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Monday, May 11, 2015

E-Learning is here to stay

Dr Cheah Phaik Kin, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Perak Campus writes, "Computers can never take the place of the teacher, but they improve work efficiency in class."


OVER the last few decades, many scholars have attempted to learn more about how information and communication technologies (ICT) have changed our lives and more importantly, how they can be effectively used for teaching and learning.

Many studies have reported about student and teacher behaviours, pedagogies, assessment tools, virtual learning environments and issues related to online instruction.
Researchers are curious about the new opportunities and challenges that lie in ways to employ technology to enhance the process of teaching and learning.
Using ICT in education is not out of the ordinary. In fact, usisng LCD projectors to display our PowerPoint slides and playing video or audio files in the classroom, are some of the many ways of using technology for teaching and learning.

Scholars and researchers predict that teachers will not have their jobs taken over by computers, but they will have their jobs enhanced in terms of efficiency in administration, assessment, teaching delivery, knowledge sharing and student participation.

The right tools
A paper in the March 2015 issue of the The Social Science Journal, the official journal of the Western Social Science Association reported that students prefer interactive animations and videos in their learning. The study carried out in a Malaysian university indicated that it was important for us to understand the students’ attitudes and acceptance of using technology in learning as it would greatly affect their learning outcomes.

For a start, to support the basic teaching of lessons in class, teachers could use Microsoft OneNote, One Drive, Office Mix and PowerPoint to design lesson plans and self-directed contents. The use of self-directed content with the Office Mix is quite easy. For example, an ordinary PowerPoint presentation can be enhanced with voice over or video of the teacher speaking to help demonstrate or explain formulae and concepts.

This would be helpful as supplementary materials to tackle the difficult or complicated topics require more detailed explanations. Students can then use them to replay, revise or learn at their own pace.

OneNote enables the teacher to incorporate files such as video clips, spreadsheets, hyperlinks into a file and organise them according to dates or chapters or topics. Students could be engaged in interactive activities using OneNote by responding to quizzes and interactive exercises to make lessons more appealing.

E-learning is powerful and influential in the classroom and elsewhere, as long as there is a computer and internet access. 

Related link

Ms. Nielsen is director of digital engagement and professional learning for the New York City Department of Education. She is the author of The Innovative Educator blog and books including “Teaching Generation Text.” She can be reached at
Does Technology Belong in Classroom Instruction?

Source: The Star Online

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