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Module A ButtonTopic A7.1: Identifying and Assessing Available Technologies

Let's Start with "Why"
Why is technology used in education? In short, technology is used to improve, make possible, and/or support the educational experience and to prepare students for the demands of the working world. To identify the basic whys, let’s look at the basic structure of an educational experience. There are several ways to group the basic elements of an educational experience. For our purposes, let us focus on content delivery, collaboration, assessments/assignments, and course management. Most technologies available or in use today lend themselves to one or more of these groups.


Learning Activity II - Let's Start With "Why"

Reflect upon your course. Using Anne Arundel Community College's Some Comparisons Between Your Classroom And Your Online Course, think about your classroom or face-to-face activities, assignments, requirements, assessments, and other course components. Feel free to add to this list if it doesn’t reflect essential components of your class. Then, use the same list to check off those activities that you can do using technology or in the online environment.

Do you come up with any essential components of your class that can’t be accomplished by using technology? Think about “why” you might want to use the technology instead of the more traditional means of incorporating these components. How will you do this?


Check the Research/Reference
Compare your groupings with those used by two of the most widely used online course management systems, WebCT and Blackboard, by checking the research references below. Observe what activities they support within each group and observe which of your activities, assignments, etc. are supported by each of these tools.

1) Blackboard 5.5 ASP Overview Whitepaper (Adobe PDF file).

2) WebCT Tools and the Good Teaching Principles They Support


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