Throughout your Open University studies you’ll need a computer with reliable broadband internet access.
You’ll use your computer for a broad range of activities, the fundamentals being to access your course website, to write your assignments, and to attend the online lectures, seminars and tutorials.
You might also find yourself using some exciting new technology during your Open University studies, such as Elluminate. This is an audio conferencing tool, used primarily to deliver tutorials in some modules. It enables you to talk in real time to your tutor or other students over the internet, and includes additional tools such as an interactive whiteboard and the ability to share web pages.
I used the Elluminate classroom, which was absolutely fantastic. There were a few gasps when people heard I was calling in from Madagascar!Catherine Hennessy, BA (Honours) International Studies
There are some fantastic OU tutors out there. One of them put his sessions online in a virtual classroom where you could talk to each other and draw on the whiteboard – fantastic!Darren Gray, Engineering graduate
Importantly, you can also use the technology at your fingertips to get to know your fellow students:
I have a great network of students and friends and we've searched each other out from the OU forum groups and Facebook and Twitter... We swap phone numbers and talk about our studies and our families. We know our children’s birthdays and each other’s lives… It’s like being at a brick university, meeting up in a coffee shop – but our conversations are over the phone or internet.Kathryn Southard, studying for BA Hons in Childhood and Youth Studies
You can also use your own technology to help you study ‘on the go’, as Rob did when he was studying for his MBA:
I put everything onto an iPad, or any kind of e-reader. If you’re well organised about both your time and your access to resources, then you can be much more flexible and adaptable.Rob Tregaskes, MBA
In summary, the match between modern technology and The Open University is a fine one. Studying with us, you’ll have all the benefits of our decades of distance-learning expertise, coupled with the very latest technical developments.
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