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Title: A pre-service teacher immersive experience
Authors: Camilleri, Vanessa
Freitas, Sara de
Montebello, Matthew
Keywords: Virtual reality
Virtual reality in education -- Malta
Educational technology -- Malta
Education -- Effect of technological innovations on
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary.Net
Citation: Camilleri, V., DeFreitas, S., & Montebello, M. (2013). A pre-service teacher immersive experience. 3rd Global Conference on Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds, Lisbon.
Abstract: This chapter describes a study carried out at the University of Malta, where acohort of pre-service teachers follow a study unit that is delivered entirely within a3D immersive space. The study unit that is followed by the entire cohort of 110 participants, who at the end of one academic year will get their certifications to become teachers, focuses on ‘Integrating Learning Technologies’ in the classroom.The aim of the chosen modality is to be able to help pre-service teachersunderstand more about learning technologies by experiencing learningtechnologies themselves. We discuss this case study with particular emphasis onlearning theories and approaches that underline the delivery of this study unit.Our study motivation arises from two distinct research directions.In the first instance, we come across the teacher training challenge. Researchindicates that teachers, even newly qualified teachers, may resist the adoption of new methods of teaching and learning that most often involve different use of technologies. One factor, which has been known to impinge on the way theteachers teach is the curriculum of their teacher training programs, and the type of behavioral changes it induces in relation to technology acceptance and adoption.In the second instance, immersive environments such as virtual worlds, used for learning, are seen as highly engaging environments that can sustain a variety of archetypes and models for learning. Studies indicate how the digital self-representations in 3D immersive spaces (such as digital games, serious games or social virtual worlds) can influence an individual’s behavior in real life.The combination of the two areas of research is presented in a case study approachas we attempt to reconcile a 3D immersive environment within a formalizedteacher-training curriculum. We wish to investigate the level of acceptance of a 3Dimmersive education modality and whether the learning happening within thesespaces is in fact taken beyond these spaces. The questions we ask are: do thesespaces help people modify their behavior? Can these spaces facilitate a cultureshift? Or will the culture influence the way learning occurs inside these spaces?
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