Recently there has been a growing wave of local initiatives in support of their public schools. Teachers and communities together have been playing an active role in the innovative efforts towards new educational methods aimed at helping schools. These grass root experiments, though very effective, tend to go unnoticed in the wide scheme of the educational system. However, if the most useful and meaningful of these initiatives could be fostered and developed, they may have the possibility of transforming it.
Didactic Strategies and Technologies for Education: Incorporating Advancements aims to be a platform for the most significant educational achievements by teachers, school administrators, and local associations that have worked together in public institutions that range from primary school to the university level. This book aims to be useful for both scholars and the citizens that are involved in improving the educational system.
Pumilia-Gnarini, P.M., Favaronm, E., Pacetti, E., Bishop, J., Gurra, L. (2012). Didactic Strategies and Technologies for Education: Incorporating Advancements. IGI Global.
Cloud computing will become an essential part of online education resources, according to one expert who stated that the growth of virtualisation will help to develop information providers in the learning field.
Jonathan Bishop, chair of The Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems at Swansea University, suggested that cloud technologies are a necessity for online subjects such as e-learning to grow and reach more internet users.
He said: “The holding of e-learning content in the cloud will enable faster deployment and sharing of resources.
“Cloud computing will become essential as the mobile platforms for e-learning become widespread.
The expert added that with the revolution of the cloud – just like to implementation of CD-ROMs in the past – will create a surge in popularity for industries such as distance learning.
Dr Mick Grierson, computing director of the Goldsmiths College Creative Computing Programme, recently commented that advanced computer technologies like the cloud could expel the need for traditional computing methods.
Workers with jobs in IT could find themselves being up-skilled via e-learning much more in future because of the growth of mobile technologies, according to an expert.
Jonathan Bishop, chair for The Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-learning Systems at Swansea University, believes that the growth of mobile technologies is one of the driving forces behind the rising trend.
Another reason for the growth in e-learning’s popularity is the desire of companies to cut costs yet increase opportunities for themselves. Mr Bishop believes that if these two reasons stay strong, then e-learning could continue to grow.
Mr Bishop said: “As businesses and consumers look at cutting costs, while increasing opportunities for themselves, then e-learning can only grow.”
“Mobile technologies will be the main growth for e-learning, but one cannot rule out some unknown technology that will transform e-learning – like the world wide web did.”
Jonathan Bishop is a chartered IT professional fellow and chair of The Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems at Swansea University.
E-learning is becoming more and more popular because it can be accessed anywhere, according to one expert who has stated that mobile technology tools are a driving force consistent with the success of distance learning.
Tom Kuhlmann, editor of The Rapid E-learning Blog, which shares practical tips and tricks designed to help people get to grips with e-learning, suggested that one of the driving factors behind the growth of the mobile online learning industry is that people are able to take their resources with them wherever they go and are not restricted to a classroom setting.
“E-learning is quite popular, which makes sense – especially in this economy. It’s also still a growing field, as the tools are becoming more powerful and there’s a convergence of mobile and social media,” Mr Kuhlmann commented.
“Some of the drivers are cost-effectiveness and the ability to deliver content to anyone, anywhere.”
He added that there are significant benefits surrounding the online classroom in that it gives the ability to tailor classes to specific business needs and that organisations can take it upon themselves to design their own courses.
Mr Kuhlman said that the door is open for organisations to create a learning system they could not a few years ago. He explained that this heightens demand for skills to progam high-quality courses.
A further benefit of designing courses that are specific to industry needs is cost-effectiveness. This will customise learning to what is necessary when training staff in a particular knowledge base, the expert mentioned.
He also suggested that using online training tools could free up resources elsewhere in a business.
Jonathan Bishop, a chartered IT professional fellow and chair of the Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-learning Systems at Swansea University, recently commented that online learning success is being encouraged by an increasing number of people opting for smartphone technologies that can easily host the resources needed for distance education and can be used on the go.
What do you think the European Union is? Is it an entity that exists solely to pass laws regulating the shape and size of fruit, or burden employers with endless legislation? Or is it a collection of governments, working to find areas they have in common, and improve standards across the trading block?
One area where the last of these has happened is with regards to E-learning. E-learning can be defined as any educational activity that has an electronic dimension to it, encompassing a primary school class delivered using a PowerPoint presentation teaching learners how to use desktop computer applications, like what is done at Broadclyst Primary School, to a programme delivered completely online to update workers’ skills.
