Web Conferencing of Pre-service Teachers’ Practicum in Remote Schools

Apr. 04, 2013

Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2013, p. 247-271.

This study aimed to field-test several conferencing technologies in regional schools to determine whether the technologies are appropriate for the needs of the university supervisor, trainee teachers and supervising teachers in practicum placements.

The study also explored the potential of technology for other related purposes.
Four technologies (Pocket camcorder, m-View, Skype, Adobe Connect) were trialed.
Pre-service teachers reflected on the conferencing experience and university supervisors compared the remote supervision using the technologies with traditional on-site supervision.

Findings revealed that Pocket camcorders gave good video quality and were very portable.
Not designed for synchronous conferencing, they can however be used for asynchronous sharing though their limited field of vision and poor sound quality were constraints.
For the m-View, picture and sound were limited by the quality and capabilities of the particular mobile phone used, and by the capacity of the 3G network.

Skype and Adobe Connect were found to be the most appropriate applications.
Both technologies are cross platform, offer good audio and video resolution.
However supervisors and users need to be aware of limitations.

The platforms require good broadband connectivity, and are dependent on choice of microphone and external webcam and the placement of these input devices within the classroom. Implications are drawn for professional experience and pedagogy.

Updated: May. 26, 2014