Using New Technology For Elearning Education Essay

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There is nowadays a shift in the way people want to learn all over the world. The former model of teaching, with a teacher in front of a classroom, giving a lecture, is being replaced little by little by other types of communications. Learners want to take advantage of the technological world they live in, and universities have to offer them this opportunity if they want to be well-known.

A lot of people already use some very common and successful tools, which are non formal. They allow people to share information, to create pages in the internet in collaborative environment. The most famous is certainly Wikipedia. Another very common tool is Youtube for instance, which allows people to share other things than text. More and more teachers send videos, in every domain, and people can learn by listening to them and watching them. Of course all these tools are informal and not directly linked with education, nevertheless it shows people are willing to learn on the internet.

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That is why other tools, which focus on learning in a formal way, were created. There are a lot of tools universities could use in order to develop e-learning. The first step would be for schools to put an open source content on their websites, to allow people to access education material such as courses, easily. This asynchronous tool would allow students to be able to learn when they want, without having to respect the hours during which the teacher is working.

The most useful tool is certainly online conferences [1] , allowing students to attend a conference online. Students can log in at the same type and follow in direct a teaching who is talking to all the students who are behind their computer screens. Some systems even exist to allow the student to ask questions to the teacher during the conference. It is the most emblematic synchronous e-learning tool. (chercher precisions).

Universities could use what is called a Learning Management System. It was initially created for companies, who wanted to train their employees through it. It is a virtual environment which allows teachers to give lessons to their students. Blackboard [2] is one of the most famous learning management system used.

Another tool of e-learning which is developing is what is called a Personal Learning Environment. Its idea is to enable learners to learn by themselves, and in a personalized way, in adequacy to their personal needs and capacities. Nowadays, more and more learners want to be able to learn that way, to feel independent.

There are a lot of benefits in using new technology for e-learning.

First of all, it is a lot more convenient for students. Indeed, they can use their time the way they want, and it allows them to learn according to their capacities. Some students need more time than others to learn, and e-learning permits them to follow their own rhythm, and not to be lost. It is a good way for them to organize their timetable. Students can log on when they want, and this way they can organize their day. If they have one or two spare hours, they can do a bit more of their training. E-learning also appears as a way to allow students to have a job and to afford studies they would not have been able to afford if they had had to spend their all day at school. That way, students don't have to make a choice, they can do both. They can also learn basically wherever they want to, at home or not, they just need to have a computer and an internet access. Being able to access course materials in different places thanks to their laptops can be a good way not to be bored by the same classroom everyday. Completing a course online is then a way for students to make a much better use of their time.

As for the financial aspect, e-learning is less expensive than traditional teaching. Nowadays, companies tend to train their employees more and more thanks to e-learning, and it is a way for them to cut costs. It is a proof that e-learning can help schools to save money too [3] . Indeed, printed course materials such as textbooks, sheets, are quite expensive, and there is no need to use them in e-learning method. Most students already have a laptop, so schools don't have to pay for it. More staff is necessary with traditional teaching methods, because there is one teacher for a certain number of students, whereas behind their computers, they can be much more students for only one teacher. Moreover it is not necessary to hire a lot of people to co-ordinate the different schedules, for there is no real one, except maybe for virtual conferences, but teachers just have to send a mail to students to say there would be one. [4] 

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E-learning is also much more affordable for students who want to do a better use of their money. Indeed they can learn from their home, they don't have to travel every day and to pay for another accommodation, different from their parents'. The price students have to pay for e-learning depends on the degree of interaction they want with their teacher. An example taken from Information technology, and more precisely from the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer program [5] , shows that a web based course is about $100 for a year, whereas the same classroom program with 5 days a week during six weeks would rise to $15,000, without taking into account the accommodation, etc.

E-learning appears to be more effective than traditional teaching method. [6] Indeed, the learner has to be necessarily active to learn. He doesn't content himself with vaguely listening to the course, sat in the back of the classroom, as a passive student. Teachers can't teach things to students who are not motivated, whereas when you decide to learn by yourself, you necessarily have to be motivated. You are the only one responsible for your knowledge. Listening while the teacher is giving a lecture can be quite useless if the student doesn't try to understand what he says and to take notes. A comparative study was carried out by Dr. Jonathan F. Abasques in Central Mindanao Computer School, Mlang Cotabato, Philippines. It showed that students who were being taught thanks to e-learning had better marks than the one who learnt with traditional teaching method. A study carried out in a professional context also showed that engineers from Hewlett Packed who learnt thanks to lectures recorded on videotapes and discussed them between themselves were better than students from Stanford who were being taught the same lectures, but at the university. [7] Statistics are then in favour of online training.

Of course, we can't avoid mentioning what some people call the "disadvantages" of using new technology for e-learning.

Indeed, you have to be really motivated, and it's not the only thing. Students have to be autonomous in order to succeed with an e-learning formation. Some students are not able to force themselves to go on their computer to learn every day.

In addition, students can be disturbed by a lot of things. The mere fact to work on their computer can lead them to want to go on their Facebook page, to check their mails, to go on the internet… At the contrary, when students are in a classroom, they can't be distracted by things like that at least in theory.

Moreover one of the most important points is about the exam. Some wonder how a student can be marked in such conditions. Indeed, nobody can check if the student is really the one doing the exam, or if there is someone else doing it. The student is perhaps searching on the internet for the answers…

To conclude, both classroom training and e-learning are important. The point is that lectures should be replaced by online course that every student should learn by himself. That way, students would be prepared to be active in class, where they could discuss things with the teacher, ask questions about what they read. Classroom should provide a place to apply knowledge. Students who have difficulties would be helped personally thanks to online courses, to have the same level than the others during class. Education is also about talking to people, confronting different points of view to be able to think, to allow students to use their brains not only to learn but to exercise their critical spirit. Thanks to new technology, students' abilities and needs can be taken into account, more than in a traditional classroom where teachers don't have time to check that no student is lost. E-learning should not replace traditional teaching methods but the two are completing, and it is a necessity for universities in nowadays societies to offer students both methods.

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