The Florida Virtual School–the country’s first entirely online statewide public school–and the University of Central Florida are teaming up to offer future teachers what they call first-of-its-kind training, reports the Orlando Sentinel: virtual internships. Until now, teachers new to online instruction had to learn on the job how to juggle the technology and teaching techniques specific to virtual schooling. The pilot program will give six students the chance to team up with experienced online teachers to learn what it takes to manage a diverse assortment of students who could be studying via computer anywhere in the world, at their own pace, at any time of day, and requesting help with assignments by eMail, instant messaging, and telephone. For seven weeks, the interns will get tips on managing their time properly and communicating effectively with students who would just as soon text than talk. Future teachers typically tackle internships in traditional classrooms to get a taste of what awaits them in the real world. The virtual training will give UCF education graduates an edge in the work world, because they’ll be ready to teach in both traditional and virtual classrooms at graduation, university officials said, adding that online education is growing at all levels: More than 63,000 students in sixth through 12th grade took courses through the Florida Virtual School in 2007-08, officials said…

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