Taking Responsibility for the Future: A Case Study of a State-Run Program to Train K–12 Online Teach

Taking Responsibility for the Future: A Case Study of a State-Run Program to Train K–12 Online Teach

Jayme Nixon Linton (Lenoir-Rhyne University, USA) and Wayne Journell (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8009-6.ch014

Abstract

Although K–12 online education is becoming more common in the United States, there is still much we do not know about how K–12 online teachers are being prepared. 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 nine-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 to meet the rising demand for K–12 online instruction in the United States.
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As K–12 online learning continues to expand, students and their families seek options that provide the best fit for their needs. Sometimes these needs are met via online courses provided by a public school district. Many students across the United States, however, look beyond their local school districts and enroll in state-level virtual public schools or virtual charter schools. Virtual schools like the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) reach students in many U.S. states and in countries around the world (Watson, Murin, & Pape, 2014). Currently, state-level licensure requirements make it challenging for online teachers, schools, and programs to meet the needs of online learners. Watson et al. (2014) recommend that states design an online teaching certification that would allow a teacher who is licensed in any state to teach online learners in any state and avoid having to complete additional licensure requirements for every state in which online students reside. Such a certification program would provide targeted preparation to K–12 online teachers and ensure that online learners anywhere have access to quality online instruction.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Asynchronous Communication: Communication in which there is a delay between when a message is sent and when it is received (e.g., email).

Pedagogical Knowledge: Knowledge of how to teach.

Synchronous Communication: Communication that involves the simultaneous presence of the sender and the receiver (e.g., a chat room).

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for effective use of technology for instructional purposes that suggests the ideal use of technology is that which merges technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge.

Content Knowledge: Knowledge of the content that one teaches.

Technological Knowledge: Knowledge of how to use technology.

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