E-Learning – Positive or Negative?

Technology can definitely make learning in the classroom more interesting and fun, any student reading this will be nodding their head and agreeing right now. Am I right? But those same students will agree that at times, that same technology that they love to use for learning purposes can also be tempting and distracting.

The use of computers are especially distracting to some kids, and this can cause some issues with how well they learn, and also how much they learn.  Everything is just so easily accessible on one machine that it is too easy to get side tracked.

But on the other hand, there are definitely positives to using e-learning, and computers in particular. They allow each student to access the Internet for research, to type up their work, to make presentations for assignments and to store a heap of information all in the one place. On top of that, it allows everyone with computers at home to interact with each other about assignments, homework or just general questions about school, all from the comfort of their own home. I sound like a salesperson for computers… But personally I have found this very handy over the years while I’ve been at school. So other students should be able to use it to their advantage as well. Most teachers will even admit that their students can use the technology in the classroom better than they can!

A more specific example of e-learning is the use of blogs in classrooms. Some schools have taken on board the use of blogs under the “Persuade, Promote, Publish banner” to encourage students to post about anything they like on their own personal website, with no limitations whatsoever (Attwell, 2007, p. 6).

Another example of e-learning is the use of a program (e.g. Blackboard) so that teachers and students can share information such as lecture notes, readings lists, videos, assignment instructions or anything of that nature over the internet. Teachers may post something up, and minutes later students can be accessing that information either in the classroom or at home. All of this makes it easier for both the teacher and the student, and gives the student access to school work at home.

The game below demonstrates e-learning and how it can be used with younger children in the classroom to enhance their learning experience and make it more enjoyable for them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/maths/addition_and_subtraction/play/

The majority of future students will be using technology in the classroom on a daily basis, while also using it at home. We are in the 21st Century after all. E-learning is the way of the future (and perhaps the present in some places).

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