Education students over at UTRGV now have the chance to get a taste of a real-life classroom setting before taking their first teaching position.

That’s thanks to the power of virtual simulation. Earlier this year the college of education purchased licensing of Mursion Software for education preparation. It’s designed to deliver custom simulation scenarios ranging from behavior management in the classroom or a parent-teacher conference.

Dean Patricia A. McHatton, UTRGV College of Education, “At first the idea is, this is kind of strange. I thought the same thing the first time I saw it. But once you start getting into it, you lose yourself in it because it feels very real. Especially because it’s real time responses. It’s been very big. Dr. Estrada has said that within a matter of a couple of weeks of students practicing, just a difference even in their posture and how they approach the classrooms and those types of things. The ultimate goal is to prepare the very best teachers we possibly can to serve the Valley and be able to work with families. And I think this is a tool that does it for us.”

Dean McHatton encourages school districts across the Rio Grande Valley to contact her to take advantage of the software. She says even current teachers may also benefit from the avatar simulation scenarios to use in their classrooms.