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Distance educationis a brand new method of education which has many different characteristics, one of them allow students not be always physically present. So they enjoy the possibility to learn every where any time. Also is not necessary to have previous studies just the willigness to learn. But some literacy skills are necesarry to handle with technology. This characteristics promote Independence,continuous learning and personal improvement through technological approach..
We leave immerse in a digital world, and technology has changed our forms of communication, our society and of course our way of teaching and learning. So both, teachers and students relationship has changed too. Now it represent a challenge, a new form to interact.
Students need to develop the abilities to manage the amount of information, learn how to evaluate it and use it properly. Also they need to develop the 21st century skills (1) to be digitally smart according to Tony Bates and to be Digital Literacy (2) in order to locate organize, understand, evaluate and analyze information using digital technology.
Another challenge is for teachers, who will decide how to delivery it, the mode, always taking into consideration not only students but also the teaching approach, the different skills used to teach and the different existing resources .
There are three differnt modes of delivery on Online learning, it may be fully ‘at a distance’ which suggests that are more suitable for students who have more experience in some cases. Also shows strong motivation, students have the willing to take courses in order to improve their knowledge and their way of learn. Then ,blended which combined fully with face-to-face teaching provides an opportunity for the gradual development of independent learning skills. through different programs.
And finally, Face to face, which many students prefer beacuse provides them the opportunity to share social and cultural ideas or belifs.
Distance education has Open Educational Resourse which is different from open learning, in that they are primarily content, while open learning includes both content and educational services. OER includes online textbooks, video recorded, lecture notes, materials designed for independent study, animations and simulations, power point slides, digital diagrams and graphics MOOCs (Massive, Open, Online Courses), all of them freely available for educational use.
According to Bates, MOOCs are freely available and usually this courses use video recordings of lectures from top professors from elite universities, also includes computer-marked assessments, sometimes combined with unmonitored online student discussions. All this characteristics make it may be the most disruptive of all technologically-based innovations in higher education and controversial.