Draft scenario 10

Title: supported through telepresence

Core purpose: To support professional development of teachers using a model that combines cognitive apprenticeship (coaching) and peer teaching enabled by telepresence technology between connected IWBs.

Draft narrative overview – 22 June 2012

Ms James is currently part of an innovative online network of teachers who provide each other support for professional development. More experienced teachers act as remote coaches and peer teachers during actual lessons, giving guidance on various aspects of professional practice, from pedagogy to subject matter developments, including innovations in educational technologies.

A telepresence system is at the heart of this network. Telepresence is described as the human experience of being fully present at a live real-world location remote from one’s own physical location (Wikipedia). Someone experiencing video telepresence would therefore be able to behave as though part of a meeting at the remote site.

the group of teachers of which Ms James is part of interact online on a forum to jointly plan, practice, observe and reflect upon new approach to teaching, and together they build a set of resources that each of them use in ways that are most appropriate to their own classrooms.

However, things literally “come to life” during specific lessons involving two teachers, one in the classroom, the other acting as a coach through a telepresence system running on the IWB. The main advantage of such system is the ability to provide adaptive, real time support as challenging or critical situations arise; this translates in more effective, “on the job” professional development and, at the same time, in a more powerful learning experience for the students. It is a “win-win” situation.

For instance, during a lesson, Ms James suddenly faces a challenge with two learners who struggle to carry out the tasks she has given them. The coach teacher observes the dynamic and immediately responds with advice; she also sends links to online resources and to a video which clarifies the task through a good example.

The whole dynamic prompts a lively and engaged discussion involving all students and both teachers. After the lesson, the two teachers debrief the session in private through another video-link, this time between two personal computers or tablets, eventually they post their experiences and views on the forum in order to benefit other teachers going through similar challenges. 

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