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How do I Become a Distance Learning Teacher?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2018
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Distance learning is a growing field and many people will take one or more classes through this method. They might even complete a full education with distance learning, earning things like diplomas and degrees without ever entering a classroom. Many educators or those pursuing a career in education are interested in the steps it takes to become a distance learning teacher. First, people should be fully educated in their field of interest and that they have the computer and technological knowledge to create one or more forms of online and distance learning classes.

It cannot be stressed enough that a person who wants to become a distance learning teacher must be first and foremost a teacher. This means having expertise in a subject. Some classes are taught by people with expertise only and who lack a formal education, but demand is usually higher for classes that will confer academic credits, and this means possessing a teaching credential or a master’s degree or higher.

The first step for most people is education in a specific field. Those who want to become a distance learning teacher at the high school level should possess whatever credentialing is required locally or generally, so that their classes count. People teaching at the college level will need a master’s degree or possibly a doctorate in their area of interest before getting teaching jobs.

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Adequate education goes hand in hand with ability to work with many different technologies. Sometimes a person will become a distance learning teacher and use things like conferencing software to teach real time classes. Others communicate with students via web portals, only by email, or by accessing specific websites. A few schools have classes or special programs in the latest tech and how to employ it in teaching settings, and these classes might be of value, particularly for those without a great deal of technical knowledge.

Though such classes or certificate programs are useful, they are static. New technology emerges every day. Those wanting to become a distance learning teacher will have to commit not just to mastering knowledge of present technology but to keeping up with technology trends and learning new ways of presenting material as they are developed. Comfort level with technology needs to be high enough so that teachers can not only employ it, but also explain it to students who may have far less technical acumen.

Once people have achieved mastery in subject and technology, they can begin looking for work. The obvious places might seem to be fully online universities and schools. People shouldn’t overlook the fact that many traditional universities now have some distance education offerings, and they are likely to pay teachers more than schools operating completely through distance learning. It’s expected that demand for these positions will continue to rise as more students ask for the flexibility of online learning.

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