eLearning is replacing the century’s old model of teaching and learning, which focuses on an instructor standing in front of a classroom lecturing to students. This model no longer fits the way people want to learn today, because of technological world in which they live. With the rapid advances in technology and Internet tools, the traditional model is fading away to accommodate today’s learners.
Traditional teaching is being replaced by an evolving eLearning model which uses online technology to allow people to learn anytime and anywhere. Working for the paper writing service, I can say that this model includes work place training, the delivery of just-in-time information, college courses, continuing education units, and guidance from experts. The advantages of eLearning include:
- actively engaging students in the learning process, as opposed to being passive learners.
- supporting interactivity between a student and instructor, along with fellow students.
- taking advantage of social media and learning management systems to deliver course materials.
- supporting digital natives (typically 18 – 27-year-olds) in their continuing education efforts through applications of web 2.0 technologies as a means to sustain their learning.
Online Learning: Why eLearning Continues to Grow
Online learning is changing the way people learn. There are three main reasons why eLearning continues its rapid growth, include:
- the economy continues to struggle and more companies are cutting costs by using eLearning technologies to train employees. These cost savings measures are becoming the norm, instead of the exception.
- students want to make better use of their time and money, this is why they continue to take advantage of eLearning opportunities.
- more companies want to establish a reputation of being eco-friendly, to this end they are supporting more use of eLearning programs to sustain their green initiatives.
Emerging Technology: Online Tools Shaping Distance Learning
The following web 2.0 online tools are emerging technologies used to support cultural and technology trends by shaping the eLearning environment.
Social Learning – takes advantage of the power of sharing user-created content through collaborative, non-formal learning environments.
Social Sharing – is real-time Web 2.0 learning learners use to share their knowledge through:
- viral tools such as Flickrand
- tag-based tools such as Reddit.
- news tools such as RSS feeds.
Online Conferences – these un-conferences provide a way for people to attend a professional conference online. This emerging eLearning environment uses webinars, podcasts, and video conferencing strategies for education and training.
Open Source Content – engages the use of open and free educational materials, open college courses, computer programs, and copyright-free knowledge. This initiative allows students to complete college courses without the need to enroll in a college or pay for these courses.
Flat Learning – is a collaborative eLearning approach in which learning is driven by individuals and not organizations. These individuals use Web 2.0 tools to support their learning network with such online tools as a blog, wiki, Ning, Skype, and other social networking tools.
They also use a professional network for learning the latest trends and initiatives in their career field with LinkedIn.
Learning Management Systems: Changing the Face of eLearning
The advances of learning management systems (LMS) support eLearning through a virtual learning environment. This environment is used by universities and colleges to provide instructors the ability to manage courses, teach lessons, and exchange information with students throughout the life of a course.
Example LMS used in higher education includes Moodle and Blackboard.
Corporate applications of LMS eLearning tools provide training for employees using webinars, screencasts, podcasts, and teleconferencing. Example learning management systems used in the corporate world include Moodle, Jumbla, and ShareKnowledge.
These types of LMS help educational and corporate organizations provide college courses and training using emerging web-based Web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning.
Personal Learning: An Environment Guiding eLearning’s Future
Personal learning is the future of eLearning as more people create their learning environments (PLE). A PLE is not a web 2.0 application; it is an approach to using these technologies for learning.
This approach bridges the walls of educational and corporate organizations to support the way people want to learn today. This approach provides eLearners with more responsibility and independence, which they desire.
Even though change is difficult and educational institutions offer the greatest resistance to change, they are following the lead of the corporate world in using eLearning.
As eLearning evolves to take advantage of emerging technology, the future lies in personal learning networks created by people. Society is changing and as the age level of digital citizenry expands upward, the tight grip of traditional teaching and learning is loosening.
About the author: Diane H. Wong is a search engine optimization specialist and freelance team manager. Besides, she is a writer at DoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies