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EDTEC 561, SDSU, Spring 2007  
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Reflection to 'Exploring Research on Internet-Based Learning: From Infrastructure to Interactions'
Chapter 16. Hill, J. R.; Wiley, D.; Nelson, L. M.; & Han, S. (2004). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology. Second edition.

This article introduced the research that were completed before 1997. Although it is interesting to learn about researches in the field, it is even more interesting to read the unresolved issues or problems in that age and see if they have been solved and how they were solved now.

In page 452, the article mentioned about hardware and software chanllenges, e.g., physical nework capability, limited bandwidth, problematic software, and the cost. With the help of immerging technology, most of those issues have been solved nowadays. Many big cities are planning in constructing WiMax; broadband Internet access can download 20 megabytes video in less than 3 minutes; software and technologies like blog, wiki, and mesh-up are getting more and more friendly. But 'Is convenience enough?' 'What's the difference?' (page 453) If teachers simply replicate classroom practices to the Internet, what are the advantages to go online? 'Technology might not be culturally neutral' (page 435), how to attend to the context in which the deeper understanding will take place? 'Why this technology now?' (page 455) I think we still need to consider seriously about these issues orelse the potential advantages of the Internet might not be fully realized.

The article also called for a more comprehensive framework related to the Internet and learning (page 452). There are several framework advocated during the past decade, e.g., the e-learning framework from JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), TfU framework for effective teaching from WIDE, Harvard University, and etc. Also, the learning management systems (LMS) such as Moodle, SAKAI, Blackboard, and Desire2Learn are not only provide full range of technology support for distance learning, they are actually providing comprehensive frameworks for the Internet-based learning.

When discussed about challenges and opportunities for teaching on the Internet (pp 440-443), the article uncovered several issues and trends in those era including workload, synchronous and asynchronous communication, instructors' satisfaction, cultural considerations, and etc. I found the article, Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance Education (Howell, S. I, Williams, and P. B., and Lindsay, N. K., 2003) has given updated information for current status to most of those issues and trends.

The E-Learning Framework. June 5 retrieved from http://www.elframework.org/.

Howell, S. I, Williams, and P. B., and Lindsay, N. K. (Fall, 2003) Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume VI, Number III. June 10, 2007 retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall63/howell63.html