1. 16-10-2016 Unit-6
Advance Methods/Media & Technologies
Computers in Education
Computers have become the life line of young generation. The present generation students
like to embrace all the things in the ambit of this modern technology. The educators are
feeling shy and reluctant to accept technology as their work partner. Will our present and the
immediate next generation educators like to view the gap widening between them and further
generation students in terms of usage of technology for teaching learning purpose or they
would like to modernize themselves in the struggle to keep intact their responsible
professional position intact? Are universities and institutions in the field of teacher education
focusing upon the courses for using computers in education or they simply feel delighted to
see the state boards at school level and National/State councils for Educational Research and
Training are advancing at great speed to plan out integration of technology with education
with teachers struggling to complete even the prescribed syllabus?
Importance of computers in education:
Computers provide an invaluable tool in education, primarily in the acquisition and analysis
of data used for research. Fields such as science, writing composition, mathematics and
history all benefit from access to the Internet. Educational programs designed to stimulate
learning provide alternative ways for students to learn a subject.
As computers themselves are vital to modern business, government and society, familiarity
with computer systems is a necessary skill in the 21st century. Learning to use computers and
software for problem solving, data manipulation and model building is also important for
science and mathematical fields. Access to the Internet provides communication avenues
between students and teachers about particular assignments or topics, and use of school blogs
can provide quick feedback from peers. Using public forums also encourages careful writing,
as other students are able to criticize the writing. Presentations done in such a manner
encourage students to critique work for proper grammar and word choice. Technology also
allows for students to work on text, audio and video presentations that can keep peers
informed on school events, as well as collaborate on projects. Educational resources on the
Internet can also be brought up whenever needed, allowing students to review a lecture or
assignment at their own pace
Learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet.
"Successful e-learning depends on the self-motivation of individuals to study effectively"
E-learning is an abbreviation of the term electronic learning. Electronic learning in its literal
meaning stands for the type of learning carried out, facilitated or supported by some or the
other electronic gadgets, media or resources. Judging in this sense, the learning facilitated by
the use of an electronic media or means like microphones and listening devices or audio and
visual tapes can be termed as e-learning. In this sense, e-learning calls for the services of the
2. advance electronic information and communication media and means like teleconferencing,
video-conferencing and computer based conferencing, e-mail, live chat, surfing on the
Internet and Web browsing, online reference libraries, video games, customized e-learning
E-learning: in Modern era:
The Internet is a marvelous tool when it comes to fostering education and learning because it
is a treasure trove of information. Children who take to the web for more than just
entertainment are bound to find that their schoolwork becomes easier and exams simpler to
prepare for and top quality. And this is because as connection speeds increase and
the ubiquity of the Internet pervades, digital content reigns. And in this era, free education
has never been so accessible. The Web gives lifelong learners the tools to become
autodidacts, eschewing, very expensive tuition and joining the ranks of other self-taught great
thinkers in history such as Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Paul Allen and Ernest
“Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” -Albert
Nature and Characteristics of E- Learning
E-learning is pedagogy empowered by digital technology.
E-learning is a term which is used to refer computer enhanced learning.
E-learning includes all types of technology enhanced learning (TEL), where technology is
used to support the learning process. Use of e-learning is generally confined to “on-line
learning” carried out through the Internet or Web-based technology, with no face-to-face
E-learning conveys broader meaning than the terms CBL (Computer based learning) and CAI
(Computer assisted instruction). E-learning is broader in its meaning that they conveyed
through the simple terms like “on-line learning” or “on-line education”.
E-learning should not be considered as synonymous to audio- visual learning, multi-media
learning, distance education or distance learning. Although the audio-visual and multimedia
technology and distance education programmers are based on the Internet and Web services
provided through the computers, yet these are not identical but complementary. The use of
the term e-learning should be confined to the type of learning carried out, supported or
facilitated through Web enhanced instruction and the Internet based communications
like e-mail, audio and video conferencing, mail list, live chats and telephony.
All types of non-Internet and non-Web technology are not included in e-learning. Taking a
clear stand on this issue Kumar and John (2008) write, “Though computer is used for
instruction and learning, the non-Web technologies thus not come under technology. The
entire computer based instructions, computer managed instructions, integrated learning
systems, multimedia, interactive video, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, etc. which are
3. not delivered through the Internet but are still used for learning and instruction cannot be
included in e-learning. However, these techniques, when delivered via Internet for instruction
and learning, become e-learning.”
Modes and Styles of E- Learning
E-learning can play a more supporting role to the teaching-learning activities organized in the
class. As a result, a teacher may make its use for his better teaching and a learner for his
needed learning, e.g., they may use multimedia, Internet and Web services for their teaching
and learning to enhance their class room activities.
Blended learning: In this mode, attempts are made for making use of a combination of
traditional and ICT enhanced e-learning practices. The program and activities are so planned
and executed as to present a happy combination of both the traditional class room teaching
practices and e-learning based instructions. Thus, one can reap the benefits of both the
practices of traditional and e-learning.
