Technology Tools for Distance Education


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Prepared for my students in Educ 638 Online Instruction, Fall 2013.

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Technology Tools for Distance Education

  1. 1. Technology Tools for Distance Education Learning Management Systems Communication Tools Instructional Materials Dr. Minnie Ladores
  2. 2. Learning Management Systems Online teachers deliver instruction through Learning Management Systems.
  3. 3. Learning Management Systems A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of e-learning education courses or training programs. (Wikipedia) An LMS is an integrated system which can include both asynchronous and synchronous mechanisms to deliver content, facilitate communication, tract student progress, record grades, and document communcations. Learners can access their courses throught he LMS anytime or anywhere, as long as they have Internet connection. (Rice, p48)
  4. 4. Edmodo Moodle Blackboard Examples of Learning Management Systems
  5. 5. Online teachers use an LMS to provide course materials and communicate with students. LMS typically contains announcements, syllabus, instructor information, course materials such as lessons or modules, a discussion board, resources, the gradebook, and a place for submitting assignments.
  6. 6. Setting up Your Course One of the first things online teachers do is to set up their course site in an LMS. This is similar to setting up a face-to-face classroom. You need to determine what information needs to be provided, then determine how and where these information will be located. Basic information include announcements, contact information, syllabus, lessons and assignments. You also need to determine which tools to use, such as the discussion board. Current LMS include tools for individual journals, class blogs, and wikis you might want to take advantage of in your class.
  7. 7. Set up your LMS course site with areas equivalent to a traditional classroom setting.
  8. 8. Communication Tools Online teachers use several tools for communicating with students.
  9. 9. Asynchronous Communication Email Discussion Board Asynchronous communication is a non-synchronous, two- way communication in which there is a time delay between when a message is sent and when it is actually received.
  10. 10. Asynchronous Communication occur most commonly through email and discussion boards. Advantages: 1. Allows for flexibility in time. The teacher and student can communicate without having to be online at the same time. 2. Allows for deeper thinking and reflection. Students have time to think about their responses, posting them when they are ready. Discussion boards are often used to establish a sense of community, usually beginning with self-introductions at the beginning of a course.
  11. 11. Synchronous Communication Text-Based Real-Time Chat Web Conference Meetings in the Virtual World Synchronous communication between the teacher and students occur at the same time, albeit through a distance.
  12. 12. Instant messaging (IM) is a type of online chat which offers real-time text transmission over the Internet. Short messages are typically transmitted bi-directionally between two parties, when each user chooses to complete a though and select “send.” Mobile devices make instant messaging even more feasible and convenient. Instant Messaging SMARTPHONE: Other teachers give their phone numbers and allow students to send them messages. This second type of communication may be both synchronous (a teacher may find the text and respond right away) or asynchronous (a teacher may find the message at a later time of day and respond at that point.) COMPUTER: Some online teachers subscribe to Instant Messaging programs such as Google Talk or Yahoo Messenger and provide students with their usernames. Students can then see if their teacher is online and available to chat.
  13. 13. Web conferencing is a form of real-time communications (RTC) in which multiple computer users, all connected to the Internet, see the same screen at all ties in their web browsers. Web conferencing systems often include features such as texting, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), and full motion video. (Rouse, 2008)Web conferencing programs allow teachers and students to communicate in real time. Web Conferencing Web conferencing allows teachers and students to meet live, hold academic discussions, make presentations, and conduct demonstrations. Control of the session can be passed among users so that any attendee can act as the main presenter. In distance education, these are more commonly referred to as live sessions.
  14. 14. Examples of Web Conferencing Programs
  15. 15. Multi-user virtual environments or virtual worlds are three-dimensional online programs that allow users to interact with each other as avatars in real time. Some MUVEs have been used in education and are referred to as multi-user learning environments (MULEs). MULEs offer teachers and students a sense of being together in a common location, such as a virtual classroom. In virtual worlds, teachers and students interact with each other as avatars. These interactions, which include texting and using voice, occur in simulations such as a classroom or laboratory. Students are also able to interact with virtual artifacts, often created by the teacher, to explore and learn about concepts. Virtual worlds allow teachers and students to interact in real time. Virtual Worlds
  16. 16. Some universities create virtual campuses for their students, such as Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas. This is the Virtual Educators’ Alliance building. Sample Virtual World: Second Life There are universities that have created virtual campuses on Second Life for the purpose of supporting distance education students. These include Vanderbilt University which created a nursing simulation, NurSim4U. Other universities include Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of Cincinnati, and Frostburg State University, to name a few.
  17. 17. Tools for Creating Instructional Materials Online teachers take time to design and develop web- based presentations and other instructional materials.
  18. 18. Presentation Tools GoogleDrive SlideRocketPrezi SlideShare There are awesome web-based presentation tools with great-looking templates for creating visual aids for your students. I call this “candy- coating” information as we try to make course content more attractive
  19. 19. Multimedia Software Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. This includes a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, or interactive elements. Animation ( e.g. Go Animate!) Video creation Podcasting / Vodcasting Screencasting Interactive Posters (e.g. Glogster)
  20. 20. Web Authoring Software You can create a web site to organize all course content on a topic, including topic introductions, assignment guidelines, Internet resources, games, and multimedia. Examples for this include WebQuests, Treasure Hunts, Scavenger Hunts, and Topic Resource Web Sites. Here are my two favorite web authoring. Start creating your own instructional web sites! Weebly Free and Easy Drag and Drop Google Sites If you can use MS Word, you can use this!
  21. 21. Tools for Collaboration Online teachers take time to design and develop web- based presentations and other instructional materials.
  22. 22. Tools for Collaboration One way to encourage active learning is to have your students co-create a course web site, contribute information, and collaborate with classmates in putting together content materials. Two popular tools are blogs and wikis. Wikispaces Free and Easy to Learn eBlogger A Google App Edublogs A favorite among teachers Tumblr Fun for posting photos and drawings
  23. 23. Tools for Sharing Resources Encourage a sense of community among learners through networked resource sharing web sites. These are more appropriate for adult learners. PearlTrees Organize your web sites and share with others! Pinterest Have you created a board yet?
  24. 24. There are many other tools, but I’ll stop here for now. Happy exploring!
  25. 25. References  Rice, K. (2012). Making the move to K-12 online teaching: Research-based strategies and practices. Pearson Publishing.  Wikipedia References for other web resources and images, found through Google, to follow.