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Selecting Distance Learning Technologies

Chose one example on which to focus and, in a blog post, identify one to two distance learning technologies you think provide the best solution for the given challenge. Support your decision with information and rationale from the Learning Resources. In addition, provide examples of the use of these technologies by searching the Internet for two external resources that showcase how these technologies have been successfully used in distance learning.

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?

After reading the examples, I chose to focus on technology that would be beneficial to the challenge of accessing art museums that are not accessible otherwise. The technology that I chose to highlight is Google Art Project. Founded in 2011, the google cultural institute is a not-for-profit initiative that partners with cultural organizations to bring the world’s cultural heritage online. We build free tools and technologies for the cultural sector to showcase and share its riches, making them more widely accessible to a global audience (Google, 2015)

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Over the past several years technology has changed the way do things and the ways in which they are done. Technology has provided places for students to learn outside of the traditional classroom. “The growth of online distance learning is explosive in almost all sectors and in many developed and developing countries” (Moller, Wellesley, Foshay, & Huett, 2008). To be able to provide your class with the opportunity to view art from Museums all over the world without leaving your classroom is unique and incredible.

Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvack (2015) outlines “online activities for students should have specific pedagogical or course management purposes”. The training should focus on specific tasks and provide authentic learning experiences within the course. Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvack state that, “learning experiences should be provided to each learner whether local or distant, and the expectation should be that the equivalent outcomes, rather than identical, should be expected of each learner” (2015).

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Google Art Project can be linked through any CMS platform. Google Art provides the opportunity to participate in live ArtTalks streamed on their Google+ page, and teachers can create the own collection s of art, landmarks, and historic events to go over with the class at any time.

Google Art Project can also be accessed anytime, anywhere. There is a mobile app that can be downloaded to devices for ease of use. In addition you can get Google Cardboard for the students and they can experience virtual reality in a simple, fun and affordable way.

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Technology has brought the traditional classroom to new levels within the last 20 years. The growth and success of distance education is closely linked to the design and quality of learning that has been enabled through technology (Siemens, 2002). It is the instructional designers’ responsibility to serve the learning needs of the student by providing effective instruction and interaction among students (Siemens, 2002).

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Google Art Project. (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2015.

Siemens, G. (2002, September 2). Instructional design in elearning. Retrieved March 17, 2012 from: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/InstructionalDesign.htm

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.).Boston,MA: Pearson

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Author:

I am a Learning Strategy Lead, Project Manager, and Professor at the local college. I teach diverse audiences through in person and online learning environments. I manage projects that Instructional Designers create elessons for and consult on curriculum developments. I look forward to continuing to teach in the future, utilizing my instructional designer skills to help create engaging learning environments.

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