Use of information technology to provide education by linking educators with geographically separated students. Healthcare professionals can also access specialty training designed to update knowledge and skills.
Tele-education technologies have an important role to play in addressing the professional isolation which is experienced by rural and remote health-care professionals.
Tele-education has been used for many years to deliver continuing education programmes to rural health-care professionals. The main modes are audio, video and computer. Audio technologies involve the transmission of the spoken word (voice) between learners and instructors, either synchronously or asynchronously. Examples of the former include audio conferencing and short-wave radio; examples of the later include audiotape or audiocassette. Video for distance learning, like audio, can be used in either synchronous or asynchronous fashion. Videoconferencing, or interactive television, is considered synchronous because there is the opportunity for live visual and verbal interaction between instructors and learners. Asynchronous instructional video tools include slow-scan video, interactive videodiscs and videotapes. Computer-assisted learning or instruction can be defined as any learning that is mediated by a computer and which requires no direct interaction between the user and a human instructor in order to run. It is becoming increasingly common. Examples include: the Internet and World Wide Web, email, synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated communication applications and interactive multimedia applications on CD-ROM.