Reviews of beginning teacher programs over the past eighty years within an Australian context continually identify a number of key skills that are not well developed by traditional pre-service teacher preparation programs. In more recent times the teaching of literacy has been targeted as needing specific attention, especially at the pre-service level. Advances in educational software have demonstrated that it is feasible to create a representation of a real situation through simulation. The authors believe that creating a virtual classroom environment for pre-service teachers to interact with is one way to support them with understanding the theory of literacy learning and the delivery of meaningful literacy classrooms. This paper explores research findings related to the use of web-based simulation technology designed to support pre-service teacher education students' understandings of the teaching of literacy. The prototype version of the software is described with description of the planning, design and research that underpin this. The findings from a case study of one pre- service teacher's interaction with the software are outlined.