Teachers and program administrators need new skills to serve their distance students

Tips & Resources for Administrators

Identify good candidates for blended or distance teaching. The Technology Integration and Distance Teaching Self-Assessment is a free online assessment that introduces classroom teachers to the skills they need to integrate technology and be successful distance teachers and helps them evaluate their existing skills in terms of distance. Sign up as an administrator and invite your teachers to complete this assessment. Results can be shared and will help you and your teachers decide who is best suited to try distance teaching.

Train blended and distance teachers. Successful training of blended and distance teachers involves a combination of face-to-face and distance activities. Begin with an in-person orientation and training session to prepare new teachers to use the curricula and technology and to encourage community building. Ongoing professional development activities can be handled at a distance. Virtual forms of professional development provide a chance for flexible, in-depth training. This experience can give teachers a chance to experience distance education from the learner's perspective.

Tips & Resources for Teachers

Use distance education to develop your skills.   A variety of free and fee-based professional development courses and activities are available online. In addition, many states and professional organizations now offer online courses as well.

Join a community of practice. Another good way to engage in professional development is to join a community of practice. For example, LINCS Technology and Learning group covers a variety of adult education issues on the topic.

Become a member of IDEAL.  
IDEAL member states have access to online professional development courses for those teachers and administrators interested in learning about blended, distance and mobile learning. The IDEAL staff trains each member state's course facilitator, and a master teacher is available to work with facilitators to further refine their skills.