Distance or e-Learning Richard Montague-Thompson
<ul><li>Distance Learning utilises: Compact Disks, DVD’s, manuals, work books, television and radio broadcasts and a range of other tools. Distance Learning is an old concept, yet the term is used consistently today with the phrase e-learning . </li></ul>
<ul><li>Until well into the 20th century 90% of the employed were manual workers . </li></ul><ul><li>Today in this country only about 20% of workers are employed in this line of work. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the remaining workers, 40% make use of technology. </li></ul>
<ul><li>‘ Preparing teens and adults to function in this milieu is a top priority of society with the development and expansion of the Internet and distance learning, essential to achieving this goal.’ </li></ul><ul><li>T.Blair 2006 </li></ul>
<ul><li>e-learning gives the freedom and flexibility to learn when and where the student wants and at their own pace. </li></ul><ul><li>It is possible to study a wide range of subjects at any level, and e-learning can be ideal if the subject isn't available nearby. </li></ul>
<ul><li>e-learning is to classroom learning as cell phones are to pay phones at the railway station. </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning can include text, video, audio, animation and virtual environments. </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning is self-paced, hands-on learning. </li></ul>
<ul><li>e-learning allows learning anywhere and usually at any time, as long as a properly configured computer is available. </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning can be CD-ROM based, Network, Intranet or Internet-based. </li></ul>
<ul><li>e-learning has definite benefits over traditional classroom training. </li></ul><ul><li>It's less expensive to produce. </li></ul><ul><li>It provides a consistent message. </li></ul><ul><li>It can work from any location and at any time. </li></ul>
<ul><li>It can be updated easily and quickly . </li></ul><ul><li>It can be easily managed for large groups of students. </li></ul>
<ul><li>There are many advantages to e-learning, and even the potential disadvantages (i.e. boring text-based courses, technophobia, isolation) can be alleviated with a properly designed course. </li></ul>
<ul><li>A useful definition of distance learning is provided by Webopedia: </li></ul>"A type of education where students work on their own at home or at the office and communicate via e-mail, videoconferencing and other forms of computer-based communication. Due to their accessibility the Internet and World Wide Web serve as the foundation for many distance learning systems which are used to produce a virtual classroom”.
e-learning makes use of information and communications technology to provide innovative ways to learn: If the learner has mobility or health problems that make travel or attendance difficult If the learner has commitments which make it differcult to attend a regular course. At the learners own pace. Enables learning to take place when and wherever the learner is located.
Intranet/Internet via phone line/satellite. Audio Video E- Mail
With increased Internet bandwidth and speeds available, it is possible to broadcast a live programme to anywhere in the world .
<ul><li>Tutors can more easily detect non-verbal cues, such as lack of understanding, confusion or anxiety, which may not be as forthcoming using a typical classroom scenario. </li></ul>There are many advantages of using e-Learning with Video Conferencing over conventional tutorials:
<ul><li>Tutors can access other useful visual information, for example, a student who is having difficulties using a printer. The camera on the student's p.c. can be angled down and the tutor can perform a visual check on the equipment, and perhaps offer a solution. </li></ul>
Tutors and students can send large amounts of data to each other at high speed, enabling assessment and feedback at a distance to take place quickly and effectively. Students can enjoy greater learning autonomy as they become the initiators of the contact between themselves and their tutor.
Disadvantages with e-Learning Costs may be prohibitive to some potential users and protracted on-line teaching time. Lack of familiarity with the capabilities and functionality of the technology
<ul><li>Using e-learning technology is a method of offering learning to a wider range of people, in wider geographical locations. </li></ul>BUT
<ul><li>It is for both student and tutor to accept new technologies and methods of learning and teaching. </li></ul>As without the inclination to travel we would never have walked on the moon!.
<ul><li>‘ Human beings are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent reluctance to do so’. </li></ul>Douglas Adams