E-learning has been changing the way younger generations look at education for years, and we are just at the beginning. E-learning seems to have a bright future awaiting, how can we use this to our advantage?
For the first time in history students from all over the world are be able to easily access education, no matter who they are. Earlier generations were limited by their geographical location, their social class, and the language they spoke. Today these limitations are becoming less and less binding, we can already see a future where they will no longer matter.
E-learning also facilitates the access to continuing educations to adults who have already entered the workforce, people who previously might have given up on pursuing a degree. It allows people with a busy schedule to learn at their own pace, whenever they have time. Lectures can be listened to while commuting, cooking or cleaning the house. Unclear passages can be repeated multiple times without it requiring additional time from the professor and this has already proven to increase test scores.
It is becoming apparent that e-learning is faster, easier, more affordable, more convenient than traditional learning has ever been, and it is also what learners want.
E-learning is the change learners needed, but couldn’t have until just a few years ago. Making the most of it now is up to educators.
E-learning and students with disabilities
For older generations having a learning disability often meant being unable to pursue an education, and there was very little that even the most determined students could do about it.
Today this has dramatically changed. Every day new programs and apps are invented to cater specifically to students with learning disabilities, assisting them every step of the way and filling the gap that sets them back. These programs do more than just helping students learn, they also give teachers the tools to deal with the students who struggle to keep up with the rest of the class.
But the benefits of e-learning are not limited to learning disabilities, students with physical disabilities are having an increasingly easier time accessing education.
Blind students can attend classes without having to commute to campus, students with hearing impairment can access lectures thanks to subtitles, non-ambulatory students don’t have to rush from one class to the next. People who felt their options were limited now have a world of knowledge on their laptop. This will have a revolutionary impact on the future generation and the way they study.
Addressing concerns about e-learning
Despite the overwhelmingly positive outcome that e-learning has had so far, there are still some concerns. Will teachers still be relevant figures going forward? Will remote learning prevent young students from socializing? The answer to these questions is no. Human interaction will continue being a driving force in education, and it is already becoming apparent that students are finding ways to work together even when learning from remote. The more realistic and serious concerns regarding e-learning have to do with the amount of time required for schools to successfully integrate it. Will all students be computer-literate? Will all teachers? Will students who are enrolled in remote courses be able to efficiently manage their time despite a more flexible schedule? These are all questions still waiting to be answered, and the reason why humans will never become superfluous.
E-learning in the future
Can we predict the way e-learning will look like 10 or 20 years from now?
The next steps will probably focus on making it more accessible and more interactive.
We can also expect the learning experience to become even more personalized, especially thanks to the foreseeable improvement of AI technologies.
Knowledge really is at our fingertips, and it will only become more available as we go forward.