Learning Together, Virtually Present: Teacher Professional Development in the RACOL Project
Abstract: Teachers in the Rural Advanced Community of Learners (RACOL) project in northern Alberta, Canada, are teaching geographically separate classes in up to 5 schools, some over 100 km apart, using Virtual Presence Learning Environments (VPLEs). These classrooms include synchronous and asynchronous distance learning technologies including multipoint video conferencing, SMART Board(TM) web-shared whiteboards, web-connected computers and visualizers. Some of the participating teachers have prior experience with audiographic teaching at a distance, while others are new to synchronous distance education. This paper describes the professional development team, theoretical framework, activities and outcomes in the professional development facet of the RACOL project.
Presider: Theresa Chruscinski, Children of St. Martha School