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What Are the Different Types of Online Classes for Educators?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Becoming a teacher clearly involve educating others, but that does not mean the teacher himself stops being a student. Most educators must take part in professional development classes in order to meet requirements for teaching certification, so many professionals choose online classes for educators due to their busy schedules. It is also possible to take online classes for educators while still in college; earning a degree usually involves taking classes in a classroom, but plenty of online options are available for students who cannot make it to an on-site classroom.

The types of online classes for educators one can take fall into two general categories: asynchronous classes and synchronous classes. Most educators choose asynchronous classes because the work can be done at the educator's pace, and there is no need to be online at any specific time to meet with classmates or professors. This option requires more self-directed learning, since direct communication with the professor and other students is less likely. Synchronous classes meet at the same time every class meeting, and professors and students must all be online at that time. This option is not as convenient for the teacher's scheduling, but it does offer more direction in learning.

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The topics covered in online classes for educators can vary significantly. Sometimes a teacher must fulfill a specific requirement for an endorsement or license, so the class might cover that specific topic. English teachers in the United States, for example, often have to take a class to teach English Language Learners, or ELL students. Once the coursework is completed and the educator passes all relevant examinations, he or she will be qualified to teach ELL students. Some schools may require all teachers to fulfill this requirement, not just English teachers.

In other instances, the online classes for educators may focus more on allowing that educator to earn a higher degree. Many teachers enter the field with only a bachelor's degree, but some school districts require the teacher to earn a master's degree within the first few years of teaching. The educator will therefore enroll in online classes for educators that will allow him or her to work toward fulfilling a master's degree. If the teacher wants to transition from teaching to administration, he or she may choose to take online classes for educators that focus more on administration practices and policies. Other coursework may be required to fulfill requirements outlined by a specific school or school district.

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