Technology has a great impact on adult learning it allows us to collaborate and stay in instant contact with each other at all times. Before incorporating technology into any online learning environment instructors should ensure that they have provided students with the opportunity to become knowledgeable with navigating online systems if they’ve never done so and make a checks and balance sheet for what students do and don’t know. By knowing what students already know, faculty can design experiences to ensure an accurate knowledge structure and growth of that structure (Boettcher and Conrad, 2010, p. 24). It is very important for adult learners in online courses to have full usability and accessibility to online access. A number of online adult learners are already in demanding careers and have families, so the flexibility of being able to log-in and talk to classmates, the professor or a help desk from anywhere and at any time is very important. Nurturing a learning community as part of an online course is almost as important as being a significant presence. A learning community in a face-to-face environment often develops spontaneously as students generally have more opportunities to get to know one another and develop friendships outside a particular course. More explicit nurturing and planning is required in the online environment for a learning community to develop (Boettcher and Conrad, 2010, p. 38-39). Ipads are very appealing for teaching online classes the technology allows a student to do everything from research to connecting for collaboration and even sharing information in real time. The assistance that this technology brings to students is unbelievable being that we are all spread out all of the country.
Boettcher, Judith, V. and Conrad, Rita-Maria (2010). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.