What is Online Communication?

The tools for remote communication that are used by professionals are easily adaptable to teaching and learning, and indeed we are seeing an increase in classroom use of programs for that purpose. Tools like Skype make it easy for students to move past the classroom walls and connect with their peers around the world as well as giving them access to experts in fields they are studying. Online communication tools may be synchronous or asynchronous; based in text, audio or video; and enable one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many communications. Many may be used either from a computer or an Internet-enabled mobile phone, and some can be used from almost any mobile phone. Synchronous online communication through instant messaging is a part of many people’s daily lives, and this includes K-12 students. Many schools are now beginning to see instant messaging as a learning tool rather than a distraction. This requires new approaches to classroom management in order to optimize learning and limit unhelpful communications.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • "Perhaps this is more a case of education catching up to real world behaviours and applying them in an education setting. Online communication is omnipresent. Yet education tries to stop that flow and revert back to other forms of information flow for the sake of what? convenience? ignorance? lack of skills and resourcing? So energy, time and dollars are wasted by not using contemporary channels." - paul.mckey paul.mckey Aug 28, 2010
  • another response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Information flow is a component of knowledge sharing which is a part of learning and application. By making the former more efficient and convenient we may be able to make the latter more effective or at least timely. This means Just-in-time is still a frontier to be understood and replace Just-in-case knowledge-sharing which still dominates. - paul.mckey paul.mckey Aug 28, 2010
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • I suspect the institutions of the future that can make their information and knowledge more effective will hold a competitive advantage over their peers. Timeliness and appropriateness are major selling points particularly in critical environments like health care and environmental disaster. At the moment there is little incentive for higher education to be anything other than mediocre on the nature of their teaching and learning modes since all the concentration is on the 'knowledge'. - paul.mckey paul.mckey Aug 28, 2010
  • another response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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