According to the International Data Corporation the corporate training segment of the e-learning industry is estimated to have to increased from 234 million euros in 2000 to 11.4 billion euros in 2003, although in the European Union only about 20 percent of e-learning products are produced within the common market. In 2000 the European educational multimedia industry was undercapitalised as links between education and training systems and the industry were not strong enough to generate viable services that cater for education and training requirements.
It has been argued by the European Commission that another reason for this undercapitalisation is because much of the development of e-learning systems comes from a high number of small firms within the industry. Critics would argue that this is only a problem because of how small businesses have been burdened with increased legislation originating from the European Union, which now legislates in an increasing number of areas affecting small to medium-sized undertakings. Indeed, some now estimate that European Union Law accounts for about half of the legislation in Member States, with countries wishing to join the European Union facing around 80,000 pages of EU law to incorporate into their national legislation.
Despite the legislative burden placed on small e-learning firms, the attitude of the European Commission towards e-learning is very positive. According to one estimate, in 2001 around 50 million euros from the budget for education and training was spent on projects which could be considered as promoting e-learning, but the largest amounts have been channelled to the Structural Funds and the framework research programme.
Developments in Internet and multimedia technologies are the basic enabler of e-learning, with content, technologies and services being the three key segments of the e-learning industry, although it could be argued that there are two additional sectors, which are the consulting and support sectors.
The e-learning industry can be seen to consist of companies that provide content and technology such as Microsoft, services, such as those offered by the University of Cambridge or Brighton University, as well as undertakings that support the industry, such as marketing firms like Magicomm. These undertakings include small to medium-sized e-learning firms that produce the content and software, large software companies that provide the platform on which to run the software, manufacturing firms and their supply-chain that provide the hardware and media, telecommunications companies that provide the network infrastructure, educational establishments and training firms that provide the services as well as content, self-employed consultants who contribute to the consulting sector and technical and administrative enterprises that contribute to the support sector. These companies may offer services such as direct-to-customer marketing communications solutions, personalisation and cross media implementation and document and communications workflow consulting, such web enabled information production automation.
It has been argued that the present e-learning industry of a high number of small to medium-sized undertakings is slowing the growth of the industry and that as few e-learning companies can truly do it all they will form strategic alliances to diversify and strengthen offerings, with form such alliances will take are limited by competition law, in particular Articles 81 and 82 of the European Union treaties, soon to be Articles 101 and 102 respectively. These firms may consist of technical media specialists, digital artists, content developers and in some cases social networking analysts. The concept of free competition is a fundamental element in the EU treaties, which embraces the premise that any restriction on free competition is intrinsically reprehensible.
It could be argued that the restrictions placed on undertakings in the e-learning industry by Article (101) is forcing small to medium-sized enterprises to enter into more substantial agreements to form what are known as concentrations, through either taking over or merging with other undertakings. Some might argue that this is a good thing, as in a time of increased globalisation undertakings within the European Union need not just compete with enterprises within the union, but also compete on a global scale with undertakings in the USA, and the emerging markets in India and China for example. It could also be argued that small to medium-sized undertakings allow for a flexible and dynamic market, and that mergers impede innovation and creativity. Whichever position is right, it is certain that the e-learning industry will have to deal with mergers more often as the market develops if undertakings are to overcome the restrictions placed on them by Article (101).
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
When I was doing the Teaching in Schools and Colleges module at the Univeristy on my MSc in E-Learning I had the opportunity to observe children with Sepcial Educational Needs in both IT supported and traditional environments.
In this one lesson I saw a SEN pupil make a spelling mistake. It was underlined in red and they clicked the right button and selected the wrong word. The teacher, corrected their mistake – thinking they used the wrong word rather knowing what I knew that they actually selected the wrong word from the spelling check menu
Then the other day I installed Google Toolbar for a family member with dyslexia who was educated before the Conservative introduced the Education Act requiring statementing and before a backbench Labour MP brought forward the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act.
What I saw gave me a great idea which I would like someone to do research on to prove or refute my hypothesis.
The family member with dyslexia click the spell check button and things highlighted red and they selected the correct spelling and it went green.
