Who decides the appropriate response to a given situation?
  • How much will one of these units cost? Will they be affordable enough for school districts to utilize?
  • What/who will these simulators be most beneficial for?  New teachers? Teachers on improvement plans?  Teachers seeking alternative certifications?

I just don’t know… it is an interesting concept, but I am not sure how I feel about it.  Any thoughts?

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Explore posts in the same categories: EdTech, Edtech News, Eduwonk, Simulation

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