As we all knew, Information Technology has been well-developed for years. Nowadays, lots of youngsters would study online via the Internet, such as finding academic materials for doing project, submitting assignments to the online learning environment of their schools and so forth; therefore, people started to think what features of information technology can facilitate with education and learning. In particular, people would call this kind of learning as “e-learning”. According to D. R.
Garrison (2011)1, e-learning is “formally defined as electronically mediated asynchronous and synchronous communication for the purpose of constructing and confirming knowledge. ” The foundation of this technology is the Internet associating with communication technologies. So how would e-learning affect our education and learning? My ideas are as follows. First and foremost, online games are suitable for using within a learning environment as they are based on the theories of situated learning, motivation and learning by doing. What is online game? A. Rollings and E.
Adams (2006) 2 introduce online game is a technology for connecting players together over computer networks like on the Internet. Online games can provide large simulated conditions in the real world for learners to solve problems and deal with others. They not only increase learners’ motivation and engagement but also enhance the learning experience and recognition. Additionally, they also provide free trainings that allow mistakes and errors so that the cost can be lowered. They can also increase the chance of communication such that they would have better coordination and communication skills.
Take military and emergency services as an example, like America’s Army, it offers soldiers a virtual but real environment to have trainings. To be more specific, the soldiers are required to work as a team and accomplish the missions. It can build up the team spirit and let them enter into the real situation. Secondly, in accordance with Athanassios Jimoyiannis (2012)3, online game is beneficial for people to learn languages. Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) is one kind of the online games that involves multimedia and gaming elements to
act as a story to let learners contribute their own ideas and action as if they took place in real time. ARGs are usually built around social networking system, which is an online platform, with Web 2. 0 technology, that focuses on building up social networks or social relations among people by sharing posts and doing real-life connections, like Facebook and Twiiter, in which learners can interact with others and form alliances. Therefore, through these kind of games, learners are able to gain appreciations for colloquial meanings, verbs and so forth.
Thirdly, there is another technology that cannot be omitted – Learning Management System (LMS), like OUHK Online Learning Environment. It works as a platform for students to access multi-media study materials and participate in a wide range of learning-related activities through the use of a computer and an Internet access. Furthermore, students can obtain updated information about courses and programmes that they attend to, participate in online discussions with their peers and tutors, submit assignments, do exercises and self tests and monitor their own study progress through the web-based instruction.
As a result, we can see that online learning environment can facilitate with E-learning for people to enhance their studies. And the advantages that LMS brings us – management of personal knowledge and learning resources, collaboration and instructional support – can enhance people’s critical thinking and decision-making. As a final point, people like youngsters, not like the previous generation, would not only receive what their teachers give them but find other sources through search engines, such as Google and Bing, themselves.
They prefer videos, audios and interactive media; in the meanwhile, some scientists claimed that using graphics and colours can stimulate people’s brains to memorize and strengthen this ability. That’s why tutors would love to express their ideas through PowerPoint to their students nowadays. Simple and clear structure of PowerPoint slides can offer the content ideas with few lines in bullet form to students. Moreover, visual and auditory media can be added to make the materials more appealing.
It not only improves the audience focus, but also engages multiple learning styles, for instance, students can read the materials through their mobile phones. However, if people get addicted to Internet uses, e-learning might become a severe obsession that they would get lost in the real life, like virtual world is “pulling” them from the real life. Dr. Charles O’Brien, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, claimed that getting addicted to Internet uses like online games will become an official disorder because more and more people are going to do studies on it.
There was a case last year in South Korea, where the couple, who had a real baby, was so involved with the virtual baby and doing things with the virtual baby, thus they neglected their real live baby and the baby died. Therefore, people’s self-restraint and the cooperation between teachers and parents (for youngsters) are undeniably required if e-learning becomes more and more popular in the world. (870 words) Reference list: 1. D. R. Garrison (D. Randy)(2011), E-learning in the 21st century a framework for research and practice, New York : Routledge 2.
Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams (2006), Fundamentals of Game Design. Prentice Hall. 3. Athanassios Jimoyiannis (2012), Research on e-learning and ICT in education, New York : Springer 4. Alan J Daly (2010), Social network theory and educational change, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Education Press 5. John D. Sutter,” Is ‘gaming addiction’ a real disorder? ”, CNN, linkage retrieved from: http://www. cnn. hk/2012/08/05/tech/gaming-gadgets/gaming-addiction-dsm/index. html 5. http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=NdDmp_Ak1no.
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