Green Techies Educational Tech E Learning Solutions for the Classroom: Pros and Cons

E Learning Solutions for the Classroom: Pros and Cons


The great amount of progress made in technology over the past 20 years has led many people to reconsider the implications for education. How can educators and teachers use computers in order to advance learning? Surely there are several ways. One of the most discussed methods is e-learning, which is short for electronic learning. E-learning is when students learn using computers, typically through the internet, cloud computing, or software. This form of educational technology is used very widely in K-12 and higher learning. It is estimated that the industry is worth over $48 billion each year. But does this technology really deliver the ‘learning solutions’ it proclaims? This article will discuss the plentiful pros and cons of online learning.

The most cited advantage of e learning is that it allows students to learn remotely. It has given rise to dozens of colleges which offer online learning exclusively. And many of the traditional universities also offer health science classes and business education which use online curriculum. As a result, e learning programs can save time and money by making commutes and trips to class unnecessary. Even better, most online learning classes allow students to study the material whenever is convenient for them. Students can schedule their classwork around their personal, professional, and academic schedules. Another advantage is that e learning is widely believed to increase student engagement. Take a finance class as an example: would students rather listen to their business teacher lecture? Or would they rather interact with learning software which shows them diagrams and graphs with impeccable delivery? Most would say the latter. Finally, online learning products can make life easier for teachers. They offer resources for educators such as standardized curriculum and streamlined grading.

Despite all the advantages, there are some drawbacks to e learning as well. The first deals with the comfort level that teachers and students have built up with traditional classrooms, over time. It may seem strange to engage in computer-based learning at first. Teachers may feel that they should be proving more instruction to their students. And students may miss the guidance of an available instructor, as well as the social action that classrooms provide. Additionally, there are many distractions when learning with technology. When a student is in a classroom, everyone around them is learning, and they are likely to pay attention and work hard due to this structure. When a student is learning online from their home, they may feel less motivated and end up surfing the web or chatting with their friends.  Finally, there are many classes which require hands-on instruction, which may be difficult to simulate through online learning products. For example, many medical classes, such as those in CPR instruction, nursing certification, and EMS training, benefit from the physical presence of a teacher.

Since there are huge benefits to be drawn from e learning, but several disadvantages as well, many educators have opted for the middle ground—blended learning. These so-called blended learning solutions bring educational technology into traditional classrooms, thereby getting the time and engagement benefits, while maintaining the teacher-student relationship and hands-on instruction. Competition in the blended learning field has boomed as a result. Traditional curriculum providers such as Pearson have expanded their practice.

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