Modest Changes, Revolutionary Possibilities: Distance Learning and the Future of Education
by Gary Natriello — 2005
In this essay, I take stock of the developments shaping distance learning and consider the implications for educational researchers and for the future of education. I proceed in four stages. First, I consider the constellation of forces leading to the development of distance education and the emerging shape of this part of the education sector. Second, I review the development of distance learning to date, a path of development based largely on the extension of and borrowing from existing educational arrangements and patterns in face-to-face education. Third, I explore developments at the leading edge of contemporary distance learning that depart in some more substantial way from patterns characteristic of face-to-face education. Fourth, I consider the implications for educational researchers as well as those for policy makers and educators.
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