Academic information systems (AIS) are those systems, which help support the academic computing and data communications needs of the specific academic institution. These systems function much like business information systems in which transaction processing occurs and detailed records in databases are maintained. However, there are other areas to note when discussing AIS. Not only can AIS be used to provide institutional computing support, but can also be used within the scope of instructional technology.
What is instructional technology? Instructional technology can be defined as the use of technology (computers, compact disc, interactive media, modem, satellite, teleconferencing, etc.) to support learning. The concept of instruction as with anything else has been changing over the years. As new technologies are invented, the methods of learning must change as well. It can be stated, that leveraging new technology to support instruction should provide a better means of learning by creating applications based on learner centered models. This means that the focus is shifted to the process of learning rather than the content, that the content and the teacher adapt to the students rather than expecting the students to adapt to the content, that responsibility is placed on students to learn rather than on professors to teach. In short, the learning onus resides on the students, but applications must be created in order to adapt to individual student requirements, as everyone learns in a different manner.
This learning model, is not just applied to the academic world, but can also be instituted in training modules for employees within the workforce (career based training). In fact the same application can be used for both academic learning and corporate training just by changing the learning object itself. As a point of clarification, without going into specific detail, learning objects are interactive exercises that allow the student to use the content learned in a particular part of a course.
Streaming media can be defined as audio and video files transmitted over the Internet in a continuous fashion .
Streaming media can be richly communicative, tapping in to the human ability to learn from sensory information. Humans are social animals and gain much of their initial understanding of others through their visual and auditory capacities. Visualization of problems and models, or hearing the voices of lecturers provides an ability to relay information that plain text cannot match.
Within educational systems, streaming video is gaining more and more popularity. Using video is not new within the classroom environment. However, being able to view programs or small portions of programs can be enticing, especially when an instructor utilizes a course Web site, where he/she may link the appropriate video to the specific lecture and students may view lecture materials, including video, at any time they wish.