Learning technologies can be accessed via a computer or a mobile device and can include a transmission of information (via email or a course management system), a podcast (voice) or vodcast (video), games, simulations or virtual worlds.
The most important thing to remember about choosing learning technologies is that this choice comes
after most work is done on developing a course.
By this time, the instructor has chosen content, sequenced it, written objectives and planned for assessment. As the course assignments and activities are created, the media that will be utilized and can best support learning are (finally) chosen.
Some types of learning technologies might include:
Easier to learn:
- Asynchronous communication (email, discussion boards in a course management system, Podcasts)
- Incorporating Images
- Using PowerPoint text and images
- Synchronous communication (chat rooms, Wimba, synchronous discussion boards)
Moderately Difficult to Learn:
- Animated graphics
- Downloaded media (created specifically for the course or found online with permissions)
- Web Sites
More difficult to learn:
- Authoring Programs
- Streaming Media
Course Management Systems
Another learning technology employed by many faculty is a course management system such as Blackboard (or Moodle, Desire2Learn, etc.). Their tools range from easier to learn to moderately difficult to learn.
A course management system creates a web presence for courses that are easily managed and have tools that enable an instructor to utilize features such as an online email system, organization system (files, uploading materials, graphics, audio and video), quizzes, Gradebooks, etc. This frees the instructor to move some of the course "learning" time prior to class time and utilizes active-learning strategies so students retain more of the content and can concentrate on deep learning.
Next Step: Choosing Technology and Media
The technology and media you select for your courses will have a big impact on how your students learn. For your next step, check out our Choosing Technology and Media page to help identify the types of technology tools and media that best suit your own and your students' needs.
In addition, the following pages and sites will be helpful to you as you select and implement various technology tools into your courses: