Distance Education During My Lifetime

This timeline was created for AET 531 Technology for the Adult Learner


The power of the computer chip


Gordon Moore predicts the computer chip will double in capacity every 18-24 months. In 1971 the computer chip increased from 1150 to 41 million. In 2010 each computer chip has 100 million transistors (Bittner & Legacy, 2008).

Satellite television emerges


Satellite television becomes mainstream into the living rooms of homes around the United States. This medium served as an education vehicle for advertising. Distance education programs solicited high school graduates to obtain college degrees or work certificates out of the comfort of their home. Some offered this based on incurred experience. Distance education initially developed a poor reputation as a diploma mill.

With the transition from traditional classrooms to distance education brings about the change from teacher centered learning to student centered learning ( Hermitt, 2007).

Inception of the personal computer


The Personal Computer is born. By 1980 personal computers are mainstream ( Bittner & Legacy, 2008; Leiner et al., 2011).

Gaming and simulation


As Marshall McLuhan said in the 1950's," the medium is the message" (Federman, n.d. Para.2). Social gaming has been part of our pop culture since the Pacman® game in the 1980's. Since then Nintento®, Xbox®, Playstation®, Wii®, and FarmVille have ® have become part of our social engagement. Games and simulations entertain and teach coordination, strategy and allow users to experience the outcome of their actions. Learners can challenge themselves, with a partner in close proximity, or using web 2.0 technology to compete.

Focus on good practices in undergraduate education


Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education are :

1) Encourages contact between students and faculty
2) Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
3) Encourages active learning
4) Gives prompt feedback
5) Emphasizes time on task
6) Communicates high expectations
7) Respects diverse talents" ( Finkelstein, 2009. Ch 2 Para 2).

World Wide Web


What we know as the World Wide Web evolved from Research at MIT in 1961 referred to as packet switching theory and computer networking. This evolved into ARPANET in 1966. 1972 the first email was sent by Ray Tomlison which skyrocketted humans to a new instant distant communication level. ARPANET grew into the internet. The internet became accessible to mainstream population in the 1980’s once the Transfer Control Protocol TCP, was established which gave users access to use the internet. At the same time personal computers were becoming mainstream. By 1985 the internet was mainstream. 1988 marked the information super highway. The internet is ever changing and rather than meeting its decline it continues to be a vehicle for change(Leiner et al., 2011)

Virtual classrooms emerge


The University of Buffalo sets up its first virtual classroom using the telephone, audio, and visual equipment ( Waltz, 2003).

Legislature passes regarding technology


The Technology Act of 2001 is passed. The laws are geared towards pedagogy. The primary goal was to improve academic achievement though technology (Bittner & Legacy).

Though this timeline focuses on distance learning and adult education, a connection can be made between the adult learners as teachers and how this may have impacted their own lifelong learning to keep pace with technology.

Mobile computing


Mobile computing, referring to smart phones and personal data assistance ( pda) have put the power of the internet into the hands of anyone-anywhere there is an internet connection. Beginning with the Blackberry® in 2002, the iPhone® in 2007 and Android technology in 2008 ( Sigolestan (2010) the phrase " do you have an app for that?" became a common phrase thanks to the creative markeing of apple®



Born from the RRS feed, the podcast has revolutionized the way people can download audio or audio-visual recordings to their own portable players. The year 2003 is an approximate for the first podcasting. It's predecessors after the RRS is MP3. Podcasting is available for anyone to do. The tools needed are a microphone, camera, video (optional), and connection to the World Wide Web. Podcasting has created an explosion of transportable asychronous information creating informal and formal distance learning (LearningTimes.org, 2011).

Teacher Education Goes Into Virtual Schooling (TEGIVS) Project


The US Department of Education funded this project which created a virtual curriculum for the first time for more than 1000 teachers' colleges. The aim of this project was to create a comprehensive, innovative and transportable curriculum for distance learning. Aside from curriculum, the determination and trial of virtual tools and online community were included (DonGiovanni O'Neil, 2006).

YouTube Broadcast Yourself


YouTube Broadcast Yourself ® has become a mainstream form of both informal and formal learning. Originally giving a voice to the amateur, this web 2.0 platform has opened on demand learning to the tune of approximately 2 billion users per day. As with all media, the user needs to be an info detective. The education channel hosts reputable universities who feature educators and scholars at no cost to the user, anywhere-anytime (Franky, 2010).

Virtual schools established in 22 states


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by 2005 one third of public schools had students enrolled in distance education in 2002-2003. Twenty-two virtual schools were established. Learners identify with learning being” anywhere-anytime” As cited by ONeil, (According to Davis and Roblyer 2005, p. 4.).

Cloud Computing


Cloud computing emerged in the current decade, though it has made its public debut in 2011 (Business Insider, 2011). Cloud computing is transforming the way users access software. Software can be expensive and take up large amounts of computer memory. Cloud computing allows users to launch the application from the web.

Cloud computing provides accessibility for distance education. Users can launch their applications from any location that they have web access. Benefits include simplification of multiple user licenses. Disadvantages include concerns over privacy, encryption, and version conflicts (LearningTimes.org, 2011).

This timeline was created through the use of cloud computing.



Bittner, G. G., & Legacy, J. M. (2008). Using technology in the classroom (7 ed.) Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved from University of Phoenix AET 531 materials

Business Insider,(2011). Up in the clouds: First cloud computing ETF debuts. Retrieved from. http://www.businessinsider.com/up-in-the-clouds-first-cloud-computing-etf-debuts-2011-7

Common Craft. (2008, April 21). Podcasting in plain English [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://commoncraft.com/podcasting.

Conrad, D. (2008). Reflecting on strategies for a new learning culture: Can we do it? Journal of Distance Education, 22(3), 157-161.

DonGiovanni O'Neil, T. (2006). How distance education has changed teaching and the role of the instructor. E-Leader, Slovakia, Retrieved from http://www.g-casa.com/download/ONeil_Distance_Education.pdf.

Franky, (2010)The history of YouTube. Retrieved from http://infographiclabs.com/infographic/youtube-history/

Federman.( n.d.). What is the meaning of the medium is the message. Retrieved from http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm

Hermitt, A. (2007) The past, present and future of distance education. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/472557/the_past_present_and_future_of_distance_pg2.html?cat=4

Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005, May 15). The Kolb learning style inventory-version 3.1 2005 technical specifications. Hay Resources Direct

Leiner, B., Cerf, V., Clark, D., Kahn, R., Kleinrock, D., Lynch, D.,...Wolff, S. (2011). A brief history of the internet. Retrieved July 18, 2011, from http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml

LTGR Ep. #88: (Producer).(2007, June 2nd)."An education up in the cloud" [Audio podcast]. In Dan Balzer, Susan Manning, Learning Times Green Room. Retrieved from http://www.ltgreenroom.org/

LTGR Ep. # 89: (Producer).(2007, June 3rd)."Gamification part 1: Vanished!" [Audio podcast]. In Dan Balzer, Susan Manning, Learning Times Green Room. Retrieved from http://www.ltgreenroom.org/

LTGR Ep. # 90: "Still going mobile" [Audio podcast]. In Dan Balzer, Susan Manning, Learning -Times Green Room. Retrieved from http://www.ltgreenroom.org/

Oliviar1289 (2011). Distance education evolution. Retrieved from http://www.preceden.com/timelines/8460-distance-education-evolution-

Sigolestan (2010). A history of web and mobile applications. Retrieved from http://www.xtimeline.com/timeline/History-of-the-Application