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Gardner Webb U Adopts Online Teacher Prep Program

Gardner-Webb University's (GWU) School of Education has adopted a new Web-based program to augment in-class instruction and help student educators fine tune their teaching practices.

GWU began using Teachscape this fall as part of its teacher preparation program. The implementation supports a larger statewide move toward a digital learning environment.

"We're committed to continuously improving our program and empowering our students and teachers to continuously improve as well," said Kelly Taylor, assistant professor and chair of middle grades education at the university, in a prepared statement. "With the state moving to textbook-free teaching, we need to prepare our students to teach in an environment where content is digital and Teachscape is helping us do this."

As part of the new program, students are now taking courses online through Teachscape Learn. The Web courses, taken in conjunction with on-campus classes, are designed to supplement the in-class instruction, reinforcing key concepts and practices. Professors use the platform to "deliver the courses, track and monitor student learning progress, and provide targeted instruction as needed."

Students are also using the system to observe, evaluate, and receive constructive feedback on their teaching practices. Students use iPads to capture video of their student teaching sessions then upload the recordings to the platform for peers and instructors to assess.

GWU's new resource fills a practical need, according to student teacher Amber Travis, a senior in the School of Education's elementary education program and president of the Student North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE).

"As rising educators, we'll be able to use these new tools from Teachscape to critique ourselves and further challenge the learning experiences we already have in class time and in the field," said Travis.

Additional information about Teachscape is available at the company's Web site.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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