Online Student’s Love of Technology Leads to an Online Program

UGA online student, Ben Hall, is applying his life-long passion for technology to his studies in the online M.Ed. Learning Design and Technology (LDT) program. Having taken online classes before, he fell into the common misconception that all online classes were the same—“here is a course module and you will complete it and on to the next course module.” However, Ben found that the online LDT program at UGA was different with more collaborative and interactive content than he had expected.

The use of technology in the UGA online degree program is one of Ben’s favorite parts of learning online, so we asked him for an example. While working in class with Articulate Storyline, software used to create interactive content for classroom presentations, he thought it was “really cool to see the different things you could do and the different forms of interactivity you could build into your slides.”

His love of technology first manifested itself into his online program with his use of collaborative Google platforms. His familiarity with the platforms came from his use of them in a book club that he and some friends from high school have been participating in for about five years. Now, Ben and his online classmates use Google Hangouts to collaborate on their group projects. Ben explains that when working with groups, “we aren’t really focused on capturing video…Most of the time we are just talking as we are working on a document together.” He adds, in jest, “I thought it was pretty seamless; not like a few years ago, having to send Word documents back and forth.”

Outside of the classroom, Ben’s favorite interactive media is video games. Interestingly, he related his experiences while gaming to his degree program, saying, “I learn a lot from playing video games and how you can apply the gamification and that sort of interactivity into a learning program.”

Ben is a librarian for the University of Georgia Gwinnett campus and, as a full-time employee of UGA, was able to use UGA’s Tuition Assistance Program to cover tuition costs. Ask your employer for information on their tuition assistance program to help you get your degree for less.