The Development of eLearning

November 27, 2017

The professor seals the envelope that would help a student advance in their learning. He had spent hours writing down the contents of his previous lesson to send to a student overseas in order to try and help them learn. He places it in his mailbox, only hoping that they will be able to grasp the concept. He’s done all that he could. Before the internet, this was the most that a professor was able to do for students overseas. Until forty years ago, the internet was yet to be developed enough for practical use.

Our school decided to implement this tool far more as of last year, with the installment of the Chromebooks. Since then, they have wanted to take preventative measures to ensure that we would not have to spend unnecessary time trying to make up for lost days due to weather. Our school took charge of its resources and piloted eLearning to get us accustomed to it. They did this because of the inevitable snow days in order to try and keep up on our required school days.

Internet usage has grown exponentially in the last twenty years by about 900%. Since it has become more reliable and useful, online learning has become a popular thing. Learning without direct instruction by a teacher has been developing since the early 1900’s. Teachers used to send letters to students across the world in order to teach a lesson. Students would then reply with completed assignments.

In the 1960’s, the first computer learning program began but was highly doubted by teachers and parents alike. In the 1970’s, computers became more reliable and e-mail was developed allowing for a faster mode for information to travel. Then, by the 1980’s, the home computer was developed. This caused the amount of adolescents participating in online classes to skyrocket. As the number of people who participate in online school increases, the question must be asked, what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking this route?

The structure of public school, though practical, does not allow for a busy schedule; online school does. It allows flexibility in your schedule for activities or time to relax. It also is a more laid back environment in general. Adolescents can wear more comfortable clothing and can feel more comfortable participating in discussion, seeing as it is online and not face-to-face. The different environment can also result in a more focused environment, as there are fewer peers.

Public school does have its benefits though. It can be easier to understand, seeing as the student has a person to explain it to them who has mastered it themselves. Also, there is more social interaction, allowing for a more relaxed environment in that sense. Finally, there is always someone to keep the student on track.

Online school can also cause some emotional strain. The inability to participate in sports, hence the lack of physical activity, could be a factor in this. This may be especially true because of the endorphins released when you exercise, allowing for a healthier and happier mind. This could be a factor in the rising depression among teens, as online school is becoming more popular.

Online classes, as implemented in eLearning, can have their benefits and downfalls. The most prominent benefit is its convenience. For public school, it is sometimes easier for students to learn in person with a teacher. Online school also allows for more opportunities for students to become depressed due to the lack of social interaction. On a separate note, the internet is constantly developing, changing and growing. It has become a major part of our school system and our society as a whole. Like it or not, online classes are here to stay.

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