Siemens (2007) discussed a curatorial teaching model where educators recognize that learners want the freedom to learn on their own at the same time receiving subject matter information from their teacher. Therefore, learners can construct their own knowledge and explore concepts and critical ideas (Siemens, 2007). Students can use resources such as mind mapping tools and applications such as ComicLife and Pinterest to share their knowledge construction through creative means.
An online environment also requires effective communication components. Durrington,
Berryhill, and Swafford (2006) examined the popularity of discussion boards in order for learners to communicate asynchronously. Many Learning Management Systems have a discussion board as their main feature. Other tools, which allow for asynchronous communication are Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, and podcasts. and traditional email. Communication can occur synchronously too with tools such as Skype, Twitter chats, and Instant Messaging, and GoToMeeting.
Collaboration is another key component of learning and in an online environment this can be a challenge due to the absence of face to face interactions. Durrington et al. (2006) support a problem-based approach to engage learners to interact with their peers. There are several tools, which can be used for collaboration such as, Google Docs and Wikispaces which allow group members to edit the same document. Collaboration can also occur on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.
The key is to use the technology for an intended purpose; it should not be used for the sake of using it. Each tool has several uses and it is important that the learning is at the centre and not the technology.