NCTAF worked with seven university partners across the country to make educator development more collaborative and to give new teachers a stronger start in the profession. NCTAF’s Teachers Learning in Networked Communities (TLINC®) program supported face-to-face and online professional learning communities that encouraged student teachers, mentor teachers, and faculty to reflect on their practice, shared goals, progress, challenges, and lessons learned. Learning communities tapped into teachers’ desire for professional development targeted to their specific strengths, weaknesses, and school contexts.
TLINC’s goals were to:
- Encourage collaboration in teacher preparation by bringing student teachers, mentor teachers, and university faculty together in a meaningful way.
- Improve connections between teacher preparation programs and the districts they serve by analyzing “problems of practice” in online or face-to-face collaboration.
- Create feedback loops that connect graduates with their teacher preparation programs.
TLINC “went mobile” on five campuses thanks to funding from Wireless Reach from Qualcomm. Cohorts of student teachers had 24/7 access to their online networks through tablets and smartphones donated to the project by HTC.
TLINC implementation sites: Georgia State University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Colorado at Denver, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Texas at El Paso, and University of Missouri St. Louis.