Malone students receive virtual field experience


As education continues to adapt to the needs of digital learning, so does the instruction of future educators. Lori Davila, adjunct professor in the department of education, was eager to seek creative opportunities for her students to receive relevant field experience during a time when remote education continues and access to public school settings is difficult. 

Davila’s EDUC 293: Emergent and Early Reading Instruction class partnered with Canton City Schools’ Bulldog Virtual Academy for a virtual field experience. Within the Academy, teachers and students are exclusively virtual. Malone students were paired with a licensed teacher twice weekly and they were granted access to log-in to the virtual classroom to work with students individually. 

“Watching our students move from timidity to confidence as they engaged with Bulldog students was such a joy for me,” said Davila. “Their students read back to them, they could assess student learning without apprehension, and they navigated technical issues constructively. I’m thrilled that our experiment worked and Malone students could embrace an opportunity they wouldn’t have had otherwise.” 

Malone’s ongoing partnership with Canton City Schools is one way to serve the greater Canton community. 

“My students love working with their Malone teacher candidates,” said Kyra Stephens, kindergarten and first grade teacher for Bulldog Virtual Academy. “They do an excellent job of individualizing lessons to meet the needs of each child. In my role, I have seen tremendous growth in my students after working with Malone teacher candidates, and though this is not a ‘typical’ classroom field experience, I believe these aspiring teachers will be ready for the next level of our ever-evolving educational environment.”

“Our students loved seeing our Malone friends every week,” said Tricia Stanton, third grade teacher for Bulldog Virtual Academy. “I have been a teacher for 20 years, and even I was nervous about how our arrangement would work, but we made it our own and the Malone teacher candidates adapted right along with us. In our current state of affairs, Malone students were on top of their tasks, hard-working, and so polite. I look forward to watching them continue to grow in the field of education.” 

Navigating a global pandemic in the midst of their teacher training might not be what they would have chosen, but Malone education students see the value in this unique experience. 

“Being a part of this virtual field experience has truly taught me that teaching is all about rolling with the punches,” said Faith Benson-Ludle ‘22. “Going into your classroom as a teacher, you don’t know what to expect each day, but it’s possible to take on that day with a positive attitude!”

“Participating in a virtual field experience has been a rewarding challenge that opened my eyes to new possibilities in education,” said Anna Hopple ’22. “This experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and now I feel comfortable, confident, and prepared in my abilities to navigate a virtual classroom setting. I am so thankful that Malone gave me this opportunity and I believe it will set me apart from other teacher candidates who haven’t yet navigated this ‘new normal’ in our ever-changing world of education.”