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Research on the E-Teacher in the K-12 Distance Education Classroom

Research on the E-Teacher in the K-12 Distance Education Classroom
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Author(s): Elizabeth Murphy (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) and María A. Rodríguez-Manzanares (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 35
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch261


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Compared to the post-secondary level, distance education at the elementary and secondary levels has received little attention from researchers (Kapitzke & Pendergast, 2005; Smith, Clark, & Blomeyer, 2005). This lack of attention is of concern given the rapid and broad growth of this form of education. In the United States, online education programs are experiencing rapid growth. For example, during the academic year 2005-2006, more than 90,000 middle and high school students were enrolled in state virtual schools in the Southern Regional Education Board, which represented a 100% increase in enrollments from the previous year (Southern Regional Education Board, 2006). While we might assume that research from contexts of post-secondary may inform K-12 distance education, Cavanaugh, Gillan, Kromrey, Hess, and Blomeyer (2004) caution against this assumption as follows: “The temptation may be to attempt to apply or adapt findings from studies of K-12 classroom learning or of adult distance learning, but K-12 distance education is fundamentally unique” (p. 4). The authors further observed that, although research in this area “is maturing” (p. 17), it has only been studied since about 1999. The current “explosion in virtual schools” (p. 6) creates a compelling rationale for continued efforts to conduct research on K-12 distance education.

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