Essay on New Learning Environment
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Example Essay on New Learning Environment
Traditionally, most learning was teacher centered, with the teacher playing the major role in researching, recording, and disseminating knowledge. In this setting, the learner played a passive role in the learning process. Some of the learning techniques were rote learning. In rote learning students, learn by rehearsing a concept until it is encoded in the long-term memory. Nowadays, the learning environment has undergone tremendous change, with learning moving from teacher centered to learner centered. Technology has played a big role in enabling the shift from the teacher-centered approach to learner-centered approach.
Distance learning is a new learning technique where learners receive learning instructions and materials without attending brick and mortar classrooms. Technology has played a critical role in facilitating distance learning. In particular, availability of computers and internet has greatly facilitated distance learning. Distance learning that take place over the internet with the aid of computers is commonly referred to as E-learning (Electronic –learning). In addition, mobile technology has facilitated Mobile learning, further increasing reach and reducing cost. Technology has changed the learning experience in three main ways. First, the way teacher and learner interact, second, tools of instruction and teaching aids, and third, the way research of learning material is conducted.
For learning to take place, there must be interaction between the teacher and the learner. Through the various social media, the teacher can interact with the learner. For instance, the teacher can give instructions and learning materials, while the learner can submit their assignments, ask questions and so on. The social media has created new learning opportunities by allowing sharing of knowledge and experiences. The most commonly used social media by learning institutions include; own websites, Facebook, and Twitter.
Teaching aids help a teacher to illustrate a concept to a leaner in order to make it easier for the leaner to understand it. Technology has also provided various instructional tools and teaching aids that can be used in distance learning. Such tools include video conference, power point presentations, audiovisual CDs, and smart boards. For instance, a teacher can send a video of a volcano to the learner via the email, or upload the video to a website.
Research is an important learning activity that ensures knowledge and skills are up-to-date. There are several search engines such Google, Yahoo, and Bing that helps teachers and learners to conduct their research much faster, at lower cost, and more precisely. In addition, there are many online libraries such as; Questia, Emerald Journals, and Online Library that come in handy when conducting research.
Technology has greatly facilitated distance learning. There are many advantages of distance learning over classroom learning such as; reduced cost, flexibility in learning time, and overcoming geographical barriers. However, technology has brought about new challenges. For instance, there is a risk that a learner who uses social media risks their profile being sold to interested third parties such as employers or open source providers with an interest in data profiling.
Another key challenge is the possibility of learners plagiarizing. Whereas internet and technology should be used to conduct honest research, some learners pass of other people’s academic work as their own. If plagiarizing goes unchecked, then learning cannot be claimed to have taken place, because in reality the learner has simply copied someone else’s work. Overall, despite these challenges, distance learning offers a viable and cost effective alternative to classroom learning, and technology is playing a critical role in making it possible.