E-learning for primary school teachers

The e-learning is the use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration. Also we can say that e-learning is an online access to learning resources, anywhere and anytime. 

The e-learning has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages: easy and quick accessibility anytime and from anywhere, easier distribution of the course materials, reduced cost of the production and distribution of the course materials, immediate feedback when using online homework, quiz, and testing, self-pacing, the asynchronous way, allows each student (slow or quick) to study at his own pace and speed so it increases satisfaction and reduces stress, e-learning presents different styles and facilitates learning through a variety of activities, easy to join forum discussions anytime, or meeting classmates and instructors remotely in chat rooms, it moves faster because the students can skip activities or materials they already understand and jump to new issues,  possibility of communication and interactivity between students and supervisors in online courses.

Disadvantages: e-learning requires technology infrastructure which may not be available (computers, broadband internet connection),  it requires computer skills and sometimes files and software management which could be complex for beginner students,  some students might get lost or confused about elearning activities, some students might feel lonely and isolated from their instructor and classmates,  lack of human contact or face-to-face interaction with the instructor and other classmates,  some students may fail due to bad study habits or low motivation.

There is a need to refresh and enrich primary education teaching using occasional e-learning activities to raise and maintain pupils’ activities, motivation and interests, to modernize teaching using the contemporary information and communication technologies. To achieve this, however, the teachers should be motivated and able to prepare the online e-learning content.

Even if they aren’t familiar with technology and consequently don’t feel comfortable with it, each teacher should give it a try to transform teaching and learning as it is worth doing. As a first step you can start by talking to your colleagues who are teaching with technology.  

By the application of the e-learning in the primary education the pupils are getting the fundamental and necessary knowledge for their future lifelong learning in this continuously changing world. The e-learning fosters lifelong learning and by its application both the pupils and the teachers are more prepared for their future professional requirements and challenges. The information and communication technology is present in almost every human activity. This fact has to be taken into account and acknowledged also in the primary education using the information and information technology and the Internet as ordinary learning tools. However, this does not mean that every lesson should be done online and/or using information and communication technology. The e-learning should be present as occasional, refreshing, enriching, interesting, and different activity in the processes of teaching and learning.

Usefull handbooks and sources about e-learning for teachers:

e-learning for primary teachers.pdf

Technology Integration Professional Development Guide

A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet

Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know

100 Tools for Learning 2014 GUIDEBOOK

Super Teacher Tools

Once you have decided to integrate technology into your classroom, there are several important points you should consider:

  • Before you start using technology, be sure that you really need to use it. After all, our main goal is not to enable our students to use technology but to develop a love of learning and self-direction so that they can ultimately become life-long learners. Therefore, we should plan lessons and activities that would get them excited about learning and encourage them to go out and learn more on their own. Otherwise, using technology for the sake of being a tech-savvy teacher will be a waste of time. 

  • The technology you are using must be in line with the curriculum and your students’ learning needs and goals. Therefore, you need to find the best tool that will support your lesson and your students’ learning while you are blending technology into your lesson plans. 

  • Make sure the technology you are using supports higher order thinking skills and help you develop a spirit of inquiry and problem solving. 

The main focus in education today is about learning, not about technology. All the tools and handbooks mentioned are the means to help us create more exciting, engaging, and ultimately, more effective learning for our students. As teachers we should continuously be learning, implementing, refining, and effectively integrating technology to enrich and extend the curriculum, to enhance and accelerate the types of learning that support the development of our students’ proficiency in the era of creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, leadership, and communication.

Sources: 

P. Oreški, I. Savić: Primary Education Teachers E-Learning Adoption; Human And Social Sciences at the Common Conference, 2013. 

B. Holmes, J. Gardner, “E-learning: Concepts and Practice”, SAGE Publications, 2006.

J. A. Itmazi, “eLearning”, Retrieved October 17th, 2013, from http://elearning.ppu.edu/file.php/1/eLearning/elearning.pdf

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