Distance education has evolved from using correspondence, satellite, and fiber optics to communicate education at a distance. The future of distance education has expanded from the universities to government and business as training becomes necessary for employees to advance on their jobs or in the field as technology now is a very viable part of the workforce. Distance education, being somewhat futuristic in comparison to what was available five years ago, continues to grow as the perceptions of online learning increases globally. Dr. George Siemens states, that the triple helix model of education is when university, government and business interact to provide and equip students for this online environment (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.).
Five years ago, the thought of having a video conferencing like Skype where a group of people using audio that would produce a quality of audio as good as the phone system, was unthinkable (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Today we are able to use new communication technologies to provide and introduce a new look into the future of distance education.
As we rehearse in our mind, the notion of distance education and what it will evolve into 10 to 20 years from now, we must consider how technology will impact the learning process in distance education. Virtual learning programs and other forms of videoconferencing tools are increasing in use via the internet. “The next big direction to be taken along the Internet pathways will be the development of virtual reality into a functional network tool. This has the potential to be an order of magnitude more effective than any mechanism previously developed”! (Spodick, E. F. (1995).
As an instructional designer it is important to introduce to your learners the new ways of learning as they arise. With technology being used in developing programs and online courses, the need for more new way of delivering information becomes important. Also, the learner should be made aware of the new tools that are being used and how to use them to develop their knowledge skills and invite new learning in order to be successful and to succeed.
In the field of education, it is constantly improving and evolving in learning and technology, staying connected to its many changes and challenges that follow, will allow for new ways to give instruction using new communication tools, as it is needed to increase learning in any environment not just online.
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). The future of distance education [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Spodick, E. F. (1995). The evolution of distance learning. In Proceedings 1st Asian Information Meeting, Hong Kong.