ERIC Number: ED491721
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Reference Count: 218
The Implications of Information and Communications Technologies for Distance Education: Looking toward the Future. Final Report
One salient factor of increasing interest in distance education is advancement in information and communications technologies (ICTs). In particular, digital and networked technologies have had a wide range of effects on the educational materials, practices, and institutions involved in education, notably by improving time-and cost-efficient delivery. Although correspondence, telephone, television, and teleconferencing have all been effective delivery methods for distance education, the Internet has been a particularly important development in making it possible for teachers and students to access a wealth of information and each other quickly, easily, and interactively in both face-to-face and remote education settings. Thus, it is crucial that interested stakeholders continue to track new technological, educational, and cultural developments in order to actively plan for their integrated use and management in distance education now and in the future. Such tracking requires that we keep our minds open and that we do not assume that the ICTs and distance education technologies of today are the ones that will sustain us in the future. As this report will argue, the future will be an increasingly complex space in which success will consist of embodying and addressing such complexity gracefully. As of now, we are still not sure what kinds of technical, conceptual, institutional, and organizational configurations will be needed as we move into the next generation. However, by exploring the implications of ICTs for distance education with an open mind, we can begin to learn. The purpose of this report is to identify and review current literature to explore the implications of information, communications, and computer technologies (ICCTs) for distance education. The review is not intended to be exhaustive but, rather, a point of departure for discussion. The information and implications outlined within are intended for all readers with interest in the topic including, but not limited to, researchers, analysts, and the public. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Educational Technology, Communications, Distance Education, Information Technology, Computer Uses in Education, Program Effectiveness, Web Based Instruction
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: SRI International, Arlington, VA.; American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.