As the semester comes to a close I am surprised by how much I have become used to the technology I found so distracting only a few short months ago. I cannot say that I feel these technologies are warranted in classroom situation such as ours but in situations where there is a guest speaker I can see potential applications. Maybe it was just the format of this class which I felt was too similar to many of my traditional classes and perhaps a new model needs to be developed in order for this type of distance learning to grow. I really enjoyed the guest lectures and felt they where an appropriate use of this distance learning technology.
I guess the main problem I have with distance learning in this situation is that I cannot say it added any value to the content of the class. It was an interesting experiment to have participated in but I seriously question the future of this type of distance learning. Due to initial problems setting up newsgroups and the fact that their was no future of publishing group on the Berkeley side, I feel I have had little contact with and opportunity to interact with the Berkeley students. I missed the ability to communicate in a regular classroom setting where you become familiar with the other students which was hard to do watching a television monitor.
One distracting thing concerning the technology surrounding this class was not being able to access the Internet from the ISR building seeing as discussion of newspaper articles where heavily emphasized and also the fact that these articles where usually only accessible the morning of class.