My idea is to develop special software for people who have difficulties in spelling due to visual processing difficulties such dyslexia or chromosome issues such as Down Syndrome for example, to do this:
The spelling mistake is highlighted in red to suggest negative feedback. Using a ‘context aware agent’ the person with the spelling difficulties would by trial and error correct the spelling until they get the right one. The correct spelling would then be highlighted in green and a ‘ping’ sound would go off as positive reinforcement so they are more likely to remember the correct spelling. This is based on what education and learning authority Dr Genene Stubbs taught me on my CBL/E-learning modules on my HND, BSc(Hons), MSc degrees between 2000 and 2004 and an application of the education theory of language training authority Michel Thomas, who said people are more likely to learn from mistakes they make that rote learning.
To explain to you what I mean. If you install Google Toolbar in your browser if you don’t have it already:
Type some spelling mistakes into the status field on Facebook or other text box on any other site, then click the ‘Tick-A’ spell checking button and you will see their spelling mistakes go red. When you select the correct one from the right-click menu it goes green.
What I’m saying is that instead of allowing the right-click-menu to be used, the person will spelling difficulties changes it by trial and error until they get it right. It is then highlighted in green and makes a ping to make the SEN fell good and clever, so much so that it gives them so much confidence they think they can do anything.
I haven’t got time to develop this, but if other have got the time to do it, then I will make this idea open source providing my moral rights to be identified as the inventor are respected.
If I was to say to you ‘E-Learning’, ‘Computer-Based Training’, or ‘Computer-Assisted Learning’, what would you think of? Maybe you’d think about people in a classroom, learning about computers. Perhaps you’d think of people in front of a computer learning using computer software. Or maybe it conjures up something completely different.
At Glamorgan Blended Learning Ltd, we see e-learning as any form of learning or instruction, enhanced by technology. So, yes, the examples I just mentioned are e-learning, as is something as simple as a lecture supported by a Powerpoint presentation for instance.
The basic enabler of e-learning is therefore, Internet and multimedia technologies. My research has found that the e-learning industry has five key sectors; consulting, content, technology, services and support.
If I was to mention the 1930s to you, you’d probably think of troubled times. Does the rise of fascism come to mind? Perhaps the Great Depression? Well, despite the negative occurrences around this time, the 1930s signalled the start of the post-industrial era. It was the dawn of technological changes that would form the post-modern learning movement leading to the eventual realisation of the e-learning industry in the twenty first century.
This post-industrial era has also encompassed the birth and realisation of three distinct global generations. These are the Baby Boom Generation, born between 1946 and 1964, Generation X, born between 1965 and 1976 and The ‘Net’ Generation, born between 1977 and 1997.
These generations’ existence globally could be put down to the impact of the Second World War, which began in 1939 and ended in 1945, the year previous to the one in which the first Baby Boomers were born. It was in 1945 that science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clark, predicted the future of satellites into space and with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and Telstar in 1962 the first revolution in the e-learning industry occurred.
The television began to be seen as the technology that would transform learning. I remember when I was at school taking VHSs in to watch with the other pupils, and at secondary level watching the schools programmes on BBC2. Some of you may have been at school when all the politicians and academics were talking about how television was going to replace teachers and how learners would become happy absorbing all manner of
knowledge through a television set.
While it didn’t happen, this independence from authority was a key value of Generation X, which grew up with television. The television saw a surge in its usage in the United Kingdom after the creation of the Open University, which was first proposed by the British Labour Party in 1963, as a ‘University of the Air’. Coupled with the view that this form of e-learning could lead to greater social justice, the Open University meant lower income groups could access higher education through television and radio, and came into being through Harold Wilson’s Government establishing a committee after winning the election in 1964. This led to a manifesto commitment at the 1966 election to create it.
Years later, after the 1997 UK General Election, the new Labour Government, perhaps hoping to build on the success of the Open University, proposed decades earlier, commissioned a mass computer-based learning programme called, UKeU – the United Kingdom e-University. This programme used up millions of pounds of resources to produce university-level programmes, for which there ended up being only a handful of subscribers. This difficulty is common for e-learning system developers, where the amount of resources that can be used to produce the content for these information systems may be more than is feasible.
This State-imposed learning programme was conceived by the Baby Boom generation of politicians, who were unprepared for the market and consumer-led Web-based revolution. This was not so much about the delivery of e-learning, as they envisaged, but the collaborative and social aspects of learning that was advocated by Soviet educationalist Lev Vygostky, in the 1930s as it happens. The Web has however been the key component for distributing e-learning materials, taking over from the CD-ROM. While the Web has revolutionised the e-learning industry, in that content is now delivered online more so than on CD, there is further change ahead with the drive for better provision of e-learning services.
