Synchronous vs Asynchronous

This week in OMDE603 we began discussions on synchronous and asychronous technology used in distance education. Both technologies require the use of web browsers, white boards, possible web chats and other digital media. The difference is with synchronous technology, courses are designated at a specific time and interaction between students and teachers are structured. On the other hand asynchronous technology allows both the student and intstructor flexibility in uploading class material, the ability to access the course where they have Internet access and can review recorded chats or discussions after the initial meeting has taken place.

Mind you, these are very general and brief definitions of what synchronous and asychronous technology represent. This blog’s intent is to introduce with later converstions going into greater detail about both technologies. Let’s look at some of the tools and resources to support these environments.

Resources used for synchronous and asynchronous technology: data centers housing network and voice servers to support traditional phone lines, Voice over Internet Protocal (VoIP) services, web designers, network and systems engineers and analysts, network security personnel, customer service centers, instructional designers, library resources, telecommunication specialists, oepration managers and lastly the educators or instructors teaching the course.

Tools used for synchronous and asynchronous technology: Internet, web browsers such as IE, Firefox, Google, Yahoo, Safari, webcams, Skype, video chats, instant messaging, desktop computers, PDAs, tablets, WebEx, podcasts, Google documents and a host of other multimedia and software technology.

In the last forty years we have experienced great gains in distance education. As the digital and information age continues to evolve, technology used to support distance education will evolve as well. Comments are welcome.

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