ERIC Number: ED349965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Technology-Mediated Communities for Learning: Designs and Consequences. Technical Report No. 21.
This paper posits that exploration of and judgment about distance learning at this point in time require the examination of three interrelated topics: (1) What new forms and images for school have been created and tried? (2) What issues arise as experiments in distance learning are developed and maintained? and (3) What is the effect of these forms on the quality of learning and the social fabric of schooling? The report then describes a general framework for thinking about work thus far in distance learning, and provides a brief synthesis of five categories of issues that have arisen, i.e., issues of technology functioning, community creation and definition, discourse, activity definition, and quality control. It is noted that indicators of the effective integration of technologies in schools include such features as emphasis on thinking rather than memorizing, collaborative work, engagement with complex tasks and projects, differentiated roles for teachers, and access to and active integrated use of a wide variety of resources. Four different exemplars of distance learning experiments and projects are briefly described, i.e., national and international collaborative scientific activity through the networking projects of the Technical Education Research Centers; writing about problems investigated by participants in a networked Global Issues Learning Circle and publishing an electronic journal; the "Jason" Project, which uses satellite-based interactive video; and the Continents Project, which uses a hypermedia system to share course materials in a nationally distributed community of interdisciplinary faculty. A summary of thoughts about a research agenda to ask and answer questions about the value of these forms concludes this report. (Contains 21 notes.) (BBM)
Descriptors: Computer Networks, Cooperative Learning, Distance Education, Educational Television, Electronic Mail, Electronic Publishing, Elementary Secondary Education, Global Approach, Higher Education, Hypermedia, Instructional Effectiveness, Interactive Video, International Programs, Research Needs
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Technology in Education, New York, NY.