Technology with the combination of multimedia and interactive mediums promotes learning and enhances the learner’s educational experiences. It helps build cognitive recall as well and makes information processing more efficient. With the development and enhancement of learning and multimedia platforms such as Moodle, Cisco Tele-presences, and Skype learning has become much more complex. However, if used properly it can enhance both the teacher and the learner’s experiences. It also offers a global learning experience for teachers and learners, connecting them like never before.
What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?
As we have learned in our previous courses, it is imperative to plan ahead and consider the elements associated with your learn audience. When designing and implementing new technology or creating an online learning course similar factors must be considered. I would highly suggest creating and building in test phases to make sure everything is in accordance with the planning especially if the courses are live. Multimedia designed well and with a focusing purpose can add to the content delivery and meeting of diverse learner needs (Cooper, Colwel, & Jelfs, 2007).
When online courses are the focus, one element that gets over looked is the internet medium. Most of us are accustom to broad band high speed internet. However, learners are located all over the world where that service is not offered or is the band width is not adequate. Most LMS are interactive and contain elements like flash, adobe, and java that require high computing power and fast internet. Instructors need to be aware of those requirements but the student also needs to be prepared before they elect to participate in such courses with these requirements.
What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?
The college I work for has been providing online courses for 13 years. I was able to look at a time line development matrix of how the technology and services have evolved over those 13 years and it was amazing. With the development of mobile technology derived from military communications, it has changed the landscape of how learning and technology is delivered. Today online learners can download and stream multimedia content, submit documents, chat, video conference and collaborate on assignments using a tablet or a smart phone. The research and development of this technology can is very costly and sometimes hinders educational providers from providing the most up to date services. For example, the platform my company uses has a lot of trouble being compatible with mobile devices, primarily with the MAC-OS. An online instructor must carefully plan and design the use of technology as a tool to meet a desired student outcome (Conrad, & Donaldson, 2011).
What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?
· Aggregators- Are an awesome to help you keep up with the plethora of data produced daily. These aggregators help both the students and teachers stay on top of information, collecting, and processing.
· Eyejot- This (free) video communication application is a great tool to send group or individual messages to friends, family, colleagues, and students. It adds a personal touch to communication by providing a visual element along with audio. Communication and planning are the two most important elements an instructor must consider. http://corp.eyejot.com/
· Apple- Apple has taken interactive learning to a whole new dimension. Their technology has transcended across generations. There are 4 years using interactive tools on an iPad to learn while business men and women use business applications on a daily basis to great grandparents using it to check their email or read an e-book. http://www.apple.com/education/
Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Cooper, M., Colwell, C., & Jelfs, A. (2007). Embedding accessibility and usability: Considerations for e-learning research and development projects. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 15(3), 231-245.