We are seeing trends of technology branching out into various aspects of daily life. One particular area that has embraced technology is education. Technology is used more in education by using the internet as a Key method for communicating with students. Today, online learning systems such as Moodle™ and Blackboard® make it easy to manage or participate in a virtual classroom anywhere and at any time.
Online learning for sonographers
In particular, I enjoy the online ultrasound education websites. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that your time is in short supply and valuable. If I am unable to attend live ultrasound course, I usually sign up for something like an online webinar or online lecture video. For the most part, these online services help to provide me with enough knowledge to succeed in my studies however; there are situations when I need more time or more learner-to-instructor communication to help me to understand the material better. This, I believe, is the one of the major attributes of online classroom sites along with sharing files, talking one-to-one with instructors via email or even faster with instant messaging built right in via chat room, and I can pace myself into my own e-Learning schedule.
I find that reading materials separately or watching a video of the instructor speaking while following along with the materials greatly improve my performance. The ability to pause or rewind and fast-forward the video to make necessary notations on my printouts of the information is really convenient. What is really cool about online classrooms are that when I have questions I can simply send message or questions to the instructor.
Online course features
As far as the management area of online education systems, the instructor has the ability to do the following.
- Assignment submissions
- Discussion forums
- File sharing
- Instant messaging
- Online calendar
- Online news and announcements
- Online quizzing
Now, keep in mind that online classrooms are not limited to just those attributes. Extended functionality opens up a more interactive set of features such as games, case study reviews with pictures and videos, and interactive quizzing and flash cards.
Most online education systems are fully mobile ready. With today’s sophisticated technology in smartphones and tablets, you can do almost everything while traveling.
The Online Classroom – at Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute
I’ve done a bit of research and found that Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute has a very good online education system. It allows me to log in whenever I have the time to study and need to prepare for an upcoming registry exam. I really like the fact that the presenters are really well-known educators in their field and you can find lots of published articles, books and videos that they have written or contributed to.
The courses are broken into separate modules that concentrate on a particular subject and then you can take a quiz that tests your retention of the material. The system remembers my grades and where I left off so I can return later and pick up where I left off.
One of the things I like the best is that when I complete my coursework and exams, I get issued a certificate that helps me keep up with my CME’s. If I misplace this certificate I can come back later and re-print it if I need to.
There are a few choices in online learning for ultrasound but I have found this one the most comprehensive and simple to use. It feels a bit like a traditional classroom in the fact that you have the ability to communicate and interact with some instructors and I happen to like that element.