Due to new innovations within the spectrum of communication catered to our society and globally, distance education has benefitted from this growth as well. Dr. Siemens (2014) speaks about how many factors have contributed to the global acceptance of distance learning and educational technology. I agree to a certain extent with Dr. Siemens (2014) when he states, “Communication has helped in manifesting more meaningful relationships online due to the enhancement and improvement of video tools used by consumers today.” As a society we are becoming more comfortable with using various online venues to communicate whether it is personal or professional. The ability to connect regardless of location helps in creating that comfort and the accessibility only adds to the growth and innovation of communicative online options. When this is welcomed in many circles, comfort becomes a more natural response which is slowly becoming the integration to distance learning.
In regards to education, I am mixed with my approval or disapproval of Dr. Siemens (2014) comments about distance education taking the place of Face-to-Face. I feel that communication has definitely improved, however, I still feel there are moments and levels when F2F is more apparent and applicable than online. Even though online offers accessibility and the quality of the tools used to access technology to it’s fullest potential, online is still limited when it comes to constant communication. For example, high school education should continue to prescribe hybrid, blended models and not strictly online. The reason for this decision is based on the need for a teacher to be present to answer, elaborate, or encourage students as they grow and strive for excellence in a high school setting. With online learning, it is not promised when your question will be answered and how fast it will be answered. The only promise given with online education is eventually it will be answered.
When we think about how common using Facetime, Skype, and other video conference devices when years ago this concept was something considered a trend and the question was if it would last or change how we communicate today. Dr. Siemens (2014) pointed out more evidence of new communication technology allows for an increased use of simulations, multimedia games, and multiple benefits within the corporate sector, as well as, education. The increase of diverse groups helps in the educational arena because students can now experience the cultural benefits they wouldn’t have received in a F2F due to cost, location, and accessibility. Now more experts can collaborate in increasing productivity and growth with distance learning. With distance learning, connectivism continues to match perfectly with online learning and technology being that missing puzzle to truly illustrate learning without limitations. In fact, Dr. Siemens (2014) also states, a new Triple Hex Model of Education which includes Universities, businesses, and government with students for online educational environment that bridges the gap of a natural learning hybrid for students so they can receive through online interaction the information the experience they need from each proponent for success.
As distance education continue to challenge its limits and expand it borders, online learning is proving itself more and more accessible and common in our society educational fiber. As long as this innovation understands there is still the need for F2F because tangibility continues to display it’s need in an existing tactile society.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: The future of distance education. Baltimore, MD: Author.