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Darden College Initiatives to Receive Recognition at AACTE Meeting

Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education will receive recognition on at least two fronts this month at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) annual meeting in Chicago.

It was announced on Feb. 6 that AACTE will present its 2012 Best Practice Award for the Innovate Use of Technology to the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Education, an honor that ODU will share through its innovative practices as a partner institution in UCF's TLE TeachLive Lab.

Also at the Feb. 17-19 AACTE annual meeting, Pamela Arnold, a research associate with The Center for Educational Partnerships (TCEP) at the Darden College, will be a featured presenter and will conduct a preconference workshop for deans of schools of education.

The TLE TeachLive Lab has the ability to provide opportunities to develop the skills and craft of teaching in a virtual teaching environment, allowing pre-service and in-service teachers to correct errors as they master routines, experiment with new teaching ideas and develop content area and pedagogical skills in a way that will transfer to a real classroom situation without negatively impacting the learning of real students.

As a beta site that assists with further development of the system and the creation of a long-term research agenda, the Darden College uses UCF's TeachME simulator, short for Teaching in Mixed-reality Environments, to give students an opportunity to test and hone their teaching skills in a virtual classroom before going into a real one.

The AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, which reviews submissions for the Best Practices Award, selected UCF's TLE TeachLive Lab for its forward-thinking innovation in teacher education that goes beyond meeting national or state standards for program-wide educational technology integration.

The workshop at which Arnold will present will discuss the implications of TCEP research on the education of military-connected children for teacher preparation programs.

"The center report of which she was lead author is also being promulgated by AACTE nationally as an exemplar of how universities can engage schools in military-connected communities," said TCEP director John Nunnery.

In a letter to deans across the country announcing the "Preparing Teachers to Meet the Needs of Military-Connected Students" workshop, Mary Harrill McClellan

AACTE director of policy and programs, referenced a TCEP survey conducted to assess the needs of military-connected schools in its community. She wrote: "This is a good example of how a university can engage with its partner schools to assess the needs of military-connected students in its schools, to see what efforts are already underway in schools to meet these needs, and to see how universities might engage to strengthen efforts to serve them."

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.