Sunday, May 22, 2011

E-learning: definition and characteristics

Session 2
E-learning: definition and characteristics

Wikipedia states that " e-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. The information and communication systems, whether networked or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process.  The term will still most likely be utilized to reference out-of-classroom and in-classroom educational experiences via technology, even as advices continue in regard to devices and curriculum¨."E-learning is essentially the computer and network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classroom opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.What types of e-learning are there? Blended learning also called hybrid learning is the term used to describe learning or training events."  
There are some related concepts which are useful to know:
Blended learning is not only a combination of face to face plus on line learning but also the methodology plus different strategies providing different opportunities for the students. 
Distance education is education by mail.  There is no contact between the teacher and students, some of them offer tutorial sessions at the beginning and while the programme.
Virtual learning uses different channels for delivering information to students.
Nowadays, in Venezuela, e-learning is a relatively new option for learning due to various reasons being the most important the unsteady internet connection and also the fact that our students are used to have face-to-face class sessions.  Nevertheless, the number of teachers acquiring digital skills is increasing and the time shall come when our students and ourselves get used to virtual classes. 
In my particular class environment, which is ESP for Tourism, I was surprised when I first told my participants if they had computers at home and also about the possibility of connecting for doing some homework and I got a possitive answer.  It called my attention the fact that only one of them told the group she had no laptop or PC at home and the rest of the group told her ¨Do not worry, we will help you and show you how to connect here in the hotel!¨.  I explained the fact that we could use internet and computers for having online homework and they felt happy about the possibility.  So... here I am trying to develop a nice wiki project for my hotel maids.

1 comment:

  1. Hello. Nai. I remember having a misconception of what e-learning was. I saw that as only learning with the use of a computer, using the internet. Then, I started to read about the matter and I found out that e-learning can occur with any electronic artifact. For instance, cellphones, videos, recorders. I was actually amazed by an article I read about a Master's degree offered to be taken using a cell phones. I was puzzled. But this is a reality. It really happens.

    This subject ICT in TEFL has widened our view on this subjects regarding the use of technology to learn and teach. I am just wordering what the future holds in the coming days.