The Power of Social Networks

We had been introduced by the lecturer the functions of social networks especially in education such as Facebook, Twitter and also Youtube. These examples of social networks have been utilized by millions of people worldwide. The functions are not only for social networking, getting along with old/ new friends but social networks are beneficial for educators in primary, secondary or tertiary levels.

FACEBOOK

Facebook has become popular among youngsters and even adults. One of the ways in applying Facebook in education is by creating a Facebook Group. Teachers can easily create a group for the students to join and discuss about certain subjects or topics. For instance, an English teacher can create a group for his/her students to discuss about grammar, writing simple sentences and essays, having quizzes and online tests. Besides that, teachers can also ask their students to upload pictures or sharing videos in the Facebook group created. Thus, it allows the students to be creative and independent in exploring knowledge.

TWITTER

Twitter has the same functions as the Facebook and it also can be applied in teaching and learning. Teachers can ask their students to ‘follow’ and discuss any topics via Twitter. Teachers also can remind their students on activities or homeworks that need to be completed.

YOUTUBE

Youtube is very beneficial for educators to find millions of interesting videos to teach their students. For example, an English teacher can download videos of English songs to teach English especially the pronunciation. Furthermore, individuals can create a Youtube account easily to upload and download videos in their own Youtube channel.

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Infrastructure of E-learning

Article:

Infrastructure Requirements for ELearning Implementation and Delivery

(http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning/infrastructure-for-elearning)

For planning an enterprise-wide eLearning, one of the primary requirements is assessing Infrastructure requirements for establishing e-Learning – both IT Infrastructure and a Learning Management System. So, let’s look at what it takes to deliver eLearning.

Many people think that e-learning is a kind of e-training, but to say this is to over-simplify the kind of learning it actually is. Really, e-learning is information, communication, collaboration and training put together. It’s a system where you have information which you need to communicate effectively, collaborate and train. All these things put together constitute e-learning. To be able to deliver eLearning, you need to establish a complete eLearning system with a robust technology framework as the information and communication technology comprise its backbone. The term “infrastructure” is highly contextual in its meaning. In e-learning contexts “e-learning infrastructure”, “technical infrastructure”, and “ICT infrastructure” or (Information and Communication Technology) infrastructure all convey a range of meanings.

Range of Infrastructure Available

Now, the range of various web-accessible technologies and services useful to this kind of learning, education and training can be classified into three categories with respect to infrastructure:

  • A set of infrastructure specifically designed to support e-learning, education and training.
  • A set of infrastructure not specifically designed to support any kind of learning, education and training, but still essential in enabling it.
  • Widely deployed infrastructure which can be useful for e-learning, education and training.

The first set of infrastructure which is specifically designed for e-learning reminds us of a good Learning Management System (LMS) which is a must, since it is specific to e-learning. Similarly infrastructure, like say a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which is already present in an organization to run its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application, which is not specifically meant for this e-learning purpose or any kind of training purpose. But, that same infrastructure which I’m talking about — VPN — can be used to deliver e-learning services. Similarly, for the third category of infrastructure, perhaps a dial up VPN which is already present for basic communication can also be used as a part of the e-learning infrastructure.

Learners access the network through a local network server by using a secure authentication. The LAN will access the LMS for ready-to-use courses or custom elearning courses via the Internet through switches and routers. The built-in firewalls in the routers protect the LAN and its connected elements from unwanted traffic, malware and viruses.

It is recommended that Internet connectivity should be 4 MBPS to ensure excellent video and audio quality in live lectures and courses served over the Learning Management System.

The Pedagogy of e-learning

I found an article which discusses the ten pedagogic principles for E-learning written by Pr. John Anderson and Pr Robert McCormick (ARTICLE 1)

TEN PEDAGOGIC PRINCIPLES FOR E-LEARNING

Principle 1: match to the curriculum
The pedagogy should be matched with and aligned to the appropriate (UK) curriculum through:
— clear objectives (at an appropriate level and form of specification);
— the relevance of content covered;
— the appropriateness of student activities;
— the nature of the assessment (where this is present).

Principle 2: inclusion
The pedagogy should support inclusive practice seen in terms of:
— different types and range of achievement (including special needs);
— physical disabilities that can be particularly supported by e-learning (e.g. those with visual impairment);
— different social and ethnic groups;
— gender.

Principle 3: learner engagement
The pedagogy should engage and motivate learners. This engagement should be evident in an ethos of being:
— educational, i.e. have a ‘worthwhile’ educational aim, and not just be used to occupy or entertain learners, although it might employ ‘game-like’ approaches to learning;
— motivating, such that it is both enjoyable for learners and makes them want to continue using ICT or want to carry on with learning the topic;
— such that it does not produce adverse emotional reactions that are likely to cause reduced motivation to learn in general, or to use ICT in particular;
— motivating, such that it improves the class atmosphere for learning and makes it a good experience for teachers and learners alike.

