by James L. Morrison and Greg M Priest // Vision
Greg Priest's Vision of education transcends simply using the Internet to supplement current teaching methods. In an interview with editor James L. Morrison, Priest tells The Technology Source how technology can help educators create targeted materials for each of their students, update materials constantly for the most current learning experiences, and collaborate not only with students at adjacent desks but also with students half a world away.
by Stephen Downes // Commentary
As educators explore the potential of the Internet, options for international education will undoubtedly blossom: Students studying Spanish in San Francisco will be able to learn from an instructor living in Madrid. Historians interested in the Incan empire will be able to correspond with Peruvian professors working in Cuzco. Prospective entrepreneurs in Moscow will be able to study under economics professors based at Stanford or Harvard. In order to take advantage of these options, educators need to know how to negotiate the linguistic, economic, and sociocultural differences among themselves and with students. Stephen Downes provides enlightening Commentary on the issues involved in international education.
by Barry Willis // Commentary
Barry Willis gives away nine "secrets" about distance education in this issue's second Commentary article. Uncovering the problems both with some traditionalists' complete disdain for distance learning and with some advocates' unthinking embrace of it, Willis reminds readers that technology cannot alone transform the educational process. Instead, Willis argues, technology must be handled skillfully and sensitively as educators manage the dramatic changes he predicts it will effect.
by Gary M. Gatien // Virtual University
Virtual Universities often face many challenges in establishing themselves as equal players in the field of education. As these new institutions seek to earn prospective students' trust, they must prove not only that they can provide good academic training but also that they can maintain online privacy. As Gary Gatien tells Technology Source readers, this can only occur when virtual universities consistently and carefully nurture quality relationships with their students.
by Nancy Millichap // Case Studies
When the Faculty Development Committee of the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education asked Indiana teachers how they had incorporated technology to enhance their students' experiences, thirty faculty members responded with enthusiastic reports. Nancy Millichap summarizes some of their most exciting findings in this issue's Case Study. Some students had their needs fully met for the first time; other students had their needs fundamentally transformed.
by Gary Brown and Lisa Johnson-Shull // Critical Reading
In this issue's Critical Reading section, Gary Brown and Lisa Johnson-Shull report on several recent investigations into the difference between pedagogical theories of online education and actual classroom praxis. Brown and Johnson-Shull also survey some current research on issues of student agency, involvement, and authority, as well as the balance between course content and facilitated student interaction. Educators interested in the most up-to-date research into online education won't want to miss Brown and Johnson-Shull's analysis.
by Bernard Glassman // Tools
If you have ever wished for free Web-based e-mail, your own listserv service, more efficient searching mechanisms, or a way to monitor your favorite Web sites for changes, Bernard Glassman has some free and handy Tools for you. Drawing on his extensive explorations of the Web, Glassman evaluates and recommends several sites that will save lots of time and energy, leaving you with more of both to devote to reading The Technology Source.
by Robert Beard // Faculty and Staff Development
Bucknell University has seen the number of its faculty members with online course materials increase threefold within two years. How has this happened? The simplicity of the answer to this question may come as a surprise. Robert Beard and a few of his colleagues, concerned about the reluctance of some other faculty members and administrators to pursue Web-based learning, designed a resource page that could connect interested instructors with experienced ones, provide technical assistance to beginners, and credit on-campus innovators in online learning. As Beard tells it, the success they experienced in this easy Faculty and Staff Development effort makes their investment of just a little time more than worthwhile.
by Stephen Downes // Spotlight Site
When the men and women at the United States Department of Defense wanted to ensure that cutting-edge training materials would be available to members of our armed forces, they created this issue's Spotlight Site, the Advanced Distributed Learning initiative Web page. Stephen Downes tells The Technology Source about the course models on the ADL page that are a must-see for any reader interested in new models for Web-based education.
by Deepak Tripathi // Letters to the Editor
This issue's Letter to the Editor continues a debate about Heriot-Watt University's distance learning MBA program, a conversation that began with Fred Nichols' article on Heriot-Watt in our January-February issue. The article prompted an exchange of letters printed in our last issue between Nichols and Peter Calladine, educational services manager of the Association of MBAs based in London. Now, Deepak Tripathi, a student in the Heriot-Watt MBA program, responds to Calladine's criticism.