E-learning ( learning using electronic) means the acquisition of knowledge and skill using electronic technologies such as computer and Internet-based courseware and local and wide area networks. E-learning is efficient as it eliminates distances and subsequent commutes. Distance is eliminated because the e-learning content is designed with media that can be accessed from properly equipped computer terminals, and other means of Internet accessible technology.
With good design and delivery, e-learning dose all these things. But, at its hear, it is, simply, learning. Too bad most interpretations focus on the technology (the "e") and not on the learning. E-learning is flexible term used to describe a means of teaching through technology.
Advantages of e-learning
E-learning gives benefit to education, corporations and to all types of learners. It is affordable, saves time, and produces measurable results. Since e-learning can be done in any geographic location, this type of learning is much less cost than doing learning at traditional institute.
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The major benefit of e-learning is flexibility. It has the advantages of taking class anytime anywhere. It can be done at the office, at home and even on the road. Education is available when and where it is needed by the learners or students.
Students like e-learning because it accommodates different types of learning styles. It means they have the advantages to learn at their pace. They can learn through a variety of activities. Furthermore, learners can fit e-learning into their busy schedule. If they working,they can still learn through e-learning.
Besides, e-learning help students develop knowledge of the Internet. This knowledge is very important because it will help learners throughout their careers. Educators and corporations really benefit from e-learning. Learners enjoy having the chance to learn at their own pace, on their own time, and have it less costly.
Disadvantages of e-learning
One disadvantage of e-learning is that learners need to have access to a computer as well as the Internet. Without computer skills with programs such as word processing, Internet browsers, and e-mail, it is not possible for the student to succeed in e-learning. This method need to be very comfortable using computer. Moreover, slow Internet connections or older computers may make the process of accessing become difficult. This will make the learners frustrated and fed up.
For learners who are beginner-level computer skills it can sometimes seem hard to keep their computer files organized because another disadvantages of e-learning is managing computer files and online learning software. Without good computer organizational skills learners may lose or misplace reports causing them to be late in submitting assignments. Some of the students also may have problem installing software that is required for the class.
Another disadvantages of e-learning is that students may feel isolated from the instructor. Instructions are not always available tp help learner so they need to have discipline to work independently with instructor's assistance. E-learners also need to have good writing and communications skill. When instructors and other learners aren't meeting face-to-face it is possible to misinterpret what was meant.
E-learning in lower grades
As might expected, there is a lot of debate concerning the use of e-learning for students younger than middle school. Againts of e-learning claim that students who are younger than 12 do not have necessary abilities to learn via a strict e-learning environment. Opponents are also concerned about the social development of young students and claim that they will fail to develop those social skills.
An emerging solutions is what we call blended learning. In a blended learning environment, students do part of their instruction online, supplemented with face-to-face interaction in the traditional classroom. Curriculum designed within the blended learning environment hopes to incorporate strengths of both e-learning and the traditional classroom o assist student learning.
E-learning in the Pre-K-12 market
E-learning has been use at the post-secondary level, corporate, and government levels for many years. Siphoning down the educational funnel, e-learning is quickly gaining popularity in the Pre-K-12 market. While it is early to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of -e-learning in the PreK-12 market,one ting for certain is that local school districts will have to adapt and incorporate E-learning into their curriculum offerings.
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As a conclusion, e-learning will enable schools to offers more classes to their students, make learning more flexible to find the individual needs and help school achieve their mission. While the data is still being collected on the success of e-learning, proactive school will prepare for the future by investing in the technology and teacher training necessary to develop e-learning. Besides, e-learning will become more thoroughly integrated into the PreK-12 market.