Distance Learning Technologies
Instructional designers in the K-12 arena must possess the ability to assist teachers in the effective design of instruction in distance learning. According to Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Avacek (2012), it is not about what technology is used but how it is used and the content it conveys (p. 115).
|National Portrait Gallery|
This post will take into consideration the following factors:
· High school history classroom
· View collections in museums too far away to visit
· Interact with curators
· Group critique of student-chosen works
There are multiple means to accomplish this task, however, certain considerations are essential in the K-12 public education sector. Distance learning technologies such as synchronous audio and video communication can be blocked on district networks, or requires the need to coordinate the lesson with technical support staff.
A simple way to handle viewing far away collections is to use Google Art Project or to go to the website for the museum. Take a look for yourself at these specific examples:
· Online virtual tour of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
· Google Art Project: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
Once students have time to explore the online collections, several options are possible for students to interact with curators.
· Synchronous two-way audio and video could be done via Skype or Apple’s Facetime
· Synchronous one-way audio and video could be done via Blackboard Collaborate or Oovoo
· Synchronous two-way chat could be done via Gmail chat, or a simple site such as Today’s Meet (http://todaysmeet.com/)
· Asynchronous communication could also be done via Google Sites, Edmodo, or even the school CMS.
After viewing the online virtual tours and communicating with the curators, students will need to choose two works and participate in a group critique. This requires a place for students to link to the images and to participate in a dialogue critique. A group critique could happen in the classroom via presentations and face-to-face discussions, however, if the teacher would also like to handle this portion of the lesson with distance learning tools multiple options are again available. A great wrap-up, asynchronous tool for the group critique would be VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com/ ), which would allow students to upload the two images they selected. Students could then choose text or voice along with drawing tools to hold a meaningful critique of the artwork.
Simonson, M. Smaldino, S. Albright, M. & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundationsof distance education (5th Ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.