Principle 4: innovative approaches
It should be evident why learning technologies are being used, rather than a non-technological approach which achieves the same end as effectively. Digital forms should be used where they bring an innovative approach which cannot be achieved in any other way. E-learning should, in other words, be fit for purpose. The design and implementation of the digital material or environment may also be innovative, in the sense that it takes an approach that is new and has not been taken either by previous non-technological or by digital material for this particular topic or area of the curriculum.

Principle 5: effective learning
This principle can be demonstrated in a variety of ways:
— by the use of a range of approaches that will allow the learner to chose one that suits her, or can be personalised to her, or will extend the learner’s repertoire of approaches to learning (such as ‘learning how to learn’);
— by providing empirical evidence of effective outcomes of the pedagogic approach (including the digital material);
— by satisfying a number of the characteristics of good learning (learner agency; learner autonomy; encourages metacognitive (including high order) thinking; enables or encourages collaboration);
— by providing authentic learning (authentic to situations outside school and to the learners’ perspectives and situations), and that also exhibits multiple perspectives on a topic (this could be seen as another aspect of authenticity).

Principle 6: formative assessment
The pedagogy should provide formative assessment, i.e. assessment that is primarily aimed at improving learning. This may be achieved in a number of ways:
— by providing rapid feedback that helps learners to see how they can improve and what they must do to improve;
— by providing opportunities for peer assessment, with appropriate understanding of the criteria or standards of performance required;
— by providing opportunities for self assessment, with appropriate understanding of the criteria or standards of performance required.

Principle 7: summative assessment
Summative assessment here is understood as that which is used to grade students for guidance as to, or selection for, future educational or work opportunities. Although not all e-learning will have summative assessment (but it should have formative assessment), where it does, it must be:
— valid and reliable (i.e. assess what is aimed at in the objectives, and do this in a way that can be demonstrated by things like expert views, or ways of testing construct validity; give consistent results for particular learners or other users);
— comprehensible by teachers, learners and parents (as appropriate);
— able to deal with a range of achievement levels;
— free from adverse emotional impact on the learner.

Principle 8: coherence, consistency and transparency
The pedagogy must be internally coherent and consistent in the way the objectives, content, student activity and assessment (where present) match to each other. It must be open and accessible in its design. This implies that the components of e-learning should each match and that the match should be transparent in its intention; for example, the activities should be consistent with the objectives and the assessment should assess these objectives (and not un-stated or unknown ones). It should be clear to the user what they are expected to do.

Principle 9: ease of use
As well as being transparent in its intention, elearning should be transparent in its ease of use through:
— being open and accessible;
— being intuitive and not requiring guidance on use (for either the teacher or the learner);
— the provision of appropriate guidance for the learner or the teacher and, in the case of the learner, should not require extensive training or instructions that are not themselves part of the educational aims of the e-learning;
— appropriate assumptions about the ICT skills of users (both learners and teachers), or the provision of straightforward guidance on this.

Principle 10: cost-effectivness
Technology solutions need to be justifiable, affordable and the costs sustainable. Using learning technology is not a cheap option for enhancing educational opportunity, broadening choice and raising standards; nor is it a ‘silver bullet’. The investment needs to be justified in terms of cost benefits and savings through efficiencies of scale, or in terms of affordance of pedagogic opportunities and enrichment, or in meeting educational needs and goals which are not achievable in other ways. However, as with many of these principles, there are some formidable definitional problems, about what to include in the costs (or indeed the benefits).

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Below is a video that I found on Youtube;

E-learning Pedagogy and Learning Approaches


Components in E-learning

There are five components in e-learning according to Article 1

i) Audience- Everything designed and developed should be done with the audience in mind

ii) Course Structure- Course structure refers to how a course is designed for elearning. The structure of a course plays a critical role in how your audience learns the material

iii) Page Design- How a page is designed can have a huge impact on the learning experience of your audience

iv) Content Engagement- Content engagement refers to how the learner interacts with content of the course

v) Usability- Usability refers to the testing of elearning content and applications.

 

components_eLearning_Audience

What is E-learning?

Assalamualaikum and hello.

The first post is about the definitions of e-learning. There are few definitions of e-learning that can be referred to understand more about e-learning.

Definition 1

Based on theArticle 1, e-learning can be defined as;

“to the use of Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance”

The author has stated that e-learning is based on three fundamental criteria:

  • E-Learning is networked, which makes it capable of instant updating, storage/retrieval, distribution and sharing of instruction or information
  • It is delivered to the end-user via a computer using standard Internet technology
  • It focuses on the broadest view of learninglearning solutions that go beyond the traditional paradigms of training

Definition 2

Based on Article 2, e-learning can be defined as;

“…commonly referred to the intentional use of network information and communications technology in teaching and learning.”

The other terms for e-learning are also;

  • online learning
  • virtual learning
  • distributed learning
  • network and web-based learning

 

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REFLECTION:

In my opinion, e-learning is very beneficial to both teachers and students in order to deliver and receive information or knowledge. As it is defined learning through technology such as computers and the use of Internet, teachers can easily create interesting lessons for the students. For example, teachers can downloading videos from the Youtube to teach English, songs and many more.