Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Distance Education Tools

Distance Education is a vital part of how students are educated today and it is expected to continue and grow in the future.  Education and technology are quickly evolving and changing every day, so it is helpful to learn about current and upcoming technologies that can help the distance learner. 
In the past, I have taken distance education classes, and they have all been taught a number of different ways, through live television courses, interactive conferencing, and online.  I have most enjoyed the classes I am currently enrolled in at the University of Southern Mississippi. The classes are online, but different from what I have always known as 'online' classes.  In the past, online classes meant that the teacher posted all of the course information and objectives on blackboard, gave students assignments, and posted specific due dates for turning in materials.  The current online classes I am enrolled in are real time chat classes.  This gives the instructors and students a set class time each week for lectures and questions.  Outside of these classes, there are several tools that can be utilized by students for collaboration with other students, or just as helpful aids to work on assignments. 
Social Networking Sites:
       Twitter – Personal and marketing opportunities
       MySpace – personal networking
       Google+ - personal and professional networking
       Live Journal – personal networking
       Skype – Video conferencing
       You Tube – video distribution
       Voice Thread – cloud based media presentations
       iTunes – music and podcasts
       Audacity – audio editor and recorder
       Prezi – cloud based media presentations
       Oovoo – video conferencing
Blogs/RSS Feeds:
       Google Reader – RSS feed
       My Yahoo! – customizable webpage
       WordPress – Blog publisher
       Blogger – Blog publisher
       Tumblr – Blog publisher
Content Management Sites
       Drupal – Note organization
       Dingo – Bookmarking Website
       Zotero – Citation manager
       EasyBib – Citation manager
       PBWorks – Wiki publisher
       Read It Later – Bookmarking tool
       Dropbox – Cloud storage
       Google Docs – Cloud storage
       Pinterest – Virtual pinboard

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