Meeting the Demand for Online Education: A Study of a State-Run Program Designed to Train Virtual K-12 Teachers

Meeting the Demand for Online Education: A Study of a State-Run Program Designed to Train Virtual K-12 Teachers

Jayme Nixon Linton (Lenoir-Rhyne University, USA) and Wayne Journell (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6383-1.ch003
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Abstract

Although K-12 online education is becoming more common in the United States, the research base is still lagging behind. The field's understanding of how K-12 online teachers are being prepared is especially sparse. Given that few teacher education programs include online pedagogy in their teacher training efforts, it becomes incumbent on states to find alternative ways to prepare teachers for virtual instruction. This chapter analyzes a 9-week orientation session that is part of an established, state-run induction program for prospective K-12 online instructors. Although the findings are specific to the program being studied, the authors believe they can serve as a model for educators in other states wishing to develop similar types of induction programs and for teacher education programs that will eventually have to incorporate online pedagogy into their existing programs in order to meet the rising demand for K-12 online instruction in the United States.
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Currently, most states and districts allow licensed K-12 classroom teachers to teach online based on the belief that teachers who are well versed in content and pedagogy can easily adapt their classroom instruction to an online environment. Research on K-12 virtual instruction, however, suggests otherwise (e.g., Journell, 2008; Murphy & Rodriguez-Manzanares, 2009). Although many of the elements of effective teaching are the same online as in face-to-face classrooms, online instruction requires certain skills and dispositions that are unique to the online environment (e.g., DiPietro, Ferdig, Black, & Preston, 2008; Ferdig, Cavanaugh, DiPietro, Black, & Dawson, 2009; Journell, 2013; Quinlan, 2011).

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