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Sharpe, L., Coombs, S., Moo, S. N., Crawford, L., Hu, C., & Gopinathan, S. (1999). Connecting learners: Singapore’s multipoint desktop videoconferencing practicum project. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 1550-1561). Malacca, Malaysia.
This paper reports progress on research into the pedagogic roles that multipoint desktop videoconferencing (MDVC) can play in the new practicum arrangements at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. The background and rationale to this project were presented at the 1998 ERA and MERA Conferences. During the last year there have been a number of significant developments. In particular, the NIE researchers have formed a partnership with school clusters N1 and N2. A network of collaborators has been established. Additionally, a number of trials have been undertaken, enabling the project to be officially launched in the presence of the Director General of Education at NIE on 6 May. More recently, the project has involved practicum students and staff from the two school clusters and basic quantitative and qualitative data has been collected from participants. Schools in Cluster N1 are involved in the ‘Mentor Project’, which is investigating the staff development role of MDVC for School Coordinating Mentors. Schools in Cluster N2 are participating in a parallel enquiry into the use of MDVC as a remote conference facilitator of practicum related information shared by NIE student teachers and supervisors. This paper discusses the background and aims of the project and reviews progress to date. The paper will also report the technical and pedagogic aspects of the research, drawing on evidence from student logs and interviews from participants.
This paper was published in the 1999 Proceedings of the MERA-ERA Joint Conference held at Malacca, Malaysia from 1-3 December 1999
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