To tell the truth, we are still muddled in opinion about this. Some of us (all retired teachers/professors) are trying see all sides, while some have their heels dug in hard for traditional learning.
I am mainly revisiting this issue so that you might have more info for doing your own investigation of Internet college programs offering a teaching degree.
To me, you want to look real hard at whatever website you feel drawn to and ask a lot of pointed questions when you talk to a human customer-service rep.
Getting a teaching degree online requires a solid investigation
Over and over, the topic of "accreditation" kept popping up. This is a formal recognition or guarantee that your online college and the teaching degree program you are pursuing meet specific and finite criteria of authenticity.
* You deserve to be assured, in writing, that the coursework you are taking will provide the exact same educational outcome as the coursework for a teaching degree that you would take on a college campus.
* You must make sure the program offering you a teaching degree online is accredited so that you are eligible to compete for funding assistance from government programs.
* Accreditation guarantees that you are entitled to the same rights for admissions, counseling, tutoring, and financial assistance as the students attending on a college campus.
* Accreditation assures you that credits earned can transfer from one institution to another. You DO NOT want any surprises if you choose to take your freshman year through an Internet college, then decide to transfer to a university campus.
What are the disadvantages of getting a teaching degree online?
The title of this short section is not meant to discourage you. We just want you to thoroughly investigate all angles of getting an online teaching degree.
I know the brochures and websites provide exceptionally positive images of learning at your own pace or plugging into free WiFi at the park and blasting through an assignment while you soak up the beautiful outdoors...but, just like on a college campus, not everything works as smoothly as it seems online, either.
* Keep in mind, all teaching degree courses CANNOT be adapted for online distance learning. If you are thinking of becoming a PE teacher, music teacher, or a Medical Science teacher...many of your courses must be taken on a campus.
* You will NOT be getting immediate feedback for either questions about a confusing part of an assignment or the responses you have given in a virtual "round-table discussion."
* Some employers may have skepticism about the rigor of getting your teaching degree online and this will hurt your chances of landing a job. They will not tell you this...but even in our small group, there were extremely strong opinions from both male and female former administrators.
* You DO NOT get a chance to work on your oral communication skills and these are imperative to teaching in a classroom.
* It can take longer for you to get your degree in teaching online because specific coursework may not be offered at the date you need it. There could be technology foul-ups that stagnate your progress.
Getting your teaching degree online has its benefits, but we urge you to be extremely tight in your investigation of college sites promoting this.