This from TIME:
Online teacher training involves much of the workload that traditional in-the-class instruction does: textbook lessons, classroom observations, student teaching. But the challenges of training successful teachers online were made clear to me during a recent online chat, when the professor in my "Foundations of Education" course slapped on heavy-duty headphones, peered into her computer screen and asked students what they liked or disliked about her internet course at National University.
We were supposed to speak up but no one could figure out how to use the microphones. After a flurry of typed responses and awkward silences, Professor Lorraine Leavitt, who has taught online courses at San Diego-based National for seven years, filled the dead air time with a discussion of how hard it can be to produce great teachers from an online course.
At least, I think she did. As she spoke, the echo in the chat system became so loud that I missed most of her speech.
"It's kind of like the Wild West," Leavitt, who worked in California's public schools for 32 years and has taught in-person teacher training courses, said in an interview after the course ended. "We're at the beginning of online instruction."
At a time when brick-and-mortar teacher training programs are under fire, the burgeoning world of online teacher training has the potential to help or hamper efforts to improve public education. Internet classes could widen access to the profession and be a solution to teacher shortages. But if online training programs can't ensure quality, they'll instead just pump thousands of ill-prepared teachers into the system...