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How Online Universities Use Technology
Friday, September 24, 2010
Online universities exhibit some of the best uses of technology. Obviously the online classroom environment comes with its sets of limitations, yet it continues to evolve and offer much for online students.

One of the most noted weaknesses of online schools is the lack of communication. Certainly, when compared to a traditional university, it is not easy for a student who is studying online to contact their instructor or ask a classmate a question.

Learning environments online are making strides to help in this weakness. Many online platforms that are used by schools on the internet make use of messages, like e-mail, for students to quickly contact their instructor. This has even evolved to the point of instructors having sessions where they can chat with their students at the same time, though of course timing and typing speed remain drawbacks.

As audio and video conferencing catches up to such problems, student-to-student participation is administered quite well at online universities. It is so much that instructors use this method as a way of grading, in terms of participation.

Similar to an online forum, many online classes have topics in which students can write messages regarding their thoughts on a particular course topic. Thus, it allows for increased interaction and sharing of ideas between classmates.

Apart from interactions, online schools are taking advantages of the strong points of an online education. The libraries at online universities are often linked to databases of valuable journals and other resources geared towards higher education. Students are also able to take advantage of their class schedule, finances, and planning future classes in one easy place.

Certainly online universities are evolving in nature. The progress has seen many online learning environments take advantage of special environments to streamline the efficiency and learning experience offered online.

As online institutions continue to evolve, education is seeing some of the exciting possibilities for this frontier.

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