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Title: Virtual world technology: a new way forward in teacher education
Contributor(s): Masters, Yvonne  (author)orcid ; Gregory, Sue  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: Teacher education has undergone rapid change in the last few decades, as has higher education generally. One feature of this change has been the expansion of higher education delivery via distance education, necessitating dramatic modifications in the way teaching and learning occurs, particularly in the area of online learning. Early forays into distance education delivered materials to students in print format and then progressed to CDs and DVDs. Distance education (external, off-campus) students generally studied in isolation from home. The advent of a more ubiquitous use of the Internet and also of Web 2.0 tools helped to bridge the gap between off-campus and on-campus study. While more interaction is possible with these tools, students studying via distance education still report that this method of study can be isolating. There is also still a perception that distance education is somehow inferior to the educational experience of on-campus students. Over the last four and a half years, the authors have conducted several research studies to investigate the use of a virtual world, in this instance Second Life, as a learning and teaching environment that can enhance student learning and provide a learning experience that is effective and engaging. In this paper we discuss several research studies conducted in two custom-built learning spaces in Second Life; Education Online Headquarters and the Second Life Classroom and Playground on Australis 4 Learning. The studies examine different methods of using the virtual world environment for teacher education including tutorials and role-play. The environment has thus been used for both theory and practice. Data from these studies support the thesis that the use of Second Life enhances student engagement. We conclude the paper with recommendations for future use of Second Life as a learning environment for teacher education.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) 2012 Conference - Going for Gold! Reshaping teacher education for the future, Adelaide, Australia, 1st - 4th July, 2012
Conference Details: Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) 2012 Conference - Going for Gold! Reshaping teacher education for the future, Adelaide, Australia, 1st - 4th July, 2012
Source of Publication: Australian Teacher Education Association Conference Proceedings 2012, v.Peer Reviewed, p. 1-9
Publisher: Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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