Lord, David and Pearson, M. (2003) The use of virtual learning environments and multimedia in vocational initial teacher education. In: Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2003. SITE, pp. 480-485. ISBN 1-880094-47-9

This paper details developmental work done to establish collaborative distance learning strategies for institutions providing Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in vocational education in 6 European countries. The paper begins with an examination of previous research and developmental activity carried out in teacher education institutions in a subset of the countries, namely the UK, Finland, Portugal and Hungary. A comparison of ITT provision and existing electronic learning provision leads to recommendations and indicators of good practice, which underpin the current developments. It is argued that computer supported collaborative learning and the use of multimedia can greatly enhance teacher education in this area, but that social, organisational and cultural obstacles need to be overcome. The paper also reports on strategies for harmonizing curricula between countries so that collaboration can effectively take place.

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