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adult Education

Distance Learning Technologies

Distance Learning Technologies


Time and space posses a large obstacle for many adults who want to continue learning. It will have been close to impossible for me to pursue my current studies if I could not do it through distance learning. I have three little kids and I work fulltime. Distance learning opens the door for many adults like me to continue their professional development.

Empowered by technology, open and distance learning continues to grow and change (Perraton, 2010). Through technology teaching materials are distributed and shared more efficiently and cheaper; interaction and collaboration has increased (Perraton, 2010). This week I decided to look into two online technologies that can be used to enhance distance learning.



Matterhorn can be used for both open and distance learning. It is an open source lecture capture and video management designed for education. The amazing thing about it is that is free. It used in higher education to produce lecture recordings, manage videos, serve and manage distribution channels, and provide user interfaces to engage students using educational videos. It can be used to produce audio and video webcast and podcast. Basically Matterhorn is a highly configurable academic video and audio management system. Some of its features include: Processing and encoding services, integration with recording devices and interface for learners.



skype in the classroom

I use Skype to communicate with my parents in South Africa on weekly bases. Interestingly, Skype can also be used to connect classrooms across the world. Skype has an entire site called Skype in the Classroom, the site is full of useful ideas. Students can work together using Skype and Google plus hangouts. Other features include: conference calls between 24 people at a time and text messages to any phone number in the world. Educators can use Skype to communicate with students in real time using video calls.


Perraton, H. (2010). Teacher education: The role of open and distance learning. Retrieved from




9 thoughts on “Distance Learning Technologies

  1. I am not a skyper but find the benefits for both personal and educational use to be worthy. Although it has limitations of only allowing for 24 students, it would be great for group discussions or collaborations.

    I have not heard of or used Matterhorn. It seems this would be a great fit if there are studetns who need to miss a lecture due to illness or other unepected absence from class. I may have to look into this for my staff members who miss trainings. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by jenniferkovach | June 16, 2013, 12:54 am
  2. Skype has some good benefits, but I wonder if it helps the much more quieter learners who would not like to be viewed but are willing to contribute to class discussions without the pressure of being seen by their peers. I think that for some, this would cause a problem. I for one would not really like to use skype as a discussion tool even though it gives that face to face sort of class environment..

    Posted by Amelia Ndlovu | June 16, 2013, 7:08 am
  3. I have used Skype very little. I sort of looked at it like another way to communicate with people much like a phone. It was great to learn that there are classrooms that exist in this platform. I am very excited to explore this and see how it can be incorporated into my current practice. I think that this would be a some use especially when you have learners geographically seperated.

    Posted by Maya | June 16, 2013, 12:38 pm
  4. Skype is something that I do not find interesting nor would I consider utilizing it in my educating the adult learner. I would prefer to continue the classroom. However, my current pursuit is to obtain a degree in on-line education.

    Posted by lovingly8 | June 16, 2013, 9:39 pm
  5. Skype is great. We used Skype in a collaborative learning project in our last class. It was through actually seeing and talking to group members that we learned how to work together effectively. Email and discussion boards are effective, but using Skype is the real thing. You talk, and that is important.

    Posted by Big E Report | June 17, 2013, 5:05 pm
  6. I enjoyed cruising through the Matterhorn website. These types of Open Source, full offerings look like a great enabler for schools and universities on tight budgets.

    I could see introducing them to Charter Schools and xmaller community colleges as a way to keep up on technology without using a costly, enterprise solution.

    Posted by Bruce Ernst | June 30, 2013, 10:22 am


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