Current trends in the field of distance education indicate a shift in pedagogical perspectives and theoretical frameworks, with student interaction at the heart of learner‐centered constructivist environments. The purpose of this article is to explore the benefits of using emerging technology tools such as wikis, blogs, and podcasts to foster student interaction in online learning. It also reviews social software applications such as Writeboard™, InstaColl™, and Imeem™. Although emerging technologies offer a vast range of opportunities for promoting collaboration in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments, distance education programs around the globe face challenges that may limit or deter implementation of these technologies. This article probes the influence of technology on theory and the possible implications this influence affords.
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