Using Distance Learning Technologies

November 20, 2010 tinkisamy

This week I am continuing to explore the various distance learning technologies available and how to effectively use them in various atmospheres.  I am finding that I am building on what I have already used in a classroom setting. I think the experience I have had teaching for 8 years really has given me a good foundation to build upon. Distance Learning is growing and changing with every course taken and program added.

I will be finding various tools that will be beneficial to this Distance Learning Technology Challenge.

“A high school history teacher, located on the west coast of the United States, wants to showcase to her students new exhibits being held at two prominent New York City museums. The teacher wants her students to take a “tour” of the museums and be able to interact with the museum curators, as well as see the art work on display. Afterward, the teacher would like to choose two pieces of artwork from each exhibit and have the students participate in a group critique of the individual work of art. As a novice of distance learning and distance learning technologies, the teacher turned to the school district’s instructional designer for assistance. In the role of the instructional designer, what distance learning technologies would you suggest the teacher use to provide the best learning experience for her students? (Walden University, 2010)”

The first thing I thought of when I read this challenging situation was the need for accessibility to the art pieces. The students will be able to see the art up close and personal but they need a way to see those pieces again to make connections. There are many ways to do this. The teacher could provide the students with pictures of selected pieces. This can be done through a screen cast presentation where the teacher shows the art and provides a brief description. The teacher also could construct a Prezi presentation that will showcase the art and allow for more detail and recall from the students, http://prezi.com/explore/  The Prezi presentation is like a PowerPoint presentation but has much more to offer in regard to features by zooming in on important information, arranging the art pieces in various ways, and drawing attention where it needs to be.

In regard to the students critiquing the selected art pieces, that can be done either through a blog like this one. The teacher could also have a blog site come up after the Prezi presentation for students to click and go right to that link.  A blog is a type of website where an individual usually maintains the site. There are entries, descriptions of various events, and video or graphics. Blogs are a way to present any time of information where visitors can leave comments or a message to the blog host. A blog would be a good way for students to interact with each other and their views and comments on the various works of art. They could even comment on the experience as a whole for future students.

Another way for students to critique or evaluate the works of art could be through a wiki. A wiki is like a blog where information can be shared and stored. But a wiki is place where people can collaborate where a blog is individualized. More information can be added to a wiki and it is updated continuously. In a wiki discussions are in a forum setting instead of comments being approved by the individual in charge of a blog.  This also needs to be more closely monitored in regard to students since there is more freedom to post and discuss.

When looking at these technology resources I have found that they have been very successful in regard to distance learning. In an article from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/6/41/?ref=nf, wikis, blogs, and even podcasts enhance learning experiences and even create deeper understanding for students. These types of web-based collaboration leads to new ideas and the ability to add new elements to learning. This article goes further into details regarding these technologies and the health/medical education side of distance learning. The ideas are still the same. These various forms of technology adds to the learning and hands on experience.

Facultyfocus.com has a wealth of information regarding technology, online learning, curriculum, and higher education. This site provides articles that provide both opinion and fact. Web tools are essential and important in any distance learning environment. This article and  full report, offers great tips and information that is necessary for using web tools.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/technology-trends-in-higher-education-how-web-20-tools-are-transforming-learning/

Resources:

http://prezi.com/explore/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

http://wiki.wetpaint.com/page/Wiki+vs+Blog

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