A new teacher-training program gives students a real world classroom feel in a simulation.
University of Central Florida researchers have been working on the TeachLivE program for 10 years. TeachLivE uses avatar technology to present a realistic classroom setting to student-teachers.
The avatars are so realistic, they sometimes can even get smart with the teacher. There's even a function for parent-teacher conferences.
“One of the things we often do is learn our practice on real children. And this gives us the chance to make mistakes and try again, unlike with real middle school students that might never forgive you,” said Lisa Dieker, a UCF Professor who helped develop the program.
Representatives from dozens of educational institutions across the Unites States and even a few from Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates were at UCF for Thursday's unveiling of the program.
Dieker said research shows teachers that have used TeachLivE adjusted their teaching habits after just four sessions with the interactive program.
“American parents don’t want their kids to be the practice routine for teachers to master their skills. Why shouldn’t they be able to practice in a simulator? So it’s an enormously powerful tool,” said Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson.
Mursion announced a public-private partnership with UCF. Mursion will introduce TeachLivE to the private sector, while researchers at UCF will continue to work on the program to advance it.
Researchers believe the technology could be eventually used to train people in many different fields that involve interpersonal communication, such as nursing.