The East Carolina University College of Education Mursion team hosted leaders from six counties on Thursday, July 27, that have decided to take advantage of an offer to use Mursion@ECU as part of their professional development plan for the 2017-18 school year.
Mursion provides an immersive experience in a safe space providing an opportunity for repeat practice with immediate feedback. The environment allows candidates, teachers, and administrators to practice their craft where no harm can be done, but skills can be honed through the use of either a classroom of avatars who truly respond as students do, or a single avatar who responds as a parent, peer, teacher, or administrator would.
In the spring of 2017, ECU’s College of Education offered “grants” to up to 15 schools or districts for up to 25 hours of Mursion time for professional development. Awardees included Beaufort, Edenton-Chowan, Gates, Hertford, Lenoir, and Pitt counties, as well as Pactolus Elementary.
The workshop was an opportunity for leaders from each group to work out the details for their professional development plans with Mursion, see how it worked, and develop scenarios they would be able to use throughout the year.
“The atmosphere was very friendly and fun,” said Cindy Olson, 7th-8th grade teacher at Chowan Middle School. “It made doing the ‘work’ of the scenario fun and doable.”
These awards will impact in excess of 225 beginning teachers and over 23,500 students. Themes that emerged in the grant applications and the workshop included classroom management, including behavior, activity transitions, and classroom discourse; effective communication with parents, students, fellow faculty and administrators; and strategies to practice theory- and research-based pedagogy.
The educational environments for Mursion are available to everyone in the Educator Preparation program throughout the university. The environments are also available to those outside the university not involved in the “grant” program for a fee.
In addition to the educational environments, Mursion is also available for sales and leadership, counseling and psychiatry, human resources, hospitality, medical office, and doctor and nurse preparation.