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  • 1.
    • PROSPECTS AND TRENDS IN ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING AND E-LEARNING  Mr. SENTHIL KUMAR M, M.A., M.L.I.S.,M.PHIL., B.ED.,LIBRARIAN, MAHA BARATHI ENIGINEERING COLLEGE, A.VASUDEVANUR, CHINNA SALEM, KALLAKURICHI, VILLUPURAM – 606 201 Mr. RAJA S, M.L.I.S., PGDCA., M.PHIL.,LIBRARIAN, INDUS COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING ALANDURAI, COIMBATORE-641 101Abstract Today Computers play a big role not only in learning but education at large in including e-publishing and e-learning. Publishing is no longer limited to a particular physical format or the logistical chain serving its production. Learning material hosted at one place can be accessed globally from other places. Great adaptability to the needs of the learner, more variety in learning experience, repeatability of the learning environment are some of the other benefits of e-learning and e-publishing. In the present papers, an attempt has been made to clarify, what is electronic publication? Publishing on the internet, Digitization and electronic publishing: where is the added value? Electronic Publishing and developing countries, Electronic publishing and e-leaning.Key Words: E-Learning and fundamental criteria, E-Publishing, Publishing on the Internet, Electronic Publishing and Developing Country and Technologies used for e-learning, E-Learning Initiatives in India The dream of high quality universal primary/secondary education could well hinge on the appropriate use and spread of e-learning. Critical mass usage of e-learning in schools is still a distant dream due to costs involved, not just in India but even among developed nations. Costs, access to usage, basic application training, etc. are mega issues for developed nations as well. In 1990, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Vancouver, Canada, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, proposed to set up a training institute for distance education in South Asian Region. Following this decision, the Division of Distance Education of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was upgraded into the Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) in 1993. STRIDE was initially entrusted with the task of training the staff of IGNOU, and the staff of open universities and distanced education institutes in India as well South Asia. Over the years STRIDE has expanded its jurisdiction by responding to the distance education needs of many countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean region. STRIDE is an autonomous institute working under the overall control of the Board of Management of IGNOU.  Thus, e-learning and e-publishing have a more definite application in higher education which because of fewer numbers are easier to manage. Another possible area can be teaching of destitute children. Missionaries of Charity, set up by Mother Teresa, have home for abandoned children all over the world. As a case-in-point E-learning and E-publishing can be an ideal solution for teaching destitute children covered through the network of Missionaries of Charity. Education processes are continuously undergoing change following advances in science and technology and information technology. Information technology is being used both as medium and tool in education. A report prepared by the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) identified six areas where IT is used in education, namely, aids to organize information (e-publishing); aids for thinking (problem-solving tools); aids for guided discovery learning (simulation systems); tutorial software; drill and practice; and tools for teaching and learning.  Initially in seventies there were more applications of passive audio-visual aids like overhead, slide projectors in teaching but later on there were other developments such as Instructional Television Networks (instructional television networks), in which many others can also access the teaching. As an example, if ITN is being operated from AIIMS, all medical institutions in the National Capital Region could access the class room teaching being imparted at AIIMS. ITN were being exploited in US in seventies and eighties for teaching through distance education mode. Later, advent of computer multimedia introduced a new teaching media with several added benefits.  IT-enabled distance education can work efficiently only when it is simultaneously supported by e-publishing, which can enable learners to access information quickly and from anywhere. E-publishing and e-learning are inseparably linked to one another. They go hand to hand. When distance education is to be imparted countrywide and globally, conventional books in paper form in distance education may not match speed and adaptability, and accordingly need for e-publishing becomes overriding. One main advantage of e-publishing is its flexibility and convenience.Prospects and Trends in E-Publishing and E-Learning E-Publishing E-publishing can be combined with the tutoring system to make it more learner-centric. These interactive systems provide instruction to the learner in an individualized fashion. It creates a learner centered environment from which the user can derive a system suited to one's personal needs. Such interactive tutoring system with intelligence adds a new dimension to efficiency and popularity of e-publishing. E-publishing combined with tutoring system facilitates problem solving capabilities.Publishing through the use of electronic facilities; andPublishing and dissemination of information through an electronic medium;Electronic publishing is:– a replacement,– an alternative, or– a supplement for traditional publishing. Publishing on the InternetQUANTITY: Huge amount of information on any specific topic or issue. (Searching “e-journals” results in 2,000,000 hits in Google)QUALITY: Production and dissemination of information, often regardless of quality, reliability, authority, or validity; Need for Code of Ethics or quality control mechanismDigitization and Electronic Publishing: where is the added value?Moving from the analog to the digital format;Search ability;Multiple access;Multiple copies;Networked environment;More access points;Portable formats;Helps mobile users.Electronic Publishing and Developing CountriesGreater information access;Greater ability to generate and publish information;Matching and meeting information needs: languages, subjects, relevance, etc;Substantial investment is required in information and communication technology infrastructure and training.Electronic Publishing and (e) LearningMove from education to learning;Continuous education;Distance learning;Self-learning, andIndependent study;Access to training materials from any place and at any time and in rich multimedia formats. Multimedia and simulation when added transforms learning into a still more rewarding experience. Online drawing facility is also included in the system. Abstract concepts can be better understood through animation. Visual simulations and animations can help to visualize concepts better. The system can be used as a supplement to class room teaching or as standalone course material. Presentation and delivery of content is very important aspect in e-learning area. Disadvantage of e-learning is absence of face-to-face interaction effect.  