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Online Networks Can Help Preservice Teachers, Report Finds

edWeb.net has published a new report, Pathways to Participation for Preservice Teachers, which looks at how online networks can help preservice and new teachers connect with practicing educators who can provide them with the knowledge, resources, and mentoring they will need to be successful in the classroom.

Pathways to Participation for Preservice Teachers reviews research, past experience, and examples of current practice using online networks to connect preservice teachers with in-service educators.The report was written by Karen Collias, an educational advisor and researcher with more than 25 years of experience in the United States and abroad. Collias has worked as an analyst, evaluator and director in national educational reform programs focusing on teacher preparation and science education. She recently completed an evaluation of STEM education for the state of Delaware.

Some key insights from the report include the following:

  • Researchers have identified major benefits of teacher online connectivity to fill the gap between what preservice teachers experience in the university and what they will find in schools.
  • Teacher educators add value to teacher preparation by exposing students to real-world teaching practices through extra-university online communities that address individual interests and affinities.
  • Establishing connectivity through online communities reduces isolation among new teachers and delivers expertise, mentoring and opportunities to establish and expand professional networks.

The report was cosponsored by Knowledge Without Borders and MCH Strategic Data.

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is editor in chief of THE Journal.

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