The Guide

2. The technology
System Requirements
Online programs will list the minimum requirements for the computer system you’ll need. Still, consider investing in the most updated system you can find at a reasonable price.
 
As an online learner, you’ll be spending a good deal of your time at a computer workstation either at home or at work, working both online and off-line, utilizing some of the latest learning technologies available today. At the very least, you’ll want to have a reliable computer with the right software and a fast Internet connection. 
 
Typical System Requirements
 
 
The Technology of Online Courses
Educational technologies comprise the software and web-based functions, features, and tools that a program’s faculty and students utilize. You may work with a wide variety of educational technologies in your online program, or you may work with only a few. Nonetheless, having a general idea of the kind of educational technologies that will be utilized in your courses could be a factor to consider when choosing any online program.

Types of Educational Technologies

In addition to technologies such as the course management system and discussion board, relatively new educational technologies are making their way into online programs and are facilitating more interaction and a sense of community between students and faculty. These tools also are providing faculty and students with more ways to self-publish online, as well as more opportunities to use digitized audio and video presentations that often can enhance the total online learning experience. Some online learning educational technology trends, depending on the program, could include: streaming lectures, web conferencing, blogs and wikis, social media, virtual worlds, simulations, interactive digital environments, online quizzes and exams, and a variety of other electronic communication and presentation tools. For the most part, many of these technologies are not yet deeply entrenched in the world of online learning, but it is safe to say that they are on the horizon.

Streaming Lectures

Web Conferencing

Blogs and Wikis

Social Media

Virtual Worlds

Simulations

Online Quizzes, Tests, and Exams

Grading

 
For More Information
A great source of information that covers some of the latest education technologies is the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative “7 Things You Should Know About” series which provides concise information on emerging learning technologies and how they are being used by colleges and universities.