ERIC Number: ED390862
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Using Distance Learning and Telecommunications To Develop Strategies of Communication for Widely Diverse Populations.
Donahoe, Susan S.
This review of literature and programs looks at a number of reports on distance learning and related issues. Specific topics covered include: distance learning and rural learning communities, serving diverse student populations, broadening the community of learners, broadening the curriculum through technology and through integration, communication technology, and interactive distance learning and teacher training. Through the use of modern technology, students develop interpersonal skills and effective communication techniques for more widely diverse populations than would be possible without the technology. Two groups--young, college students in university settings and multi-aged, diverse students in rural/remote locations in Washington State--participated in an experiment to increase positive attitudes toward diversity of all kinds, to replace negative attitudes, and to fill the gap created by lack of experience or insufficient knowledge. Students profited in observable ways and in more subtle, intrinsic ways by the distance learning experience, learning to dissipate strong, unproductive, biased negative emotions that interfered with performance in an educational setting by replacing them with proactive processes of communication, metacognition, and interpersonal skills. Students in the distance learning classroom had very different attitudes toward the issue of whether to censor examples of the full range genres of children's literature, and the two groups brought a wide range of experiences to back up their rationales. Also, all groups had the comfort, reassurance, and at times parental responsibility of being in their normal education and home environments in their own respective localities. All students were better able to give full attention to the issues in the class. Based on the investigations, the paper indicates that this technologic, communicative process results in enhanced human development for all of the students it contacts. (Contains 48 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Diversity (Student); Washington