Does an Online Degree Help Prepare You to Teach in a Classroom?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 / 1 comment

Does an Online Degree Really Prepare You to Teach in the Classroom?

If you had asked someone over a decade ago if an online degree in teaching (or anything, really) was worth the hassle, many would have given you blank stares and dubious answers -- often suggesting that an online degree held obvious social disadvantages for gaining necessary experience in the educational workforce. But as technology becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, many people are reconsidering these opinions.

Online Degrees are Fine...but for Teaching???

Public opinion regarding online degrees is changing, but is it changing in the field of education? This seems to be more of a grey area. How can an online program prepare us for the intricacies of dealing with children in the classroom? Sure, any online degree will fill our knowledge pool with a level of expertise in any given subject, but can online courses aid us in our ability to reach out to other human beings and assess their level of understanding so that we can educate them better in person?

A Growth Spurt of Online Learning

Whether you think online programs are a good idea or not, the trend toward online educational options seems to be here to stay. In today's modern colleges - and even in many middle and high schools - the curriculum has become a sort of hybrid between traditional classroom instructional methods and online management systems (think Google Classroom). The ability to communicate with students outside of normal class times, as well as the ability to post information for students to refer back to when needed has made online platforms like Google Classroom an increasingly integral part of many educators curriculum and lesson planning.

Does an Online Degree Help Prepare You to Teach in a Classroom?

Oh, Google I love thee.

But Google doesn't have a monopoly on making online learning feasible and attractive to educators. Online educational programs can now reach out to students through different technologies such as Skype, Blackboard, or even iTunes to store lesson plans. If a student needs assistance in the virtual classroom, a live video conference can be issued, which can give nearly the same instructional value as it would in a live class.

Knowing vs. Doing - Can You Teach the Art of Being a Teacher

From the increased number of options for online degrees (see below for links to just a few), and the increased comfort we all feel with the digital world and online learning, it feels pretty obvious that increasing numbers of people will be getting their teaching degrees online. And, with the flexibility of scheduling and course options provided, it's highly likely that many current educators will be choosing an online option for additional degrees and certificates of their own.

But can the online option match the more traditional methods of earning a teaching certificate in terms of that intangible ability a teacher must have to connect with young people in person? Even though online schools do require "in class" time there is still that lingering feeling that it might not be up to the same standards as the traditional approach...but is that the case? Do traditional educational programs prepare new teachers for the challenging interpersonal elements of our occupation?

A quick look at statistics reveals that those traditional methods might not be significantly better in teaching these skills! As The Atlantic reported, various studies have new teachers leaving education sometime during their first five years as educators between 17 and 46 percent!

Does an Online Degree Really Prepare You to Teach in the Classroom?
That's a whole lot of teachers searching the classifieds during their lunch breaks!

While coursework (in person or online) can provide the pedagogical information necessary to form lessons, the strategies a teacher might use in a variety of situations, it seems like it doesn't matter nearly as much as what happens in those first few years of real-life experience in a classroom.

Ending Thoughts - Is it worth it?

While there are still many stereotypes regarding online degrees, their popularity continues to increase. The flexibility, lower cost, and the ability to learn anything you want at the click of a button is becoming a reliable option for those wishing to pursue a teaching career.

While it may feel strange to move into this brave, new world of educating our future teachers - it seems clear that we should be far more interested in how we better prepare teachers for the realities of the classroom, and less concerned about whether we prepare them in person or in a video chat.

Does an Online Degree Really Prepare You to Teach in the Classroom?

Looking for some more info about online degrees in education?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this information. I always looking for education posts, also a great platform for getting some knowledge about Education


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