I guess this is kind of a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) themed few days. As I was exploring the FLVS website yesterday for the FLVS: Completed Research Projects entry, I came across a page marked “University Partnerships“.
The page itself describes FLVS‘s openness to partnerships with universities and states:
These collaborations include grant partnerships, research opportunities, professional development for teachers and pre-service teacher observation/internship opportunities in our virtual classrooms.
What is interesting is that immediately following that statement is a section that is specifically devoted to:
Pre-Service Teacher Program
The demand for online education is growing and FLVS’s pre-service teacher program is the most innovative in education today. There is no other place where education majors can work in an online classroom. According to NACOL ‘s “Keeping Pace” report, 44 states have online learning programs. A Sloan Consortium report estimated 1,030,000 students engaged in online courses. This was a 47% increase from 2005-2006. Faced with the fast-paced expansion of online education, FLVS decided to open this school in an effort to help education majors prepare for the 21st century classroom.
We offer opportunities for students to complete their observation requirements in our classrooms along with internship placement up to 14 weeks in the classroom of a clinically-trained, supervising teacher. Please click here to see pre-service teachers’ work and reflections of their time spent in our classrooms.
The presentation is worth the 5 to 8 minutes to takes to watch. Anyway, this got me wondering how many other virtual school programs have relationships with teacher education programs where they are allowing pre-service teacher education students to complete their student teaching or teaching internships (whichever terms you happen to use) in a virtual school. And when I use these terms I am not thinking about a teaching practicum that often comes earlier in the program to give students some exposure to the classroom (brick-and-mortar or virtual), maybe even teach a lesson. I’m thinking of situations where the students spend a full semester doing nothing other than being in a classroom to teach (and in theory be mentored into that role in some systematic way).
I’m going to assume that the FLVS example has something to do with the University of Central Florida program that I last discussed in the entry Student Teaching Online. And I know that the Teacher Education Goes into Virtual Schooling (TEGIVS) program at Iowa State University also has an internship component (and it dawns on me that when I examine the TEGIVS tag for this blog I have never written an entry totally devoted to the TEGIVS program, so I’m going to have to change that). In addition, I do know of a number of other programs that do have the practicum components where students get exposed to virtual schooling, its environment and have some limited opportunities to teach.
So, are there other university programs or virtual schools out there that do similar kinds of student teaching or teaching internship program?