The transformation and modernization of the educational systems posed new challenges to teachers, who must renew and enrich their knowledge and skills in order to respond effectively to the increased requirements of their profession. It is of paramount importance that teacher preparation programs prepare future teachers to be scientifically qualified, innovative, and inventive, with excellent knowledge of their subject, equipped with all the modern methods and techniques and constantly updated about the latest developments.
The last few years many efforts have been made to enrich teacher education programs with computer-based approaches in order to better prepare candidate teachers deal with the complexities of the classroom. SimAULA takes advantage of serious game technology and offers innovative and interactive methods and strategies of learning contributing to the improvement of the quality of training of the teaching staff. SimAULA can help teachers enhance their classroom and behavior management skills within a safe and fun virtual classroom environment. The most significant aspect of using SimAULA is that it provides teachers with lived experiences that are transferrable to the real classroom setting. During the game the user-teacher has the role of the science teacher and must develop lesson plans during the game while interacting with the students that are controlled by the computer. Teachers have the opportunity to experience a rich variety of real-life classroom situation scenarios, decide the topic for the lesson, the method of facilitation and the equipment to be used. Moreover, teachers have to manage the classroom and the problematic behaviors of the students that might arise during the lesson. SimAULA offers endless opportunities for development through constant practice and reflection and without the risk of harming real students. At the end of the game, teachers’ performance will be assessed and feedback on their decisions will be given improving teaching effectiveness.
Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Country: Greece