Thursday, September 22, 2011

Telephony/VOIP/Communication and Conferencing Progression

Telephony/VOIP/Communication and Conferencing Progression

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone. He conceived a sort of electrical telegraph that mailed signs as musical notices produced by shaking needs. Eventually the landline based telephone morphed into wireless communications.

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. Millions of systems linked are collectively. Traditional communication media including telephone, music, film, and television are or have been reshaped by the invention of the internet.

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is a technology for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet or an Intranet. VOIP does away with traditional landline and cable based communication procedures.

Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is a system through which television services are delivered using the Internet, instead of being delivered through traditional terrestrial, satellite signal, and cable television formats.

When you bring all of these communicative pieces together, you get an invention similar to Skype, or VOIP with chat/IM capabilities, multiple person conferencing, video conferencing and multiplatform performance. Skype is a software application that allows user to make voice and video calls over the Internet. Skype has additional features such as instant messaging, video conferencing and file sharing or file transfer. Skype is a peer-to-peer system, not a client-server system.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Simulation in Online Education- Trends

Most people’s ideas of current distance learning include the use of technology. Most online courses today include elements such as audio, video, email, and some level of technological interactivity. Environment can now be customized to suit the specific needs of the student, and include emerging forms of technology such as simulations. While simulated learning has been around for decades, their widespread use in education has not. With the advances in web based or LMS based learning, educators are now realizing that simulations and virtual worlds can assist in reaching all levels of learners, especially those who are visual and kinesthetic learners. The users are able to experience learning and take an active role in the learning process.
Simulated learning can be difficult and expensive to produce. Additionally, there can be an overall lack of support when problems arise in the virtual environment. Certain simulations are user centered (working through a problem on their own) which takes out the social element of learning. Instructors may feel that they can take a backseat when simulated learning is present, but in fact, the learner should experience the instructor as a coach in order to discover the full benefits of experiential learning.
In order to successfully implement a virtual environment for student learning, there needs to be team members involved that are familiar with the technology and are able to troubleshoot, modify and adjust when problems arise. Social elements should be built into the learning environment so students do not feel as though as they are lost in cyberspace. Students and instructors must also realize that certain simulated environments are subject to user bias. The environment relies on human input, and the outcomes of the environment are dependent on that human input. The simulated learning environment may not necessarily be as accurate as what would happen in a real world scenario.
The University of Maryland has been using simulations in education for some time, both online and on ground. Their website is found here.