E-learning till some time ago was used primarily by teachers for professional development. But changes in technology and internet revolution allow students and teachers to interact in a better way both inside and outside classrooms. This phenomenon is not applicable only to colleges but also to K-12 education worldwide.
The revolution in technology in e-learning has resulted in e-learning management system which supports K-12 stakeholders like students, administrators, teachers and parents in guiding the early, critical steps of the learner. They are all interested in using e-learning for K-12 learning solutions.
K-12 is one of three major domains of education; the other two are higher education and corporate education. The latter caters to requirement of adult learners, who have moderate income, busy lifestyle, and access to computers. K-12 caters to traditional schooling in classrooms with less application of technology.
Research has revealed that K-12 segment can benefit greatly from e-learning. Here the focus is on greater access to learning. By end of 2000, almost all public schools in USA had access to the internet and Computer Aided learning had arrived
E-learning is useful for K-12 system because of the following:
- Wide reach: E-learning can reach a wider audience of students and give them better opportunity to learn.
- Analytic driven: E-learning helps the system to track, gather and analyze the efficacy of learning content and trace the learning curve of the students.
- Adaptability: The content can be reused by learners who want to proceed at their own pace.
- Accessibility: This makes learning available for all learners like those with disabilities.
An e-learning program needs to address three issues;
- Learning objective
- Instructional method
- Delivery method
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: This addresses what is the outcome of learning. The target is three kinds of skills:
- Cognitive skills: It involves thinking, learning, understanding and remembering content.
- Inter personal skills: Develop skills to interact individually and also in groups such as presenting, listening, negotiation etc.
- Psycho motor skills: developing motor action resulting from mental activity like driving, drawing etc.
It determines how teacher engages with learner. E-learning uses following instructional methods:
- Descriptive: needs learners to read, observe or listen. This includes presentations and case studies.
- Applied methods: Learners have to engage in hands-on, practical activities. Examples include simulation and research.
- Concerted methods: It looks at social dimension of learning like performing tasks in a team through collaboration.
DELIEVRY METHODS: These are methods used for engaging learners:
Thus, all three factors can be used for effective use of e-learning in K-12 systems. K-12 teachers and administrators can seek help of E-learning development companies to develop e-learning content that is effective.