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E-Learning: Hero and villain

Why do so many view online education as either a hero or a villain, and not the multi-faced opportunity it is?
by

Anna Angel

on 20 February 2013

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Transcript of E-Learning: Hero and villain

The online revolution 2050? 1840 1975 2004 2009 Efficacy 0 + - = 9 8 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 c Online methods that may alter the way we learn The flipped classroom
MOOCS
Distance collaboration in real-time using social media These methods... Are cheap to create and engage with
Can engage students from remote areas who are unable to access traditional classrooms
Are flexible
Can provide frequent opportunities for student-teacher interaction Some feel E-Learning lacks humanity... Perceptions of Online Education Many perceptions (and misconceptions) surround E-Learning. It may be seen as: But if all we are doing is changing the medium for instruction... Online vs Traditional Education E-Learning is accused of: It's clear that E-Learning is taking off - and quickly - but has it 'revolutionised' the way we learn, or simply the medium through which we learn? Made by a real human
behind a screen For real humans behind
computer screens. The bottom line E-Learning will probably not be as revolutionary as some hope or have as negative an impact as others believe. Online Education: hero and villain For good or for $$$? Progressive and/or

Revolutionary Perhaps even leading to a Trans-Human state? Lacking "humanity" Cold, clinical, robotic? Driven by profit ...not educational goals. Less valuable or effective
than traditional education Or an unwelcome challenge to a longstanding institution? A vessel for education
and instruction Nothing more; nothing less. First Self-study
distance course Computer first used as learning aid Web 2.0 Nearly 12 million post-secondary
students studying online in the US.
That number is expected to rise
to 22 million by 2014. ...But, what IS humanity, anyway? A connection
shared or felt between people? Something innate
and unexplainable? Developed in childhood,
or through education? A concept that
means different things to different people? All of the above? How then, can we criticize online methods of education for lacking a quality we cannot define or understand? Can't teachers in traditional education systems lack humanity, too? The human touch, caring, etc. Humanity as a learned social construct. Humanity as an essential part of our being. Humanity as a cultural construct. Many in the education field are concerned about for-profit competitors in the online market - especially MOOCs. Do they undermine student success to reach their bottom line? This mirrors long-held concerns about the motivations of tertiary providers. Facilitating cheating
Being unsuitable for long-term memory retention
Shortening attention spans
Providing a shadow of the benefits of a traditional classroom ...using technology to replace an existing method of instruction... ...how could E-Learning itself be the problem? Why? Because all we are doing is altering the medium. If our pedagogy and teaching style itself does not change, neither do the learning outcomes. Simple. Just as a face-to-face classroom needs more than a blackboard to be effective So does an E-learning environment encompass more than an internet connection. Education is about more than the medium. Never forget that there is a human on the other side of the screen - creating, sharing, educating and communicating. If that's not a human touch, what is? E-Learning comes with it's own challenges and merits. It is the future, and it is here to stay whether or not we use it wisely, or blindly consider it a hero or a villain. All images used are licensed for reuse under Creative Commons. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=422655&c=1 http://chronicle.com/article/A-Damning-Portrait-of/133253/ http://www.metanexus.net/essay/h-wrestling-transhumanism http://xtimeline.com/timeline/History-of-e-Learning http://campustechnology.com/articles/2009/10/28/most-college-students-to-take-classes-online-by-2014.aspx Sources to consider:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/
http://educationnext.org/thehumantouch/
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/12/06/essay-critiques-ideas-clay-shirky-and-others-advocating-higher-ed-disruption
http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/whats-the-matter-with-moocs/33289 For ideas on effective use of online education, check out: Happy learning!
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