Distributed Learning and Assistive Technology

Today’s class focused on distributed learning. I have had many experiences with distributed learning. I took my Physical Education class online in grade 10, my Math 11 and 12 class online as well as a Biology 12 class online. I found that there was not a lot of support with these courses. They were easy to procrastinate on the course work and focused solely on the traditional memorize and regurgitate method of assessment. I find that I did not retain anything that I forced my self to learn and completed the courses to get a passing grade. I have taken some courses online, for certifications like my Responsible Adult and Food Safe certifications; these were tedious processes because it was flipping between a online book of information and a test. I believe there are many pros and cons to distributed learning and its role in education. I think the main benefit of distributed learning is that it includes and invites another population of students, by making learning accessible from different environments and for different students needs. Some students learn better on their own, when they can work at their own pace and work independently, which is why distribute learning can be very beneficial. Other students work better in an environment where they can collaborate with their peers and teachers and have a person teaching the material to them. There are many forms of distributed learning, including online courses, video conferencing, etc. We know that each student is unique and has different learning styles and needs. Distributed learning is another inclusive form of education. The way that educators are able to reach their learners is shifting and changing. Introducing merged modalities in the classroom means facilitating an inclusive learning environment for every student. In addition, today’s class explored Assistive Technology and were introduced to a video robot, which allows students to be a part of learning even when they are not in a classroom environment. The student can control the robot from home or an alternate environment through a computer keyboard and move the robot to be a part of class. Using a video system, the student can be seen and heard in class, as well as hear and see the class environment. This is a very neat and innovative way to allow for distributive learning to take place, however I wonder how distracting this would be for other students in the classroom environment.

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