Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scenario 2

Scenario:  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?

Video Conference:

Video Conference has become essential in the educational field.  The use of video conference in this situation becomes an important element for the development of the classes integrating experiences where the student can interact in real time with the curators of the museum.  Questions and comments can be shared about different artwork selections.

Most of the museums are integrating tools to share their exhibitions online.  The virtual aspect of this tool plays an important piece in today’s education.  Shortening distances makes it a cost effective tool.  The fact of facilitating a class or orientation with the use of a “two-way” communication system makes the experience valuable for all learners.  It is a great opportunity that allows students to share with the experts.

New York State Museum offers an excellent program named Virtual Classroom.  This interactive program allows presenting different topics tied to the Learning Standards of New York.  This 45 minutes programs is offered in Wednesdays at 4 different times to allow more schools to participate from different places in the nation.  It is necessary to register before to have access.

An example is shared from Marshall Elementary School in Lewisburg, Tennessee.  This school brings live animals and education from the Tennessee Aquarium into the classroom. This school is connected with other schools in North Carolina and Maryland.  Students from schools connected share questions about the experiences being shared. Topics shared are related to Dinosaurs and Rain Forest.

"Our students learned to become better communicators through the interview process and learned about geography too,"
"The excitement generated by the conferences helped support the students' confidence, and we were able to see an improvement in student presentations in the classroom. The video conferences were a wonderful enhancement to our traditional learning experiences." said Shepherd.


The use of wikis is a tool that promotes collaboration between students and students and students with instructors.  This tool provides the capability of many participants collaborating into one document.  This situation requires a place where groups of students will critiques two samples of artwork.  Wiki offers the opportunity to all students to become participants on this project.  The wiki a perfect component of “blended learning” where there is a combination of classroom instruction and online interaction.  Wikis allows the integration of visuals that will help the students make references to the artwork and add their comments.  We should not ignore that this activity will not only provide art experiences; with the use of wikis writing skills are being developed.

The blog Digital Arts Technology Academy is a great example of how students collaborate by the use of wikis presenting their portfolios that include a collection of work related to arts.

For this situation, the ID can suggest the use of videoconference in coordination with the museums.  This facilitates an alternative use in the classrooms.  We are integration collaboration and writing skills with the use of wikis.  We need to keep in mind that today’s learner interact with a diversity of technologies as part of their daily life.  “The effective utilization of distance education classrooms require a new set of skills for most educators” (Simonson 2009, pag.119) As ID we need to provide learning experiences that will satisfy the technological reality that our learners live.

Data, (2011). Data Wiki Home. Retrieve March 19, 2011, from

Educational World, (2011). Desktop Videoconferencing: Novelty or Legitimate Teaching Tool? Retrieve March18, 2011, from

New York State Museum, (2011). Virtual Classroom. Retrieve March 19, 20011, from
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009).
Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance
education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Distance Learning...

(click on the concepts to interact)

Defining distance learning made me look back in my memories of my teenager years.  I have various memories that helped me understand the distance learning concept.  Years later, I became a teacher and I had the opportunity of teaching in a virtual school in Puerto Rico.To build a clear definition we need to understand the word distance.  This type of learning experience includes a teacher and students that from different places interact with the use of technology.  I understood that one of the benefits was the use of time.  In my teenager days, I did not knew concepts such as synchronous or asynchronous I did understood that teacher and student weren’t working at the same time.

Simonson defines distance learning related with formal education where teacher and students are separated and telecommunications are vehicles to share instructional resources. There are four components that are essential when defining distance learning.  These are “Institutionally Based, Separation of Teacher and Student, Interactive Telecommunication and Sharing of voice, data, and video. Hilary Perraton defines distance learning as the process of teaching provided by an instructor that is in a different space/time compared with their students.  By the other side, offers a very vague definition of distance learning “education in which students receive instruction over the Internet, from a video, etc., instead of going to school”.  This definition limits distance learning to the use of the Internet.  

When I was a child, I remember that I loved military airplanes.  I used to live next to a military base and had the opportunity to observe these planes everyday.  One day, one of my teachers shared with me address that I could write to learn from airplanes and receive photos and instructional material.  Other students started to write to the address and we started to exchange address where we could write for information.  Some of these military agencies would send us excellent materials that we later used in school.  This is one of my best memories of distance learning.  Other memory is observing my parents send and share materials with students in other countries as part of a Bible Institute, a concept similar to Moody Bible Institute.  I was young to understand that my parents were teaching students that lived far and couldn’t meet in a regular basis.  They would read and answer the materials and send them back.

The meaning of Distance Learning is more or less, understood by the majority of the persons.  In general is associated with correspondence learning.  I want to clarify that this could be one of the communication tools used.  There are many other technological tools that facilitate distance learning.  Distance Learning is a modality that takes place thanks to methods, techniques, strategies and tools that facilitate communication between teachers and students, which are physically separated,and only interacts with each other occasionally.

Technology is a tool that is constantly changing.  It has affected our lives in a very positive way.  Our daily life has been enhanced with the opportunity to share with others since the beginning of a new day.  In the same way, it is important to facilitate our students the tools and activities that will help them learn.  Distance education is an option for many business, organizations, government and educational systems.  This modality offers us modern experiences that develop skills that are needed in our daily lives.  Collaborative opportunities enhance the student’s skills.  Distance education is a modality that needs to be open to the integration of new innovations and technologies.

Technology is changing our educational systems.  I visualize an educational system where distance education can facilitate curricular opportunities for students with special needs, talented and gifted and for those whose learning styles could benefit from it.  My vision is to see Distance Education being the tool to foment collaboration by peers to solve problems, share ideas, research and create new tools.  It is a challenge to facilitate collaboration activities in a society where MySpace is what defines who I am.  Our students are used to copy behaviors and be themselves.  Our society is changing and new tools are being developed that will facilitate distance learning.  One of the primary characteristics of DL is the ability to learn asynchronous.  This characteristic makes distance education attractive for adults that work and have other obligations.  K-12 educational systems could benefit from distance education in real time.  The develop of video-conferencing tool could help to create a bond between learners and their instructor at the same time that satisfy the social interaction need in early learners.  I see the future of distance education providing synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for all learners.  New technologies include phones that are capable of facilitating videoconferences and chat features.  Sharing documents, participating in blogs, wikis being used in projects and online presentations are just a few tools that will take part in the near future of distance education.   

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Distance learning | Define Distance learning at . (n.d.). | Free Online Dictionary for English Definitions . Retrieved March 5, 2011, from

Tuesday, March 1, 2011