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ERIC Number: ED476217
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Integrating Web Conferencing and Field Work for Preparing Rural Special Educators.
Chapman, Carrie; Knapczyk, Dennis
Distance learning can be a useful approach for preparing teachers who are mid-career changers or who are working on limited licenses, especially in rural areas. At Indiana University, the Collaborative Teacher Education Program uses multiple distance education technologies to provide special education teacher preparation in mild (high-incidence) disabilities at the certification and master's levels. One of the program's most used and most useful distance learning tools is web conferencing. The software program Sitescape Forum provides access to resources and several interactive environments: "forums" for whole-class asynchronous discussions of key concepts and issues, and "teams," in which groups of three or four students work on designated tasks, problem solve, and plan. Teams have synchronous chat capabilities. In the program's field work component, teams apply concepts and methods from a particular course to real classroom or schoolwide situations. In addition, each team project reflects state licensing standards for mild intervention and sub-topic areas covered in the course. Recent research related to the program has assessed the use of web conferencing to promote shared knowledge construction among student participants. The approach of integrating web conferencing with program and course components has proven a useful "survival tool" for rural special educators, overcoming barriers of geographic and professional isolation. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A