Distance learning for students and teachers is a growing trend as the leaders of today and tomorrow look for new, efficient ways to learn, educate, and inspire.
A recent Education Week article highlights some of the ways universities are improving their online professional development options. For example, Arizona State has partnered with the state’s Department of Education to host the IDEAL program, which offers online teacher education in language arts, math, and science instruction, as well as technology integration and classroom management. Boise State has also launched an online portal through which K-12 instructors can take an assortment of online, facilitator-led workshops.
As the trend in online teacher training takes off, other colleges such as the University of North Carolina, the University of Florida, and Iowa State are creating more innovative and collaborative professional development programs. Telepresence plays a key role in these programs, offering teachers direct access to trainers with whom they wouldn’t otherwise have contact because of travel limitations. With telepresence, geographic constraints have no bearing on course quality: Telepresence fosters an experience that is so intuitive, so lifelike and natural that the learner feels he or she is in the same room as the instructor.
We read time and again about education budget compromises and resource constraints that make it difficult to provide the professional development teachers need and deserve. Now, with telepresence and other available distance learning technologies, teachers can benefit from cutting-edge training and can use the tools they acquire to teach, engage and collaborate with our children.
Have you participated in any distance learning programs? What was your experience? Did you use telepresence?