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The future of any academic field relies on its ability and willingness to embrace change, objectively evaluate the value of that change over time, and adjust accordingly. Paleontology finds itself in a substantial educational paradigm shift with continued growth of online-based education; it has been slow to recognize and respond to the shift. This article describes technological changes facing paleontology education and provides a synthesis of recent literature of what is possible for faculty to adopt, from the simple to the complex. Trends in online learning are evaluated, as are quality issues behind some educator resistance to this learning format. Original research, the SOUP survey, demonstrates less than 2% integration of online technology in paleontology education at the undergraduate level. This new SOUP research is compared to previous work, the SUDSE survey, which showed a marginally greater use of the same technologies across science disciplines. The current best practice in online paleontology instruction should establish learning objectives with an emphasis on targeted levels of competence, rather than content memorization. Moreover, best practice incorporates a variety of online learning options that both novice and experienced online faculty members can successfully manage beyond such basics as enhancing and optimizing communication through course facilitation whether in fully online, blended, or webfacilitated formats. These include use of theme-based, problem-based, and just-in-time learning; incorporating games; maximizing informal paleontology resources, and judicious use of virtual-reality applications.