The Age of E-learning
To kick off our conversation on e-learning and international education, we will talk about why we think e-learning matters. Consider this a brief picture of what the future holds.
Imagine thousands of different schools, all disconnected. You attend or select one either because you live close by, or because you know a friend, sibling, or relative who studies there. Perhaps the education quality differs between these locations. Or, maybe there is not a school where you live. Another obstacle you may face is that even if you are motivated, intelligent, and willing to learn, you may not have the option to pursue certain subjects or reach your dream of engaging in higher education.
That was ten, twenty – maybe fifty years ago. Now, even if you live in a rural area or attend a tiny school, you probably have a cell phone — and with it, you can learn how to start a business, figure out advanced calculus, or speak a language you have never heard before in your life. That’s pretty extraordinary! Technology provides opportunities that your grandparents or parents may have never had.
Our world is no longer segmented into separate, isolated areas. Global businesses and diverse workplaces have made e-learning vital to overcoming 21st-century challenges. What’s more, we are exploring brilliant new technologies — AI, gamification, VR experiences — and discovering more about the neural logic of how we learn.
What has the research shown? Studies indicate that we are more invested in our lessons when we are given choice and agency to select our interests. We retain more information when the educational medium matches our learning style such as videos, or audio recordings. Additionally, collaboration with classmates is a significant learning tool, as our minds are designed to interact with others.
Some say that e-learning dehumanizes education. We disagree. Connection, not isolation, is why we have big dreams for e-learning. It is why we are building a peer-to-peer e-learning platform. Simply put, we think that building connections between schools across the world by introducing our students to a global reality is the most important goal we can achieve.
We are looking forward to seeing where 2020 takes us, and over the next few blog posts, we will highlight a few technologies that are helping take education to the next level.
Until next time!
Elise Leise is a writer and international teacher whose work has published in The Huffington Post and MinnPost. Having taught English in Senegal and wrote tech columns in Thailand, Elise now attends Quest University in British Columbia, Canada. After graduating, she plans to contribute to innovative curriculums, policies and educational tech in schools around the world.
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