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Field Experience in Virtual Schools—To Be There Virtually Article

, Iowa State University Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, United States ; , , University of Canterbury College of Education, New Zealand

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume 17, Number 4, ISSN 1059-7069 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


Virtual Schooling (VS) for K-12 school students using distance technologies has increased rapidly in the 21st century with the growth of online learning and virtual schools in more than 44 states in the USA and as e-learning in over 20 clusters of rural schools in New Zealand. Although VS requires a special set of teaching methods, teacher preparation programs are only beginning to include this new mode of schooling and it is important to develop VS field experience. This paper describes a pilot VS field experience within an initial teacher education program in the USA as part of a national project, including multimedia appendices. It enabled future teachers to observe how an exemplary VS school teacher taught her course using blended technologies. Future teachers’ reflections revealed that they had overcome concerns and misperceptions about VS. Key elements identified include mirroring the natural setting using similar technologies, external and internal information gathering, guided observations and engagement with the class. Plans to expand this provision across the USA and in New Zealand provide an international perspective on preparing future teachers for the increasing range of educational opportunities in the 21st first century.


Compton, L.K.L., Davis, N. & Mackey, J. (2009). Field Experience in Virtual Schools—To Be There Virtually. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 459-477. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved July 16, 2018 from .


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Cited By

  1. Editorial: What Is Special About Teacher Education for Virtual Schooling?

    Niki Davis, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Richard E. Ferdig, Kent State University, United States

    Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 2009) pp. 425–435

  2. Virtual Schooling Standards and Best Practices for Teacher Education

    Richard E. Ferdig & Cathy Cavanaugh, University of Florida, United States; Meredith DiPietro, University of North Carolina Charlotte, United States; Erik W. Black & Kara Dawson, University of Florida, United States

    Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 2009) pp. 479–503

  3. The Status of Professional Development for K-12 Online Teachers: Insights and Implications

    Kerry Rice & Lisa Dawley, Boise State University, United States

    Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 2009) pp. 523–545

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