Athens, Ga. – An online supervision and mentoring program for teacher preparation, co-created by University of Georgia education professor Theodore J. Kopcha, in collaboration with his former colleagues at San Diego State University, has received a national award for innovative use of technology.
The program, titled eSupervision, was recently recognized with the Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Implemented with an open-source system, the program was developed through a collaboration led by Christianna Alger, a professor in the SDSU School of Teacher Education, and Kopcha, now an assistant professor of learning design and technology in UGA’s College of Education, who still works closely on the program.
The goal of eSupervision is to introduce true Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge experiences to teacher candidates in the context of student teaching and to support effective student teacher supervision practices that are not possible without simultaneously integrating technology, pedagogy and content, said Kopcha.
“Student teaching is one of the most valuable experiences candidates can have in educator preparation,” said Glen Bull, professor and co-director of the Center for Technology and Teacher Education at the University of Virginia and chair of the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, which reviewed submissions for the award. “The eSupervision program is truly innovative in its use of the latest technology tools and information to broaden the learning community, re-conceptualize the role of the supervisor, and strengthen the cognitive apprenticeship between student teachers and their mentors during the field experience.”
The eSupervision initiative seeks to increase supervisor-to-student-teacher contacts, provide increased collaborative opportunities with expert educators, and increase mentoring experiences with the university supervisor, student teacher and cooperating teacher. Modern technology resources bring support and expertise to teacher candidates that can be accessed at any time as they reflect on their work in classrooms. Expert advice and useful resources equip student teachers with increased skills and knowledge, and the ability to think critically about those skills and their students’ performance as they prepare for professional careers in teaching.
Kopcha, who joined the UGA faculty in January 2010, received his Ph.D. in educational technology from Arizona State University.
For more information about the UGA College of Education, see www.coe.uga.edu/.