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PBS TeacherLine Introduces New Professional Development Course on Online Teaching

Posted Mar 14, 2007
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PBS TeacherLine has introduced "Online Facilitator Training I - Mastering the Skills of Online Teaching" to help prepare educators for teaching in the 21st century as K-12 and higher education institutions rapidly expand e-learning opportunities for students. Already, more than 25 percent of K-12 schools offer some form of e-learning, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In higher education, reports by Eduventures show that 1.5 million college students are enrolled in an online course today.

The 45-hour course will be offered for the first time this spring, scheduled to run March 28 through May 8, 2007.

Co-developed with the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE), PBS TeacherLine's Online Facilitator Training course use a multimedia-based environment to immerse teachers in the same e-learning model that their students will experience. The course is intended for K-12 classroom teachers, university faculty, and pre-service teachers who are preparing to facilitate online courses. Designed to help teachers become effective instructional leaders in a Web-based learning environment, the course teaches educators:

* the philosophy and pedagogy of e-learning
* techniques for deepening online discussion
* techniques for online, text-based communication
* strategies to foster online community building and collaborative learning
* strategies for delivering effective, web-based formative assessment
* strategies for evaluating Internet resources

Online facilitators take on many different managerial, technical, social, and pedagogical roles, the announcement states. Effective facilitators must know how to provide formative feedback, offer technical guidance, foster community, and communicate "from the side" in a way that encourages learners to construct knowledge together. PBS TeacherLine's Online Facilitator Training course introduces educators to these roles and provides them with the opportunity to practice them, including participation in a simulation environment to hone specific facilitator skills. Through research-based articles and readings, discussions, collaborative projects, and other interactive experiences, educators have numerous opportunities to build and master online facilitation skills. Teachers can learn more about the course or enroll at The course costs $525. 

Source: PBS TeacherLine,

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