Meaning of distance education
What is distance learning:
Distance education is a teaching-learning system that develops partial or totally through information and communication technologies (ICT), under a bidirectional scheme between teacher and students. This system replaces the personal interaction model in the classroom with a tutoring model that makes the student responsible for their own training.
Distance education arises from the need to mass education, which requires lowering the investment involved in the traditional teaching model.
Before the advent of the internet, distance education was done by correspondence. In this system, students received the guides and other study materials by post, to later appear for the midterm and / or final exams. In some cases, students could withdraw resources directly from educational institutions.
With the development of ICT, the model of distance education by correspondence has been falling into disuse and today it only remains in force in those populations where Internet access is problematic or non-existent.
Since both models continue to exist, some use the term virtual education to distinguish that which only uses digital media.
Distance education and platforms e-learning
There is a set of tools for distance education called platforms e-learning or from e-learning. It is a type of digital platform specifically designed to simulate the classroom environment and carry out study activities, without having to travel to the campus academic. Hence, the working environment within the platforms e-learning be called campus virtual.
Platforms e-learning they allow the following activities: discussion forums, electronic whiteboards, interactive questionnaires, virtual libraries, videos, audio files, portfolios, educational games, real-time video-classrooms, collaborative document development, among many others.
These platforms can be open source (free) or commercial. Some of the platforms e-learning The best known open source are: Moodle, Chamilo, Canvas or Sakai. Among the commercial we can mention Blackboard, educational or FirstClass.
Although they are designed as tools for distance education, the platforms e-learning They have been used successfully by various institutions as a complement to face-to-face education, since they facilitate the monitoring and evaluation processes.