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KNOXVILLE – University of Tennessee instructors have completed an upgrade to an Internet-based teacher training service.

The on-line tutorial, webTeacher, is a comprehensive, interactive training service designed specifically to help K-12 teachers improve the technological literacy of their students by creating educational content for the classroom.

webTeacher, the online Internet tutorial developed at UT.

LightCone Interactive, a multimedia programming and design company specializing in interactive and educational applications, did the upgrade work. The company is closely aligned with the University of Tennessee Astronomy and Physics departments. LightCone Interactive President Dr. Mike Guidry said webTeacher is popular with teachers and students.

“Since the program is available on the Internet, it’s used a lot by individual people,” Guidry said. “It’s also used a lot in formal training sessions, teacher in-service training, and with kids.”

The upgrade includes a new streamlined look while still following some of the familiar fundamentals established in the original webTeacher tutorial.

Guidry said his wife is also an educator, and several years ago they saw that there were not enough tools to help teachers ensure their students’ understanding of emerging technologies like the Internet.

“We realized that there were lots of opportunities for Web-type education at the K-12 level, but for the most part, teachers there did not know how to do it,” Guidry said. “On the other hand, the kinds of things they needed to know were not that hard to learn, so we looked for a way to bring it to them.”

Sponsored by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Cable in the Classroom, webTeacher (http://www.webteacher.org) has been online since 1996 and is available free of charge.