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E-learning: new models, new challenges

Technology is changing modern societies, but education is lagging behind. Until we accept that education models must take new technologies into consideration we are doing little to advance the professional and personal training of people in the education system.

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Establishing a balance between knowing, knowing how to do and knowing how to be is a challenge being faced in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which, along with the Bologna process, has sought since 1999 to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe. From another perspective, the challenge is about science, technology and humanism.

Classrooms, no matter the education level, are bearing witness to technological progress and, predictably, concerns about how technology is contributing to education. The change has generated new terminology that reflects the profound transformation:  E-learning, Web-Based Training, Internet-Based Training, Distributed Learning, Advanced Distributed Learning, Distance Learning, Online Learning, Mobile Learning or m-learning. The blackboard and chalk are no longer symbols of education for children, teenagers or professionals. But is this the right way to proceed? The debate in Spain and elsewhere is focused on content and the way it is taught, without ignoring the importance of the resources used.

Teaching models in the education system need to be updated in order to efficiently integrate technologies and adapt to the social necessities that surround them, starting with clear educational objectives and innovative methods that facilitate the teaching-learning process. A more critical attitude to the use of technology is arising from the sometimes disproportionate use of technology and increasing dependency on it, without first considering its convenience or its real usefulness.

Traditionally, different styles of learning (in-class, distance or mixed) followed clearly defined models, but in the internet age the models have been transformed by new tools. The reality of the networked society has changed the traditional vision, bringing with it dislocation and separating in time the sources of information and the generation of knowledge. Internet brings education closer to society and, at the same time, increases the digital divide, while bringing closer together the elements of the teaching-learning process. The physical location or the distance between teacher and student are no longer a significant issue; there is simply a new context in which to develop the education process.

However, being up to date in teaching innovation strategies in this context requires effort, dedication, creativity and a multidisciplinary teaching mentality. The challenge is not limited to transmitting knowledge and skills but rather teaching people how to learn in life.

This article has been translated from Spanish with the author’s permission. Read the original Spanish version here.

Este artículo ha sido traducido del español con el permiso del autor. Lea el original aquí.





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Published: Dec 28 2011
Category: Iberoblog
Republication: Creative Commons, non-commercial
Short URL: http://iberosphere.com/?p=5052
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1 Comment for “E-learning: new models, new challenges”

  1. There may be new challenges, but I think that they are going to be much more easily overcome than the ones in our current system.

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