The Use of Technology in Online Learning
Earning a university degree or college diploma and certificate through online learning with technology continues to gain fame and recognition in the society. According to a report by Babson Research Group, more than 6.8 million college and university students were at one-time part of a class in 2011 learning with technology. Institutions of learning continue to emphasize on creation of full online learning courses. From the report, 62 % of the interviewed universities now offer diplomas, bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees via distance education.
Education at various levels is transforming thanks to technological innovations in communication. Presentation software such as PowerPoint have made the dissemination of information to learners easy because they provide several options of delivering content to learners. Online and distance learning is also possible because communication is availed and facilitated by the new technologies. Websites are also popular platforms where students and teachers can share and acquire information.
The demand for education is among the many factors fueling the rapid growth of online learning with technology. The online mode of learning offers flexibility and convenience to the students. They can access learning materials from anywhere and anytime they log on to their university portals. That means parents, professionals, and sick students can attend their classes no matter their day schedules. The learning with technology method also offers student enrichment. Students can interact as the online class is short of intimidation. Every student has a voice and the diverse ideas contribute to student growth. The students are also offered sufficient time to think before they can comment or answer questions.
Advances in technology have affected learning and information sharing in schools. About fifteen years ago, only a few scientists could use the internet while browsers that help people navigate the Web had not yet been invented. With the availability of phones, computers, the internet and Web as tools of learning, the use of technology in schools has transformed education by creating new ways through which teachers and students can share information in various classroom activities.
With the advancement of technology, students and researchers do not see the need of perusing bookstores to get the needed content. Inventions of learning with technology such as the Kindle platform are doing fine to an extent that they are putting up stores and forcing physical bookstores to use emerging trends in digital book discovery and reading. Noble and Barners, for example, are using Nook as a book reader. With applications and devices such as the ones mentioned above, one can shop online for magazines and books while reading through clips, reviewing a book, and comparing similar texts. After deciding which book to pick or buy, one can download it to an e-book reader and access the novel in a few seconds. University students can shrug the heavy backpacks off and use a single e-book reader carrying the weighty textbooks. They can annotate, leave notes and share favorite quotes using automatic learning with technology portals or through Facebook and Twitter integrations.
People, for example, high school students and teachers can use various learning with technology tools to study and research information on their projects. Google and the internet are used in school education programs to facilitate communication among the students and between the students and teachers. Students in third world countries undertaking their high school and diploma studies and projects, but lack the materials needed can make use of Google to source for them from foreign countries. They can use forms of technology to search for the materials and the appropriate payment platforms without leaving their schools or homes. It also provides them with the opportunity to share ideas and resources with people of the same interests.
The increasing use social networking platforms presents opportunities for students who want to use them for both professional and personal roles. Deciding on whether to have different accounts for personal and school uses is a dilemma to many, but the use of these platforms depends on the student's objectives, directions provided by teachers, and directions provided by the school administrators. The students and teachers should, however, remember that any information shared online is made public and can eventually reach unintended parties. Internet users should be aware of the implications of sharing any information online before using this appealing technology.
Technology in schools and, in particular, the internet, has led to the invention of online classes and courses. students who lack the opportunity to attend physical classes have no cause to worry because the internet has provided what they are they looking for. Student with disabilities who stay at home and expectant girls who lack the energy and time to attend schools can benefit from the learning with technology tools such as the internet. Using the internet, they can browse various sites and find their course of choice, enroll, learn and earn the certifications while still in the comfort of their home. By doing so, technology enlightens people and reduces the costs of learning. With the availability of technological tools such as computers, smartphones, and Google, there is no reason for students to spend time going to bookstores or the library. All the knowledge that one lacks can be provided by the technological tools.
The online learning with technology method, however, has raised various concerns from various education stakeholders. Students lack face-to-face interaction with fellow classmates and instructors. They experience disconnect from the classroom environment, but administrators in institutions of learning are keen on addressing the issue. Group chats and video-conferencing are some of the initiatives the universities are using to alleviate the disconnect problem resulting from learning with technology. The online learning platforms also offer fewer instructions than face to face classes and have no standards that regulate the program. Accrediting bodies have, however, been put in place to accredit and review online institutions and curriculum. It will be interesting to see how the accrediting bodies will regulate the learning with technology education.
Learning with technology has come a long way and more developments in this sector are still to come. Various advocates and bodies are finding ways to deal with the perceived shortcomings. Technological advancements are continuing to add value and advantages that distance learning has to offer students. It will be interesting to find out how the online learning with technology will unfold in the future. All in all, we hope technology will be of benefit and not make our students lazy.