K–12 Distance Educators at Work: Who's Teaching Online Across the United States

Jun. 29, 2009

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Volume 41 Number 4 (Summer 2009).

Due to the current proliferation of virtual schools, a growing number of teachers are facing the challenge of teaching online. This study investigates the demographic nature and experiences of K–12 online teachers.
Findings show that online teachers are experienced in the traditional classroom, as indicated by their years of experience and the level of their advanced degrees. These teachers seek a better means to engage with students and a greater sense of community. Furthermore, they also look for the ability to teach without the constraints of traditional teachings, such as a bell schedule or issues of classroom management. Data also suggest that aspects of teaching online, such as the number of classes/students, student motivation, and lack of support, can be overwhelming at times.
Through this study, the authors are able to gain a better understanding of the educators themselves, including specific advantages and challenges of teaching in an online environment.

Updated: Jul. 02, 2009