Let us all E-Think
Elliot Massie once said we need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning. In this first quarter of 21st century we need a little bit of addition in this quote. We shall add a prefix 'e' to learning and make it E-Learning. So the new generation quote is 'We need to bring E-Learning to people instead of people to E-Learning.
This 'E' has been the defining alphabet of 21st century which means 'electronic'. The term E-learning in very simple terms refers to the use of electronic mediums of communication in the two way education system which includes learning and teaching both.
E learning is very broad phenomenon which includes all the platforms of technology based education which includes online learning, web training, multimedia education, virtual education and computer aided instructions. All these platforms aim at enhancing the quality and quantity of learning. The idea of technology in learning began with the use of calculators, projectors and slide making but is no more confined to classroom training now.
A major component of E-Learning is communication which can be personal and intrapersonal, both. The communication should take place effectively between the catalysts of E-Learning which are the teacher, the student, the content of the course, the assessment apparatus and other administrative aspects. The individual success of these catalysts and their success as a team lead to an effective E-Learning mechanism.
E-Learning has enabled us to see new dimensions of the ways in which we are taught. The electronic mediums have given wings to the methods of learning. Learning, now, is not confined to time, space and pace. One can learn anytime, anywhere and whatever way it interests the person.
E-Learning's anytime convenience relaxes the necessity for the students and teacher to be there at the same time to interact for a particular subject which is called Asynchronous e-Learning. It uses Self-paced Courses which can be delivered through Internet and Intranet. The basic features of self-paced courses are multimedia interaction and tracking. It also allows us to contact experts and use multiple bookmarks while learning. Discussion Groups happen during the process of collective learning.
Anywhere phenomenon makes the learning process smoother as the person can learn sitting anywhere in the world through web servers without wasting any time, space and resources. Learning at any pace provides a lot of convenience and confidence to an individual which classroom teaching cannot provide. A student who is a quick learner does not need to cope up with a slow teacher and a show learner does not need to cope up with a teacher who is running with the course very fast. E Learning makes a student more independent and gives more power to his hands to decide his future.
Other advantages of E learning are Improved and an open access to education. In a way E Learning has provided us the real 'Right to Education' with an improved student-teacher interaction. It also provides a better integration to education which includes access to full time degree programmes for People who want to continue their education after a gap.
The way E-Learning functions is itself a revolution in the arena of education. In the old scheme of education there has never been a provision of tools to enable students to independently solve problems and keep a check but E-Learning has provided us this facility as well.Electronic communication helps in acquisition of technological skills through practice with tools and computers with no age-based restrictions on difficulty levels.
E-Learning has become more important in the present scenario due to the globalisation of the education sector. It has opened up new doors for learners for example a student sitting in India can pursue a course on social media marketing from Washington University only by registering himself to the course. E-Learning enables the teachers to create a virtual classroom with the help of Audio-Video conferencing and there is nothing else to be done. Online courses are at times free of cost or they are slightly paid. This helps students from all the backgrounds to open up to the world and demand for education.
In the traditional education system, teachers have an undisputed authority over their subjects and that is like a word from God's mouth for student. This system stops us at the boundary till with the teacher can think. But the E-Learning scenario not only makes such professional teaches available globally but also allows the student to think and search beyond the teacher's imagination. That is how the process of creation takes place. So E-Learning refutes the notion of word from God's mouth.
E-Learning is not a medium that stand-alone but it has branches to it which makes learning more fun.Synchronous e-Learning is basically a type of Virtual Classroom with Audio and Video Conferencing where people can chat and Shared Whiteboard which means students can write on the board as they do in traditional classrooms. The entire process of learning is conducted by Learning Management Systems.
There have been arguments against E-Leaning by traditional method learners and teachers saying that E-Learning is less effective due to no environment of a classroom. Tech-savvy students will get an advantage over others, lack of experienced teachers and their feedback and there can be a danger of procrastination also. Answers to these queries are very simple. E-Learning is a developing form of education combined with technology which is going to multiply in days to come. It might have some loopholes initially but if given required support to the new e-scenario, it is going to do wonders for learners. Technology is everywhere; the planet will stop revolving if the word 'electronic' is removed from our lives. In the scenario of smart phones there is no excuse for not being tech-savvy.
E-Learning is the cheapest mode of education with no limits. So let us bring E-Learning to people as soon as we can. Let us convert the process of thinking to E-Thinking. Let us all E-Learn and E-Think.