Let’s start this post taking a look at a pair of definitions of e-learning:
“E-Learning can be defined as the use of digital technologies and media to deliver, support and enhance teaching, learning assessment and evaluation”. (Armitage and O’Leary, 2003)
“E-Learning refers to the systematic use of networked information and communication technology in teaching and learning”. (Naidu, 2003)
About Cloud computing we find the definition above:
“Cloud computing is a colloquial expression used to describe a variety of different types of computing concepts that involve a large number of computers that are connected through a real-time communication network (typically the Internet)”. (Wikipedia)
And, if we join e-learning and cloud computing we get c-learning, that is, connecting collaborative communities to make easier contact and learning.
Accepting that the keywords are: connection, contact, collaboration, community and learning let’s analyze the advantages of this methodology.
Flexibility: this type of learning is more flexible. Traditional learning linearity is removed.
Involvement: students-users have a really active attitude. Involvement walks hand in hand with motivation level.
Interactivity: is provided by the use of synchronic and non synchronic communication tools.
Accessibility: multiple devices are allowed (computer, tablet, Smartphone…).
Encourage collective intelligence: according to “The wisdom of crowds” written by James Surowiecki (2004):
“The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations.”
Increased retention: experimental studies show, information assimilated in such learning processes is retained 25% more than using conventional classroom training solutions.
Learning: c-learning strengthen learning more than teaching and there is a reduction in the needs of learning time. A reduction of 40% – 60% is tested. Cognitive, social and affective skills are developed.
Ongoing training: this methodology encourage ongoing training.
Content updatings: based on the access to multiple sources of information and by using different channels.
Compatibility of activities: almost simultaneously-work, leisure, etc. The Internet connection and a device from anywhere, whenever you want, are the one and only requirements needed. Moreover, you can stop training when you decide.
Time-space barriers are removed: this translates into a democratization of learning and the use of the cloud.
Comfort: c-learning prevents displacement, resulting in a great convenience and a considerable time saving.
Cost savings: can be up to 30% cheaper than conventional training in the classroom. According to Training magazine, almost two-thirds of the budget that a company invests in training is spent on accommodation, lodging and transportation of employees.
Customized usage and training: multiple choices of c-learning are offered to enable users choosing the most suitable one.
Exhaustive training monitoring: human resources managers can track all the employees involved by monitoring the number of connection times, the date and the hour, the exercises fulfilled, the websites viewed, the satisfaction level offered, etc…
At this point, I wonder myself: Are current teachers becoming community education managers?
To end this post I share with you some classic quotes. I hope you enjoy them:
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”.
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” (Naguib Mahfouz)