Reflection: Distance Education

Distance learning will always hold value to me because it afforded me to accomplish tings that I honestly did not think would happen for along time due to my personal circumstances. Generations of the world see things through different glasses; distance learning is one of those things. I think that to the world, we tend to look at something like distance education with a one track mind. Learning is done in the the class room setting and we characterized that by the physical things we know come with the class room, the teacher, the desk, the chalkboard. We forget about the learning tools, learning styles, teaching methods. I can say that I am guilty of my ignorance to what knowing what distance education truly is.

For some this may not have been a shocker, but it was a jaw-dropping, “ wow” moment for me when our text informed us that distance learning occurred throughout my entire education. From the videos showed during Science class, to the audio books in English class. The reality is that distance learning holds significant value in education.

The convenience alone gives the learner a mental calmness because distance learning allows for the learner to have a lot of control in the learning process. This week we were ask to explore the perceptions of other individuals outside our class on what their perception of distance learning was. I must say it start an interesting discussion with one of my teammates at my job who also attends graduate school. One of the participants stated that she had never participated in a distance learning course or program and that she did not think that distance learning was effective because communication was 70% non-verbal and that she would misinterpret things that she read. I found it interesting because in a past conversation about her graduate program she mentioned to me that her classed use discussion forums. I ask this person was she aware that the discussion forums that she used to ask and answer questions pertaining to the class and discussing different topics was a form of distance learning. Her rebuttal to me was “ well we only use it a couple times a week”. I explained to her that blended course only used technological tools to interact in the course a few times as well, it is still apart of distance education. I find it quite interesting that at this point in the information age that anyone in this new generation would still believe distance learning is a big part of education.

We have ventured out of the classrooms, listening to teachers lecture, and using the physical library as our way of retaining sources. We have the vehicle of technology that gives us the tools to enhancing learning and education. Distance education is not a new way of learning, it is just now being utilized more for what it can contribute to the learning experience. I honestly do not want to say in the future, because the future is now, and we are witnessing this field field evolve.

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