Virtual Reality Classrooms

AACTE members are committed to preparing high-quality teacher candidates through clinical practice to make their students profession ready for the 21st century learner. The AACTE and Mursion Collaboration provides educator preparation programs with innovative solutions for teacher candidates to complete clinical practice requirements via virtual simulations during COVID-19 and beyond.
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Simulations for Secondary Science Teachers Conference

Simulations for Secondary Science Teachers Conference

AACTE held the Simulations for Secondary Science Teachers Conference, June 8-10, 2021, to address the critical need for well-qualified science educators who can teach effectively in a variety of face-to-face and virtual school settings and meet the needs of diverse learners. AACTE received funding from the NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 grant to virtually convene members and strategic partners to advance the use of simulation in science education teacher preparation.

The purpose of this conference was to convene experts across the country to:

  1. identify significant gaps in the clinical preparation of science educators;
  2. ideate on virtual environments that help address those gaps; and
  3. develop scenarios through design thinking for EPPs to implement within their programs.

The conference attendees were comprised of current secondary science educators, current science teacher candidates, experts in science and technology education, experts in the use of simulation in educator preparation, experts in culturally responsive teaching practices in the sciences, experts in the Next Generation Science Standards, simulation specialists and representatives from partner organizations.

Participants of the convening continued to meet in heterogenous groups to design scenarios addressing Next Generation Science Standards in specific science content areas (e.g. Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Technology). Each scenario was field tested to ensure the objectives of the scenario were achieved. Testing included a comprehensive review by the scenario design team and the engagement of a learner in the simulation following the scenario design.

Each of the six scenarios are available to educators and the public for use in their professional practice.