(R2) Althea’s Reflective Discussion

This class has definitely shaped my thinking about distance education and incorporating technology in my training programs as learning tools. I certainly will be putting a lot of this information to work. Lets see. Where should I start? I will start with blogs, wikis, synchronous and asynchronous virtual meetings, teleconferencing, and the internet in general will be included in my teaching strategies.

Prior to taking this course, I saw blogging as something that undergraduate students did in their spare time. Was I rudely awakened! I see blogging now as a journalistic piece. I read about numerous events and kept abreast of what is going on around the world. I have subscribed to several blogs. I will not be teaching the Pre-K-12 grades, as I am into training adults in industries. I am currently working in the medical software business and plan to communicate internally through blogs. I am trying to start a blog at my workplace, which hopefully will be ready when I leave for a week to Maryland on company business the week of July 23. I will use it as an alternative to email.

I like wiki and will try to use it for posting communication: much like a physical bulletin board. This feature of a wiki (the ability to edit, modify, update, delete, add etc.) could really be useful for posting things at work. I like the fact that wikis support posting of powerpoints, graphics, webpages, as well as plain text. I could also use it in training clients. When I do demonstrations (DEMOs) of our software, I thinks it will be a useful tool for diplaying features of the product.

Virtual classrooms is also fairly new for me. I had a few synchronous meetings prior to taking this course, but we communicated by typing. This Distance Learning course is the first course in which I used verbal communication in a virtual setting. While I do not have a regular grade school class, my coworkers, clients, and I can use this medium for forums and other forms of meetings.

I think I will be using more of the audiovisual type of teleconferencing. I prefer this over telephone or audio conferencing. I like to interact with my colleagus and clients so been able to see gestures and other non-verbal cues are very inportant to me. My employer currently uses a lot of tele- conferencing, but now I am able to make recommendations as to selecting new ones.

The internet is not a new tool for me, but I have gained considerable confidence in using it, since I started Distance Learning (EME 6936-907) and anothe internet based class Internet in Education (EME 6936) this term. I learn to create web pages in the Internet class among other things, which will compliment my DL experience. The internet will continue to be the arena where most of the technology I discover will be placed to work.

Overall this cousrse has taught me a lot by way of exposing me to different methods and tools for facilitating learning. Some will be put to personal use and others will be implemented in my work environment. I rate this a positive learning experience.

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