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eLearning Update: Finalists Named for Online Honor

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) have announced the three finalists for their inaugural National Online Teacher of the Year Award.

Florida Virtual School's Teresa Dove has taught online math for four years while also serving as a literacy coordinator and a leader of the school's Reading Leadership Team. Gwinnett County (Ga.) Online Campus's Gabrielle Bray is the social studies department chair and has taught high school level courses for seven years, improving their state test scores over that span of time, according to her principal. And Virtual Virginia's Steven Sproles, a four-year psychology and economics professor, has passed students on the AP psychology exam at a rate 15 percent higher than the national average, his supervisor says.

One thing to note: While it may not be true in the brick-and-mortar world, the finalists' 15 combined years of experience is far beyond the mean in the virtual world, and supports the claim that experience in virtual instruction outweighs savvy teachers with the most recent technological tools.

The competition drew 50 nominees from public and state virtual schools across 24 states. The winner will be announced Sept. 8 at a dinner at the annual meeting of SREB's Technology Cooperative and Electronic Campus in New Orleans.

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