Unit 1

Activity 1: A short presentation

Hello everyone
This is the second time that I take a course in blackboard, I’m still trying to get a good rhythm out of it, do not get me wrong, I like these tyme of courses.
My name is Rubén Vásquez, Mexican, 21 years old, most of you allready know me, and I am glad to see you again in this course. If everything goes well on this course, I think I will develop greatly on future online courses, which represents a big part in future education.

Activity 2: Distance Education, what is it?

Distance education has no fixed definition, but is characterized by some physical and structural traits, such as the separation of the traditional teacher-student in-class format, the use of technologies, tutorage and self education. As opposed to what most people would thing there is a tremendous restraint (viewed from a constructivist perspective) to distance education, this is that the access of both knowledge and technologies is not universal. Let us not forget Thabo Mbeki on his quote “Half of humanity has not yet made a phone call” (Mbeki, quoted on Shirky 2002, ¶1), and most of these people are have never made a phone call because they do not have the knowledge to make one. Applying the same basis to technology oriented education, the great limits of it are, both the technology that enables it, and the knowledge to access it. Distance education requires discipline from the users and a new structure to discourse rules, because written conversations are not, in many ways, similar to spoken discourse. Wrapping up the topic, distance education is an innovative (yet quite old) alternative for education that resolves most of the physical limitations of traditional education.

On this activity I posted a comment to Carolina Ramos Fabian, which reads as follows:

I am fond of your post, it is well structured and you mention a wide range of topics. I is great to focus not only in positive aspects, but also to acknowledge the difficulties or disadvantages it possesses.

García, L. (2005). Educación a Distancia Ayer y hoy. Quaderns Digitals Net

Shirky, C. (2002). Half the World. Retrieved on February 13, from <http://www.shirky.com/writings/half_the_world.html&gt;

Activity 3: Traditional vs. distance education

Differences between traditional education and distance education

There is clear separation between traditional and distance education, and as simple as it is, the physical (and psychological) distance between teacher and students constitute it. “With the use of new information and communications technologies, information [and knowledge] can reach every corner of the world in just seconds” (Ileana & Sánchez, 2003, p. 2), it is believed that distance education is the solution to give education to the great masses without the necessity to assist to an in-class course.
The main differences between distance education and traditional education are basically the dynamics necessary to impart the course. If in a traditional setting the feedback can be personalized and fast, in a distance course the feedback takes time and is more generic (id est, a less psychologically close feedback). Another difference resides in the student’s responsibility over his/her own education (exempli gratia, If a student has to do a task, in a traditional setting, the face of the teacher would remind him of his responsibilities, in a distance course there is no face, and as such the task of reminding it falls completely on him, or in some cases the software where the course takes place). And also the role of materials is different, in traditional education, they aid both students and teacher in the learning process, in distance education they are the main source of information, and is the student’s responsibility to manipulate them in order to learn from them. And the last difference I will mention is the ability of distance education to have heterogeneous groups.

Ileana, C. Sánchez, R, (2003). La educación a distancia. ACIMED v.11 n.1 Ciudad de La Habana. Retrieved from .

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