Technology is a field that is changing all the time – and many online programs are looking to capitalize on its use to reach students across the country, and in some cases, the whole world. While email, intranet, and online portals are pretty standard virtual tools that schools may use, online students can learn on their own schedule and at their own pace, many schools are taking advantage of other techs. Typical online learning platforms can include Blackboard Collaborative, Canvas, WebEx, and BlueJeans, just to name a few.
This could include using Skype so professors and students can interact face-to-face or other live streaming software that allows students to watch lectures in real time. Many schools may offer an online listing of resources for students to choose from, while others offer eTutoring. Other schools may develop customized social media channels where online students can interact with each other and their teachers. Most schools have also moved to include most of their libraries materials online so students can access journal articles and complete research for papers and projects. And since online learners can run into snags when logging on to watch a lecture or virtually turn in an assignment, many institutions offer around-the-clock IT support to troubleshoot and fix any issues.
So whether you prefer to learn in real time – so you can ask questions – or prefer to learn independently, there’s probably an online program out there that fits your style of learning. Carefully research each school you are considering and weigh your options as to whether their tech offerings would enhance your learning. Also, consider what type of technology you prefer using – are you more of an iOS or Android person? Many schools may offer apps or tech optimized for one or both of these devices, which means you literally learn anywhere and on the go.
If attending a technologically savvy online school is important to you, check out our profile featuring The 30 Most Technologically Savvy Online Schools to see how these schools stand out from the crowd.