Innovate to Educate Entry

University of Central Florida

Lisa Dieker, TLE TeachLivE

What innovative technology initiative or project are you most proud of, and how has it improved teaching and learning in your school/district?

The innovative technology project is the UCF TLE TeachLivE, a virtual learning environment for teacher development. TeachLivE is used to deliver simulated scenarios that prepare teachers for an array of pedagogical and content delivery strategies without placing "real" students at risk. Also, this tool is used in the development of employment skills, to work with people with disabilities, to develop cultural sensitivities in participants, and to provide de-escalation skills for school leaders.

What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

Initially, the biggest challenge was creating a system that was nimble and scalable to address the array of skills needed for effective teaching. We also were challenged to create a system that was affordable. We met those challenges by adopting and integrating off-the-shelf and open-source technologies. The secret behind our success was ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration that was synergistic and creative, while challenging each discipline (theatre, psychology, computer science, education) to create new ways of thinking.

What are the three biggest components that need to be in place for tech innovation to succeed are:

First, the field of education must look outside its own discipline to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines to create novel solutions for our most important task of educating children, the world's future leaders and workforce.
Second, the solutions developed must be sustainable, flexible, cost-effective, and customizable to make a positive impact on outcomes.
Third, tools must be developed in ways that support product evolution involving new and innovative processes and technologies.

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