In e-publishing content creation is very important issue. In pre-computer era the only means of content delivery was text books and class notes. One can read an e-class room material as per self convenience. One can study at one's own pace at time according to one's convenience as per self convenience. One can study e-class room material at timings which suit him; and one is not guided by the pace at which teacher teaches in the class. It is at the same time it will be fallacy to conclude that books and journals in printed form will perish eventually. Indeed it is difficult to imagine a world in future without a book or journal. One apparent reason why printed books would also continue simultaneously is simple reason that reading a printed copy is more enjoyable than reading an e-book though e-books have their own benefits and e-publishing would expand by leaps and bounds in future. It is also possible that books in electronic form in not too distant future may outnumber those in printed form just as in India mobile phones are greater in number today than landline phones.  A number of devices are being developed to make reading of e-books easier, faster and enjoyable. A standard for e-book software, known as the open-e-book standard, or OEB, has been developed as a uniform format. E-publishing is a broad term that encompasses several publishing models of electronic books (e-books) such as print-on-demand (POD), 'e-mail publishes’, 'wireless publishes’, 'electronic link', 'web publishing', etc. Future may see emergence of some more models apart from these. Print-on-demand is a method for printing books (and other content) which allows books to be printed one at a time, or on demand. The technology involves complex laser printing systems and the electronically formatted text which the printers can read. This avoids book inventory build-up without orders. However, as POD as method requires paper and cannot be delivered as cheaply and quickly as electronic books, POD may not work effectively when books in paper form are needed in large numbers. T mode may decline in usage when readers become comfortable with electronic reading software and e-book reading devices.E-mail Publishing E-mail publishing is quite commonly used for newsletter publishing by organizations whose stakeholders enjoy the ease of receiving news items, articles and short newsletters in their e-mail box. Some organizations have come into existence for just providing newsletter service for stakeholders of client organizations. Several media companies bring out e-newsletters through E-mail publishing to supplement their web and print versions.Web Publishing With ever growing world population of over six billion people processes such as distance education are going to be the norm of the future. Self-instructional materials (SIMs) are used for teaching at a distance. These materials are different from textbooks or articles in a journal. SIMs is used as an instrument for learning. In web-based publishing the learning material is hosted on the Internet and maintained at one place. Any part of the course can be accessed from any other part on demand. When Washington-based World Bank Institute is conducting its teaching through Global Class Room for Global Village cutting across national boundaries for participants from all over the world, teaching and training material has to be virtual books have to in electronic form.Digital Content HTML is most widely web programming language till date, but XML is also making considerable headway. One added advantage of XML is that it creates content and data in a manner which is portable to other devices. Technology used for delivering digital content includes Adobe PDF, XML, HDML, WAP (Wireless Application Software). Digital Content is appropriate for electronic delivery of write-ups smaller than books such as monographs.E-learning E-learning benefits are wide ranging that provide global coverage, easy accessibility, affordable, learner-centered, etc. Even with computers many e-learning processes are nothing but a transformation of hardcopy of the learning material to softcopy. It would be instructive to look at how people learn to be able to validate how the new medium and advances in technology can enhance the learning process. Just as cell phones have helped developing countries to plug the gaps in their telecom systems, e-learning helps the spread of education in countries that lack the infrastructure.What is e-Learning?It is the application of health informatics through a computer network using standard internet technology and goes beyond the traditional paradigms of training. E-learning fundamentals, e-Learning refers to the use of the Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance. It is based on three fundamental criteria: first e-learning is networked, which makes it capable of instant updating, storage/retrieval, distribution and sharing of instructions or information; second e-learning is delivered to the end-user via a computer using standard Internet technology; and third e-learning focuses on the broadest view of learning- learning solutions that go beyond the traditional paradigms of training.Advantages of e-learningThe content is more timely and dependable;Learning opportunity is available at the convenience of the learner;There is universality of training and learning;Learning is 24/7;It builds a community of learners and partners;It can be tailored to the specific needs of learners;It lowers the cost of education;It supports scalability and customization;It enhances business responses;Messages are consistent or customized depending on needs;No user “ramp-up” time;Leverages the corporate investment in the web;Provides an increasingly valuable “customer” service;Advantages of e-learning for special groups Women may be prevented by society or economics from being physically present in the educational set-up or institution; Reaching out to remote areas for both delivery of services and professional development and training. Delivery of professional education materials in local languages, Further education of special groups in the community such as teachers, social workers, volunteers, nurses, public health workers and even physicians who, for whatever reason, have never had the chance to enhance their professional training; e-learning also helps in standardization of specific elements of education.Technologies used for e-learningInternet-Based learning;Interactive CD-ROM, DVD, etc;Audio-Based Media: – Radio and Audiocassettes – Telephone: Tele-conferencing and Audio-conferencing;Video-Based Media: – Television – VideocassetteVideo-Based Media: – Television – Videocassette – Optical disc technology – Videotext, Tele text, and View dataVideo conferencing via Satellite and Cable;Computer-Based Technology.E-mail;Whiteboard;Asynchronous discussion;Synchronous discussion;Animations; E-learning can be divided into content, technology and service areas. E-learning can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous connects instructors and students in different locations simultaneously over streaming audio, video or in a chat room while asynchronous allows students to access coursework on their own time and at their own pace, in the office or at home.CONCLUTION Four driving forces are coming together for the first time in human history. First is connectivity through which 3 to 3.5 billion people are getting connected through cell phones or PCs. Second are digitization and the ability to move information seamlessly across multiple devices and the dramatic reduction in the cost of computing and communication including cost of storage? Third is conversion of industry and technology boundaries. As a case-in-point a cell phone is a telephone, a computer, a camera, a watch and may be a radio and TV. Fourth is the conversion of social networks. These four drivers contribute towards emergence of a new dynamic and competitive environment. A better understanding of the process of learning is needed - it is not enough to adapt newer technologies - to look at how people respond to the learning from a screen and what makes that learning better than from a book or face-to-face with a teacher.