The Future of Distance Education
By: George Siemens
EDUC 8842: Principals of Distance Education
I agree with Siemens view on global diversity, communication, and collaborative interaction. These elements do create an effective experience and allow distance education to stand on its own. Traditional classrooms offer face to face interaction and is scheduled at a specific day and time. Online learning gives the student enonomity and affords an opportunity to interact with individuals with whom they may not in an traditional setting.
Distance education benefits corporations by allowing them to interact with different offices around the world.
What online tools are available today to facilitate these interactions among leaners?
There are several tools that will facilitate interactions in the online setting.
Assignments within the course shell allow for dailouge.
Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other online social network sites give students another avenue to discuss course assignments.
Skype gives classmates a chance to use new technology to hold conversations about the courses.
Not only can these tools be used with the students, it can be used with the professors.
Siemens stated examples of what fuels distance education's growing acceptance:
The increase in online communicationPractional experience with new toolsGrowing comfort with online discourseAbility to communicate with diverse global groups
Distance education will continue to grow and change. Siemens feels it will be impacted by:
New communication technologies
Contribution by experts around the world
Increased use of multimedia, games, and simulations
Also in moving toward a growing shift in online education, it has been called the triple helix model of education. This is where universities, government, and businesses work together to provide and equip students with the online environment.