Friday, July 29, 2011

Distance Education Technology Graphic Organizer

Siemens (2008) stated in his paper that his focus was, "the intent of exploring how many of the most significant changes within society today might influence of change the role of educators and, as a consequence, the role of instructional designers."  The graphic organizer above states many of the technologies that have changed the distance education environment and enabled it to become more interactive and effective to the point that it is now considered in many circles to be as effective the traditional brick and mortar classrooms.  The Internet has allowed online learning to take tremendous steps in the advancement of distance learning.  Siemens (2008) says in this regard that, "The popularization of the World Wide Web as a medium for commerce, communication, information sharing, and education has raised the profile of networks as a means of human organization. All of the elements above are a product of the World Wide Web.  

There is a crossover of many of the elements listed above that could fall under several categories, especially in the area communication and collaboration.  It could be argued that many of the technologies under collaboration could very well be found under communication and vice-versa.  I felt the content area could very broad when incorporating distance learning.  It would seem that anything that could scanned, uploaded, downloading, or posted to the Internet could be considered "Content".  So graphics, pictures, magazine articles, videos, etc. could all be considered content in that realm.  

In reflecting on the content of my graphic organizer, the three areas of content, collaboration, and communication are three central components of distance learning.  If there is a deficiency in any of these three areas then distance learning is not nearly as effective.  Content drives the distance learning process and, just as traditional education, serves as the foundation for the learning process.  There is a special emphasis that is placed on communication due to the fact that it must be done through virtual channels as opposed to face to face in traditional learning settings.  Collaboration is probably the latest innovation and is now feasible due to technologies such as Skype, video-conferencing, social networking, and wikis.  Overall, it is the technologies that have fallen into these three categories that have allowed for distance education to become as effective as it is today.

Siemans, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum


  1. David,

    I naturally share your graphic display of the many flexible approaches to an effective online and distance education environment. Certainly, you are on the mark regarding the various forums, chat rooms, wikis, etc.

    Despite the the natural apprehensions some students continue to have regarding operating in this kind of environment, I believe the advantages will become even more plentiful as we progress through the 21st century. That's a plus for society as a whole in the realm of social change, and one giant plus for education.

    Nice display!


  2. David,
    I found that your display was very friendly and I like the fact that I could just click right on it and it would magnify. I haven't found that to be the case in all of the webs I tried to look at. Good job. You brought out interesting points in your post. The area of communication and collaboration do overlap. I noticed that too when I was working on my information. Also, I agree with you in that operating in this type of environment will become plentiful and comfortable.


  3. Interesting reflection and organizer. The thoughts were laid out clearly. I am in total agreement that there is a crossover of products/ideas as the 3 main areas have become to blend. As an educator, I find this a good thing since it means that they are closely related and will serve the other main components in terms of user understanding. Did you find any of the areas to be more difficult to compile than others?

  4. Hi:

    I was at a PD session this week. I casually surveyed the group about computer use in the classroom. It was next to zero. I noticed the presenters needed assistance plugging in their computers into the projector. So far to go...

  5. Hi David. Nice job on your display of online tools. I agreed with you as well on the similiarities in communication and collaboration. I think that these two categories share alot in common and do overlap quite a bit. I was trying to see them separate but the function hand in hand.