FastTrack To E-Learning
The internet is inarguably mankind’s greatest invention so far and it has helped us in more ways than you can imagine. This invention has to its credit the introduction of the biggest game changer in the world of education. We’re, of course, talking about E-Learning. Education has come a long way – from repeated oral recitations to stone inscriptions, to books. And now, education is on the verge of yet another breakthrough powerful enough to create a paradigm shift. With the world becoming more and more connected and computers becoming more easily available and a lot more cost effective, e-learning is truly coming of age and growing at an exponential rate. With its humble beginnings as a bunch of interconnected computers on which students could watch recorded lectures, e-learning has seen it all – from correspondence courses to virtual classrooms. The ‘E’ in e-learning now stands for exciting, enlightening, easy and entertaining.
Introduction to e-learning
The speed at which human civilisation evolves solely depends upon the knowledge of the people at that time. The more people that are educated, the faster and more inclusive is the evolution. But education has always been an expensive affair globally. In fact, higher education up till a point of time in history was only a privilege of the elite. Even though quality education has become more accessible, it continues to become more expensive with each year. So much so that, people start investing in a college education fund for their children even before they get married or have kids. The only other option that remains is taking an education loan which leaves us with individuals who instead of spending the prime of their lives doing the things they like, actually end up heavily in debt trying to eke out a living. By the time the loan is paid back, their folks have retired and it’s time to get married and settle down.
E-Learning to its avantages
To start off, E-Learning is about ‘learning’, which here means something that is done wilfully and not forced on to you. This is the biggest advantage e-learning has.
The dark side of e-learning
Technology enhanced learning is a field where progress and penetration has always been slow in our country. While developed countries were quick to adapt to the changing ways in which education was being dispensed, India for the most part continued to rely on the traditional ways of teaching and learning. Online education or web-based learning to most of us is a recent phenomenon, to say the least. However, it has radically transformed the way people perceive knowledge and the way universities manage knowledge transfer. A middle-aged man is now able to learn programming fundamentals and interested youngsters can do a course on Spanish architecture without attending an elite arts institution.
Popular e-learning websites
Remember a time when learning a new skill was almost impossible if you weren’t in college? You’d either have to sacrifice your weekends and take a class, assuming such a class was available, or you’d have to resort to textbooks on the subject, which, while being more accessible, were far from ideal. Clarifying your doubts and working through difficulties was an exercise in frustration, which meant that it was easy to lose motivation and give up midway.
With the revolution in internet technology and initiatives by institutes of higher learning throughout the globe, the dream of free online education has finally come true. No more will anyone be denied knowledge due to the lack of funds. Important courses by top universities are available online for free and all you need is an internet connection to get started on your way to world class education. Following are a few of the many universities around the world that are offering free online education.
Duolingo is a fantastic language learning tool, available as both an app and a website. There are no ads, no compulsory in app purchases to get ahead, no hidden fees. It is totally and completely free and promises it always will remain so.
Diy: Make your own e-learning courseware
Educational technology, as we have seen in the chapters before this, has brought about a paradigm shift in the way educational content is being communicated. The previous chapters have also showcased a ton of options that e-learning provides for eager learners. But what if you needed to know how to make an e-learning course of your own instead of joining one? That’s exactly what this chapter is for. We’ll show you the entire process of how an e learning course is made, along with the different software/platforms that are used to make them.
Distance education vs. e-learning
Earlier, a Distance Education course was the only way to access education remotely. But now, advanced communication technology has introduced to us a new mode of delivery called ‘E-Learning’. With time, distance education has also evolved to incorporate new modes of communication and hence is often confused with E-Learning. The two methodologies do overlap in certain areas, but each has its own distinguishing qualities.
The future of e-learning and career opportunities
Peter Drucker, the Father of Modern Management said that way back in 1997. This prophecy couldn’t seem more accurate now seeing that e-learning is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. E-learning is already huge and is looking to completely revolutionise the educational sector. Sure, a MOOC cannot completely replace a college degree since it would not provide a student all the skills that he/she can develop in a real time environment. However, a future without classroom learning is certainly imaginable thanks to the advent of the various e-learning technologies present today. It has definitely already changed the way we approach knowledge and skill acquisition. If you’re still not convinced, here are a bunch of stats that erase any doubt in the skeptic’s mind of how big e-learning is: