Thursday, March 11, 2010

Defining E-Learning

I agree with the Study Guide 2, that E-Learning is about knowledge and processes. It focuses on the process of learning, rather than on the tools and technologies.
Holmes & Gardener, (2006) states "E-learning is online access to learning resources, anywhere and anytime" (p 14)
I believe E-Learning is much more broader than this definition. I believe it is about how these resources are utilized and the processes that they are used to empower student learning.
A question I would like to raise regarding Holmes and Gardener's definition on E-Learning is: Does it have to be online to be classed as E-Learning? I believe that there are a lot of software programmes that can be integrated into class teaching. Examples of this are: Garage Band and iMovie Webcam. The iMovie Webcam enables students to practice reading out aloud and it encourages them to critique their own performance as they can view themselves. They assess their oral skills and reading skills just through watching themselves. I use this as an independent activity in my reading programme.
E-Learning promotes learning to be conducted in a variety of ways. This includes independent and collaborative learning in an informal learning environment. Along with these types of learning it promotes the utilization of prior knowledge and new knowledge. It mixes the old with the new. It encourages sharing of old and new knowledge with others. In some ways it's like pass the knowledge on, so it has a domino effect.
In schools teachers would need to be adaptive with their ways of thinking and moving from traditional methods to new methods / approaches. An example of this could be in the form of communication. Instead of writing minutes / agenda's for staff meetings using pen and paper and copying it a number of times, creating a Google Document (Google Doc) would open the process up for staff to comment, reflect, and make suggestions.
In my class I integrate e-learning with my literacy programme. I also try to integrate as much e-learning into the school's Inquiry Learning model-when it comes to teaching Topic Studies.
Below is a literacy cycle that shows how e-learning is integrated into my Literacy programme. This Literacy Cycle is displayed on the wall and students' names are placed beside the stages that they are working at.

References: Holmes, B., & Gardener, J. (2006). e-Learning: Concepts and practice, London: SAGE Publications

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