Future Trends of E-learning

The future of E-learning is very bright, indeed. This concept has been expanding at a very rapid rate as more and more uses for the computer in education have been discovered and attempted. On the traditional college campus, there is a trend toward the development of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE concept integrates the full range of electronic enhancements into the classroom setting. Under the VLE idea, the instructor is not replaced by the computer but rather uses the computer to reach more students and to reach them more effectively.

Distance education is becoming more popular as more and more households obtain personal computers. Many schools have developed the idea of the virtual classroom to a high degree. One instructor located at a central location and using video equipment can teach simultaneous classes in several satellite locations. There is no limit to the distance these satellite locations can be from the instructor. Computer based training can be done in much the same way. Such things as emails and chat rooms are being used as part of the E-learning arsenal.

Distance education is becoming more popular as more and more households obtain personal computers. Many schools have developed the idea of the virtual classroom to a high degree. One instructor located at a central location and using video equipment can teach simultaneous classes in several satellite locations. There is no limit to the distance these satellite locations can be from the instructor. Computer based training can be done in much the same way. Such things as emails and chat rooms are being used as part of the E-learning arsenal.

One major trend in Elearning is the spread of distance education from traditional subjects to all areas of knowledge. Trade and vocational schools are entering into the E-learning field. Such things as .net training videos have allowed the computer to be used for teaching any subject that can be imagined. Do it yourself manuals have entered the computer age. Informational websites can conduct practical training in any subject using videos that are accessible on the website to illustrate proper techniques. This trend has spread to include everything from dog training to basket weaving.

The past decade has been a time of rapid change as E-learning has replaced traditional learning methods. It can be expected that we have not peaked out and the future is going to bring innovations that can hardly be anticipated. The internet access of cell phones, and the wide spread use of palm pilots and lap top computers is opening new opportunities for education and learning.

New Conflicting Trends in Education

There was a time when the basic needs of human beings were only food, clothing and shelter. With the rise of the industrial age, education was added as one of their basic needs. And now education is one of the major industries of the world, producing graduates to manage and run the economy, politics, and the transmission of culture. But with the information age gaining more and more ground in our society, we are seeing conflicting trends in the educational system.

The first conflicting trend is in the area of ​​cost. While the cost of formal education in colleges and universities is rising, the cost of education through the Internet is getting lower and lower. In many countries the observation of educational managers is that educational cost is rising higher than the inflation rate of a country. And yet getting information which is the raw data of education is becoming cheaper and cheaper through the Internet. Students can connect cheaply to the Internet through Internet cafes and access information that before would cost them much. They can now download ebooks, many of which are free.

In the Website Personal Money Store an article is written about Academic Earth. It says that while Academic Earth is not an organization that can provide a learner with college credit, it can give him or her nearly all the same material he or she could receive in a traditional college classroom, at a time when he or she wants it , without the hassle of transportation and dress expenses. There is an advertisement in this Website of "Great College Lectures, for FREE."

The second conflicting trend I see is in the area of ​​methodology. With more information to digest and more books to read students are getting more and more burdened with reading, memorizing and comprehending the content of the books and lectures of professors. And yet on the other hand there are so many individuals and groups trying to make learning fun and enjoyable, not a burdensome experience.

In the Website DNA Read the World there is an article entitled "New trends in teaching that make learning fun." In this article we read, "To make students enjoy and understand at the same time is the key principle on which education institutions should work on." There are also online experiments with mnemonics to make memorization fun.

The third conflicting trend is in the area of ​​results. Almost everywhere in countries with Western kind of education the complaint has been that the educational system produces unemployed or underemployed graduates. There is no assurance that upon graduation employment is there. And yet jobs are being generated through the Internet. Some get jobs by writing reviews of books, of programs, by creating websites, by programming, etc., not to mention the many scams online.

The Website Engines for Education is trying "to raise consciousness about the changes needed in our educational system." Hopefully these changes will also solve the problem of unemployment or underemployment of our college graduates.

What do these conflicting trends tell us? It seems that the following trends are possible.

As the cost of formal education goes higher and higher and the cost of non-formal education through the Web goes lower and lower, only the wealthy will be able to access formal education while the not so wealthy will be content with non-formal education through the Web.

As the process of education becomes more and more burdensome to students more and more educational games will be put on the web where the students will be spending more and more of their time. There are already indications that students cut their classes in order to spend their time playing games in Internet cafes.

As more and more unemployed and underemployed are produced by our formal system of education, more and more jobs will be created through the Web.

The changes in the educational area are not so clear at the present time but it seems clear that there are indications of substantial changes in the near future.