It is becoming ever-more important for instructors and content developers to understand and effectively use online learning technologies. As technologies and multi-media capabilities continue to evolve and expand, understanding the features, possibilities, and applications of these technologies will become ever-more necessary. Sometimes keeping up with technology feels like a full time job!
In the Getting Online research we found that many research respondents indicated that they needed help to identify and understand the diverse online learning technologies available and how they could be applied to their specific learning situations. Others wanted to gain a better understanding of the various technological possibilities for online learning in order to implement the technologies that were best suited to organizational and participant needs. Almost all respondents were already using online learning technology, but many wanted to expand into new technologies or augment existing ones with new and more interactive features. Many felt that they were “scratching the surface” of what was possible in terms of technology and that more education on this topic was sorely needed. Others mentioned that improvements should be ongoing because technology and participant needs were always evolving. For these respondents, continual exploration of technological trends and related options for delivering the best quality online learning was a must.
To meet the need for training about technology, the Getting Online project in its “Technology” module has provided literacy practitioners and other interested parties with a user-friendly and informative overview of common online learning technologies and their sample applications.
There are also many, many other sources available to you to learn about technology. Some ways to find out about training opportunities include conducting an Internet search for the applications you are interested in, subscribing to blogs or listservs on topics of interest, and checking out the online training or product information offered by companies who develop online learning platforms and software.