Virtual classroom puts future teachers to the test

Five computer-generated students inhabiting a high-tech virtual classroom under development at the University of Central Florida’s College of Education are helping teachers-in-training learn to deal with unruly students and other classroom challenges, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Using simulation technology developed for military training, the virtual classroom gives future teachers a chance to practice important class-control and teaching skills by using realistic classroom scenarios. Teachers typically learn the real ins and outs of managing a classroom on the job, which can be nerve-racking, said Lisa Dieker, a professor in the College of Education and one of the simulation program’s originators. The virtual classroom allows teachers to try new techniques without involving real students. "Kids remember for a long time when things go wrong," Dieker said…

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