The services sector of the e-learning industry, still reliant on broadcasted teaching, is growing significantly as the demand for blended learning increases. Blended learning, as the name suggests, involves blending e-learning with traditional methods of learning and development and it is argued that it is the most logical and natural evolution of the learning agenda.
According to the International Data Corporation the corporate training segment of the e-learning industry is estimated to have increased from about €234 million in the year 2000 to €11.4 billion in 2003. However, in the European Union only about 20% of e-learning products are produced within the common market. In keeping with tonight’s theme, you may wish to know that Ireland has over 60 firms dedicated to e-learning.
While the implementation of e-learning in organisations has required a shift in perspective for some staff, there has not been a significant change in training culture, as some organisations, such as the Army, still use e-learning in a way that mirrors the existing training culture. Some e-learning experts have argued that the various models for describing online courses show that some still essentially follow a transmission model, rather than constructionist models where the learner is able to construct their own version of truth of a subject.
Values have changed within each of the generations that have existed since the 1930, and with them the approaches to e-learning also have. Whether it is the technology changing the people, or the people changing the technology, e-learning seems to be growing in effectiveness with each generation that passes. The case for e-learning as a technology that enhances learning is clear, but the shape that it will take in the future is far from certain. Will compulsory education be delivered remotely to people’s homes, with only practical sessions such as sports and lab work happening in the community? Perhaps in the future we will all be able to access e-learning anywhere, on the bus, on the train, or on the plane. Whatever happens in the future, I’m sure e-learning will be with us, and I’m sure it will be different.
Bishop, J. (2007). Evaluation-centred design of E-learning communities: A case study and review. In V. Grout, D. Oram & R. Picking (Eds.), Proceedings of the second international conference on internet technologies and applications (ITA07 ed., pp. 1-9). Wrexham: University of Wales Press.
This paper proposes a modification to the star lifecycle to make it suitable for designing e-learning communities.
Download from: This Link.
An investigation into how the European Union affects the development and provision of e-learning servicesJuly 19th, 2007 by Jonathan Bishop
This dissertation focuses on the main aspects of EU law affecting the e-learning industry and of particular interest to Jonathan were competition law and intellectual property law, including copyright and third-party intellectual property rights (TPIP) issues.
Download from: This Link.
Cite as: Bishop, J. (2007). An investigation into how the European Union affects the development and provision of e-learning services. LLM Thesis. Pontypridd, UK: University of Glamorgan.
Social networking is fast becoming a mainstream technology for connecting people and now the person known for inventing one of the most popular methods is calling on the e-learning industry to embrace the technology.
Jonathan Bishop, a director of e-learning firm Glamorgan Blended Learning believes his technology, the Circle of Friends, can break through many of the barriers to learning faced by learners engaged in distance and blended learning.
“There is a difference between what a learner can achieve by themselves and what they can achieve with the support of their peers”, he said, “the Circle of Friends allows learners to build networks of people who can support them in their learning.”
Mr Bishop, who has been developing and researching e-learning communities since the 1990s, will be presenting research on what the e-learning industry can learn from traditional approaches to teaching at a conference in April.
The Faith, Spirituality and Social Change Conference (fsscconference.org.uk), held on 14-15 April 2007 at the University of Winchester will be receiving Mr Bishop for the second time and hear him give a speech on how e-learning systems like online communities can bring about social change, through contributing to the economic, social and cultural development of those that use them.
Mr Bishop’s Circle of Friends technology became popular with the launch of Friendster, a website backed by venture capital investors Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Benchmark Capital. Since the Circle of Friends was first implemented in 1999 to when it was popularised by Friendster, the number of social networking websites using it has grown significantly. According to the conservative estimates of Philip Kim, author of Social Capital and Entrepreneurship, as of early 2005 there were at least 30 online networking sites, and according to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia there are now over 200 sites dedicated to social networking.
Mr Bishop argues that as the demand for effective e-learning solutions increases, so will it become important to use social networking solutions in the learning process, “While I don’t like to use neologisms like Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0, as learning is a social process it seems natural to use social technologies to enhance learning, and creating e-learning systems that are persuasive, adaptable, sociable and sustainable seems to be in the interests of both learners and teachers.”