The technological innovations of Internet and the web demonstrates a major impact in –
- K-12 Education (public, private, home school)
- Higher Education (community colleges, colleges/universities)
- Adult Education (business, health care)
Internet and web already have a major impact in K-12 education. It has been around for some time now. Nearly a decade back I worked on a few websites for a private school that would teach math, grammar, spellings for k-8 kids in a fun and interactive way. Online educational games are getting more and more popular in this arena.
Many web-based instruction are also available for home school children; California Virtual Academies use personalized curriculum for K-12. Their curriculum are designed based on their research work of ‘how young minds work’. Children are encouraged to do research work on the web for their assignments.
Many schools in the process of going green are encouraging their students to send their homework online and also the student’s performance is assessed through online exams. The mission of ‘One Laptop per Child’ foundation is to create educational possibilities for the world’s poorest children by giving each child a low-cost laptop with content and software loaded for collaborative learning. Children love technology and when they are given this tool, they are ready to educate themselves, get connected to the world and look forward to a brighter future.
In the current K-12 education world, the involvement of web is reflected as one of the essentials of school.
The impact of internet in higher education is fairly huge, and it is anticipated much more in the coming years. Internet education is a big blessing for the students who are not able to attend in-person classrooms due to many reasons.
Gone are the days when online universities were a big mystery, since they did not show themselves to the world. Today, almost all the brick and mortar universities around the globe have adapted to online education. Their courses are divided into three categories; face to face or traditional classrooms, blended or hybrid and online courses. When I receive a brochure of my local community college, a separate section is devoted to online courses, as well as to hybrid courses. Education has no boundaries after the online education has been recognized.
Given below are just a few features that are available for online students –
- Face to face interaction is replaced by Video conferencing with professors and classmates using many online collaborative tools but at the same time maintaining similar interaction and educational values as in any classrooms.
- Classmates share wiki for working on collaborative projects.
- Apart from the above examples, not to forget; saving commuting time, an opportunity for stay at home mom, upgrading your profile while working, etc.
Yes, there are certain disadvantages to this kind of education. More than traditional classrooms, the online education is a bit intensive and rigorous; however, a little planning and organizing would solve the problem. One might have to give up the socializing part of traditional classrooms. These disadvantages mean nothing over the benefits we gain at this level of education.
The corporate world is immensely progressing to give training through online to their new employees. It’s no more just; give them a bunch of manuals and ask them to study before they join their work. From time to time, the company encourages their employees to take up online courses that would be useful for their organization. Varieties of multimedia training programs are created for the employees to get acquainted about the company. Here are a few examples –
Expedia.com training – http://bit.ly/9C3605
Comcast – http://bit.ly/ddEesk
Employee Security – http://bit.ly/9f3Nbz
Even health care is making a massive leap towards the Web. A couple of years back, in India, a major surgery saved a life. This surgery was special; the reason, the surgery was performed in India with the help of a surgeon in USA. I believe in both the sides web-cams were connected and the surgeon was giving instructions to the Indian doctors looking at the patient in monitor screen. Amazing isn’t it?
A diversity of interactive websites are devoted to health care that can teach upcoming health specialists to task on certain body parts. Wondering how is that possible? Here are a few examples –
Virtual Knee Surgery – http://bit.ly/aL0xnz
Interactive tour on Human Brain – http://www.alz.org/brain/01.asp
This is Web 2.0 era, and already we are enjoying such huge possibilities. With Web 3.0 fast approaching, how do you think K-12, Higher Education and Adult Education would be more benefited?
© Priya Gopalakrishnan and eLearningbuzz.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.