5 Important Ingredients of Good Preservice Teacher Education

Eva Brown @ebrownorama
is a highered teacherpreneur
who helps her classroom matter
by connecting teachers
to others throughout the
(Listen to the interview.)
Eva Brown @ebrownorama is a teacher educator from Canada.

We recently sat down to record another episode of Every Classroom Matters and she gave me 5 very clear ingredients for excellent preservice teacher education. For those of you not familiar with the term "preservice" (it is called different things in different countries) - this means, Eva teachers people how to be teachers before they enter the classroom.

1. Create Flat Learning Experiences (also called Tandem Learning)

+Eva Brown  worked with +Barbara Morganfield  @blmteach to create a powerful learning experience for their students. They each had an expertise and a topic they were teaching. (Eva - ICT and Barbara - Discipline issues) Eva's students presented tools that would fit what Barbara's students were needing to use in their situations. Barbara's students provided feedback to Eva's students on what worked and didn't.

Teachers should graduate from college programs with ready-made connections between teachers in other parts of the world. This makes them more valuable to their schools and their students.

2. Connect with K-12 Classrooms

There is no excuse. With the proliferation of online K-12 projects, preservice teachers can interact with students before they start their student teaching. This is ideal because they can learn about online learning platforms at all levels. I love how she and some of my other highered friends +Leigh Zeitz and +Eric Brunsell  do this as well.

3. Encourage Teachers to Master the Tools they always have

Eva gives some of the most compelling reasons for mastering the tablet device I've heard. As she moves around working with teachers, she says that she needs to be "ready  to teach" all the time. She says if you can use the tablet and tools like Prezi and Haiku Deck then you can reduce the time to prepare and "get to the learning." Very compelling conversation about why she uses them as well.

4. Fit the Tools to the Task

If I handed you a hammer and asked you to cut down a tree, you'd laugh at me. Eva works hard to fit the tools to the task. It is fascinating to me that when Eva covers keyboarding, they use virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft.

She continually points out different tools that fit a specific purpose. Like a mechanic working on high end automobiles, we've got an increasing toolset and need to start selecting wisely from that set. Paper and pencil are the hammer we used to use for everything, not any more.

5. Always moving forward

She ends the show with such wise advice. I hope you'll listen to see what she says, but it comes down to this. Move forward.

In the south we say "when you're green you're growing, when you're ripe, you rot." It applies to crops and it applies to people.

Focus on your students as you prepare to end the school year. Today I'll run focus groups with my students as they give me feedback about what they learned, where they struggled, and what needs to be improved for next year. Over the summer, I tweak what we're doing. It is about my students and maximizing the all-to-short time we have together.

Eva is an example of a teacherpreneur at the college level who is pushing her students to be globally connected and social media savvy. I hope you'll dig into what she has to say because her classroom matters and yours does too. It is my dream that by featuring classrooms at all levels from around the world that it will foster conversations that need to happen about excellence in the classroom. I don't care where you teach, you are important. We can learn from each other as we work to be our best for our students.

LISTEN TO Eva Brown talk about how she teaches teachers with technology

Click here to listen:
Tactics and Tools: Teaching Teachers with Technology with Eva Brown

Eva Brown is a teacher educator at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She is a Flat Classroom Certified Teacher and a Microsoft Innovative Teacher.

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