Cloud computing is a tool that enables individuals and companies to exploit computer resources without having to build or maintain a computing infrastructure of their own.
Social networking tools
Social networking is making connections with other individuals through the Internet.
Web 2.0 tools
A web 2.0 tool is a second generation tool that enables individuals to share information online.
Classroom instructional media
A classroom instructional media is an information carrier that is designed to meet teaching and learning objectives.
How the above tools might be used to enhance a quality instructional design or help facilitate a quality educational experience.
Computers were introduced in schools in 1970s. Over 30 years later, the evolution has been remarkable. Their impact on education especially in the 21st century has been enormous (Gillespie, Dicaro & Deborah, 1981). Today, the application of Internet and Internet tools in classrooms has become a main part of our day-to-day learning. Internet tools improve the quality of educational experiences for both educators and learners. Among the benefits that come with the use of quality instructional design include:
Virtual or online learning
Online learning opportunities are currently supported by over 48 states as well as by the District of Columbia. These opportunities vary from occasional supplementary instruction classes to studying full time. The Internet tools have given impelling force to distance learning. Online classes offer greater flexibility as compared to attending conventional classes. Some services offered online, such as dual enrolment and free access to educators around the clock, are either too challenging or impossible to offer in traditional classroom setup. Studying online is more effective than having bulky books sent to the students via post. Many courses are now available online making learning convenient and affordable (Magid, 1998). Students can take classes from their most convenient locations and adjust lesson timings to suit their schedule too.
With the introduction and advancement of Internet and Internet tools, research is no longer limited to the books, a revolution that has played a big role in enhancing knowledge (Lajoie & Derry (Eds.), 2013). The Internet is a rich source of information and assistance, which can be accessed through online libraries or from online interactions. Educators and students from different institutions can use Internet tools such as social media to interact with each other. Furthermore, some social media platforms, such as Google plus, connect individuals with similar interests. Consequently, students can connect and interact with professionals in their field of study. The user can be exposed to inappropriate information (Magid, 1998). Students and educators who over rely on the Internet can be at risk of being fed incorrect information. The public can easily manipulate information on some sites like Wikipedia, and Yahoo answers among others. This could lead to wrong or misleading information being posted
When learners interact with people who have same interests, they expand their knowledge base. All these interactions, when conducted effectively, can provide learners with useful insight and information that could improve their learning experience. It is however critical that learners assess the source of information and any other educational resource accessed online to ensure accuracy and guarantee that the recourses meet all the pre set standards. A good example of how Internet and its tools can improve educational experience would be through the use of social media. Social media, which is propagated by access to Internet, has resulted to knowledge explosion. Individuals can now share knowledge and information widely owing to social networking. Interactions between teachers and students outside the classroom have also been made possible and easier.
Ease the Learning process
Educators can use collaborative instructional design to strengthen course designs. In addition, use of Internet in the classroom eases the learning process. Educators can make use Internet tools, such as classroom instructional media and web 2.0 tools to make delivering information easier (Kulik, 1991). For instance, the educator can prepare lessons that are more interactive and engaging and have students discuss them online and students can hold those discussions virtually. This not only helps capture the students’ attention, and making the lesson more interactive but it also makes remembering information easier.