Sunday, November 10, 2013

No more bags just an iPad

During the period of the SARS breakout, many of us do not have school for sometime because there was a fear of spreading the disease from people to people. The schools were closed and many of the students were told to stay home to reduce the likelihood of them becoming sick. To many of us, that was a good time to play and relax and because there was no school, it also means that there was no homework. I remembered that there was an extension of the closure that was announced on TV and that means even more fun time and play time for most of us. However, I had this Chinese teacher that did not want us to lose out in school and he manually sent us  each an envelop that contains assignments for us to do.

These days, something like that happening would be almost unheard of. No one is going to spend time and effort to send their students assignments by snail mail just so that they would not lose out in their studies. Definitely not in this age of technology and the internet. Back in the days of SARS, the internet is not as widely used as now. Many people have emails and do go on the web but not everyone does it. These days, even little kids know what the internet is and they know how to go onto the internet. Even pets have Facebook pages.

These days, schools introduce e learning into their curriculum by having a standard e learning day where their students stay home and go on to whatever platform that their school is using and do assignments that their teacher has put up for them. Other schools have used the power of computers and the internet to assess how their student’s learning is coming along by conducting quizzes online and other assignments online.

Having their students do assignments online and/or quizzes online has reduced the workload for lecturers and teachers considerably. When lecturers uses MCQs to assess their students online, they just have to set an answer sheet and a software would validate if the students has selected the right answer. This reduce the need to manually mark papers and results can be reflected back to the student at a quicker pace.

Back when I was in poly, this was what the lecturers would do. They would set quizzes and assignments that we have to complete online that are part of our grades and we can do them anywhere and at our own time without the lecturers having to mark the papers and we get back our results almost instantaneously. Sometimes, the lecturers would let us have multiple attempts to score on a quiz or assignment and this helps us pull our grades up.  

Also sometimes, the lecturers would conduct in class quizzes where they use a software to lock our computers and we would not be able to go to any internet sites to search for answers. This uses the school network to submit the answers and a score would be reflected to us right after we finish the quiz. The lecturer can also immediately see who score what at her terminal in the front of the class. 

These form of assessing students has made it easier for both the lecturers and the students and its also saving the environment because less papers has to be used to print the question paper and students and lecturers gets immediate feedback about how a student is doing in class. 

Some universities uses the power of the internet to a whole new different level. Some university record their lectures and post them on their school e learning platform for people to access when they are unable to attend classes for that day and this helps their students not miss out in classes if they are sick or feeling unwell.

Besides having recorded lessons online, some universities have online courses that students can take accompanying their current lecture based courses. This helps people work more courses into their schedule without having to stay in school for too long. Also online courses allows people to take the course at their own pace.

Outside of the school setting, e learning can come in the form of videos or tools that aids people in understanding something. When I was in polytechnic, I had a hard time understanding mathematics.  I admit, that this subject is not something that I am strong in. So many a times, I really have no idea what the lecturer at school is talking about. And because of this, I learnt something new. I learnt that sometimes when  I have no idea what is going on in class, the internet can be my next best friend.

The internet has everything.
By this, I really mean everything. From wordy explanations of how a particular formula works to videos showing how to solve certain equations. One of my go to you tube channels is the KhanAcedemy channel, where this guy explains how certain mathematical formulas are applied and how to perform some complicated formula or solve some equations.

Explaining partial fractions 

This is a very useful channel to me because it helped me understand more about my school work. Besides helping with school work, youtube videos can also teach a lot of other useful, education related stuff. One channel that I follow is this artist who teaches people to draw and paint with different mediums. Mostly drawings. I learnt how to draw a realistic looking eye from  that video.

E learning comes in many forms and has aid the process of learning significantly. its ability to help in facilitate learning is continuously expending and more tools are being developed to help in this progression and hopefully one day, we can do away with textbooks and just go school with a tablet. And save trees. 

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