E-learning is revolutionizing the traditional educational eco-system
What is traditional learning?
Traditional learning refers to any form of instruction that utilizes classic paper and pencil methods in a regular classroom setting. In short, traditional refers to any kind of learning that involves methods that are typically implemented in any school. This can include typical lecture-style instruction, assignments and exams, and homework for students, classic teaching pedagogy and training for teachers, the use of assigned textbooks and other course material, and an in-person instruction system. Traditional learning is what most students today continue to be familiar with. While subjects, textbooks, and some teaching styles may vary most of the elements described above will be present.
What is e-learning?
Broadly speaking e-learning refers to any sort of instruction that is communicated electronically, usually over the internet. Think of any sort of educational content you might have consumed on platforms like YouTube or other streaming sites or online courses taken through a university or even virtual classrooms where students and teachers sign in remotely – all these would count as examples of e-learning. With the increasing ubiquity and rapid spread of technology, e-learning is an inevitable evolution of the educational ecosystem. It may be something as small as the use of electronic materials or something as huge as massive online open courses that allow anyone, anywhere and at any time to sign up to learn something new. E-learning is increasingly becoming a feature in classrooms across schools and colleges in the world due to the many benefits it transfers to all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
What are the benefits of e-learning over the traditional education system?
The advantages of including e-learning education system methodologies within the traditional education system or even implementing e-learning options at your school and college are many. Some key benefits of an e-learning education system are discussed in further detail below:
- One Time Setup Cost
Many schools and colleges hesitate to invest in the e-learning education system since they feel that the cost of such an endeavor would be too high to bear. This is largely because of a change in infrastructure. While schools and colleges are used to investing in items such as pens and paper, desks and benches, blackboards and classrooms, it makes sense that the setup costs for an entirely new system of learning have to be carefully tallied against the school or college’s budget. However, with most e-learning education system methods or tools, the cost is primarily in the setup, which is then mitigated over time due to how much it is used. This means that the cost is a one time cost – an investment into the future, where the returns on such an investment are plentiful.
- Increases Inclusive for Stakeholders
The e-learning education system may seem very modern and cutting edge since it makes use of the latest technology in the educational ecosystem. However, this does not mean that it is out of reach of the common man or exclusionary in any way. In fact, with the growth in low-cost technology and the proliferation of internet connectivity and internet-enabled devices in even the most remote parts of the world, e-learning education system looks increasingly implementable in the present day and age. This is especially important for marginalized communities that ordinarily do not have access, infrastructure or the necessary funding to build and sustain traditional education systems. E-learning makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection and an internet-enabled device to be able to sign into a classroom, which is revolutionary for learners who are often ignored or excluded from traditional systems of learning.
- Easy to Scale Up
Technology for the e-learning education system is built in such a way that there are continual improvement and development being done on the tools that support it. Whether it is a new version of an app with extra features or just advancing hardware, e-learning education system makes it easy for users to keep up with the times through easy patches or increasingly low-cost devices. This means that whether the school or college is small or large, it does make it easier to scale up to meet the present needs of the school when the e-learning education system has been implemented. Being able to easily update via a patch or software upgrade or having the rare hardware update also end up being cost-effective ensures that schools can scale up easily and stay up to date.
- Technology Embracing
In the modern world, the use of technology is becoming ubiquitous. Entire jobs rely on it and there is no industry that has not been affected and embraced technology in some form of the other. It is important for schools and colleges to also prepare their children for this modern world by embracing the use of technology at the very earliest. The easiest and most beneficial way to do this would be through the implementation of e-learning education system, which ensures that students familiarise themselves with the use of various electronic or internet-enabled tools and platforms in their day to day lives, to perform their day to day tasks. Not only do students then become comfortable using technology, but they also understand the systems of thinking that underlie it making them natural learners in an increasingly technology embracing world.
- Lowered Overheads and Labor Cost
Think of the endless overheads of running a school or college – from simple things like pens and papers to storage space for all the physical records that need to be maintained. A traditional education system comes with massive overhead costs. E-learning on the other hand naturally eliminates many of these costs, since so many of the tasks and processes take place electronically. From classroom assignments being submitted using school management systems like Fedena to even the elimination of the need for a physical space to call a classroom, e-learning education system drastically reduces overhead costs for all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
The same also applies to labor costs with a traditional education system. Many personnel is required to manage the logistical and temporal demands of a traditional classroom setting – from study materials that are physical to the natural restrictions in the number of students that can be fit in a physical classroom. With e-learning education system such restrictions do not apply. Instead, since many tasks and processes are automated, the need for a human agent to perform them is eliminated resulting in downsizing and reduction in labor costs. This kind of reduction in costs is vital for budget-conscious industries such as education since valuable funds can then be redirected towards more worthy causes that would benefit all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
Conclusion: Can e-learning replace traditional education systems?
As we move into the future, it is likely that educators and management will continue to take advantage of the many benefits of e-learning systems. However, some classic traditional education system practices will remain. Rather than creating a false dichotomy where one is forced to choose between a traditional education system and e-learning it is more likely that a new form of systemic learning will emerge that is a blend of the two. We are already seeing this in practice – with virtual classrooms becoming a reality thanks to tools like Uzity learning management system that allows for a seamless experience, for teachers to reach students in remote parts of the world, and even students gaining access to universities, instructors and courses they would ordinarily not have access to through massive online open courses through services like Coursera. So while it is unlikely that the traditional education system will ever be completely eradicated, it will continue to evolve to be inclusive of new forms of technology and learning, via the e-learning education system.
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