Complete e-learning: In this mode of learning the traditional class room teaching-learning is
totally replaced by the virtual classroom teaching-learning. There is no existence of class
rooms, schools and teaching-learning environment as happens in the traditional setup of
school education. The learners are free to take the learning tasks independently with the help
of properly designed e-learning courses.
Most of the learning activities are carried out entirely on-line, but at the same time, they may
have also access to the well stored information and learning packages available in the form of
recorded CD-ROM, DVD, etc. Such type of e-learning activities may be found to adopt the
following two distinctive communication styles narrated:
Asynchronous communication style: In this style, the course information or learning
experiences are passed to the learners through e-mail, discussion forum, Web pages, Web
logs, wikis or through the recorded CD-ROM and DVD. As a result, the teachers and learners
do not interact simultaneously.
Synchronous communication style: Here the communication between the teacher and
students directly occurs in an online chat room or through live audio-video conferencing. It
allows them properly together at a specified time for communicating with each other
regarding the course material. As a result, a teacher can provide valuable information, lecture
or share one or the other learning experiences with his students.
E-learning is the demand of the time. We have to prepare our students and bring
suitable modification and improvements in the prevailing system of our educational
institution to face this challenge. The following steps for promoting e-learning are,
The first and foremost thing that needs to be done is to develop a positive attitude
towards the processes and products of e-learning. The students should be made to
appreciate the fruits of e-learning.
4. Provide the need facilities for training and equipping the students and teachers with the
essential technical knowledge and skills related to the operation.
Provide proper orientation to the staff and students not only in terms of making them
technologically capable for engaging in e-learning but also to have full awareness about all
the possible advantages and gains drawn from such ventures. 4. Make provision of the
Internet facilities and class room Websites for giving opportunities to the teachers and
students to carry out the teaching-learning tasks using the mechanism of e-learning.
Last but not the least, make adequate provision for the availability of the technical support
services to train and provide online support to both the teachers and students in reaping
maximum benefits from e-learning program.
Advantages of E- Learning
Class work can be scheduled around personal and professional work
Reduces travel cost and time to and from school
Learners may have the option to select learning materials that meets their level of knowledge
Learners can study wherever they have access to a computer and Internet
Self-paced learning modules allow learners to work at their own pace
Flexibility to join discussions in the bulletin board threaded discussion areas at any hour, or
visit with classmates and instructors remotely in chat rooms
Different learning styles are addressed and facilitation of learning occurs through varied
Development of computer and Internet skills that is transferable to other facets of learner's
Successfully completing online or computer-based courses builds self-knowledge and self-
confidence and encourages students to take responsibility for their learning.
Disadvantages of E- Learning
Unmotivated learners or those with poor study habits may fall behind
Lack of familiar structure and routine may take getting used to
Students may feel isolated or miss social interaction
Instructor may not always be available on demand
Slow or unreliable Internet connections can be frustrating
Managing learning software can involve a learning curve
5. Some courses such as traditional hands-on courses can be difficult to simulate
We need a professional LMS system, which is compliment with all e-learning relevant
We need money and peoples, and lot of optimism
CONCLUSION: From the above discussion we conclude that e-learning is a technique or a
form of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) used in providing learning
experiences to the students on-line through the use of Internet services and Web technology
of computers on the same lines as witnessed by us in the form of e-mail, e-banking, e-
booking and e-commerce in our day-to-day life. E-learning is also having some
disadvantages which are discussed earlier. In spite of certain defect, e-learning is very useful
and it is becoming more and more popular.
E-learning pioneer BERNARD LUSKIN (2001) explains `e’ as exciting, energetic,
enthusiastic, emotional, extended and educational.
Computer conferencing is a means by which multiple individuals can communicate and
share ideas through the use of a computer system. Due to the expansive nature of the Internet,
this can be done over great distances and may allow people to share ideas more easily than
other means of communication. One of the most common types of computer conferencing
involves multiple users at separate computers. Each user is able to communicate, often
through instant messaging applications, while they are also able to look at images sent
through a host system.
This type of computer conferencing allows a single person, usually a manager or team leader,
to show others images and documents that are being developed, while the other users provide
feedback about that content. Such conferences can also use a phone system to allow for easier
verbal communication, or the use of microphones and computer speakers to allow for speech
between the different users. Some computer conferencing programs can even allow multiple
users to share or host images and documents, which may then be modified by other users and
viewed together in real time. This allows for individuals separated by great distances to more
easily brainstorm and share ideas.
Computer conferencing can also be done in a way that is not at all commercial. Chat rooms
and instant message programs are forms of conferencing that utilize computers, and these are
often used for recreational purposes rather than for professional use. Computer conferencing
can also refer to hosted databases that can be accessed by remote users, allowing a single
resource or program to be accessed by different users to take advantage of the resources
provided by those users. Such applications can allow for greater processing and resource
sharing among users, and is commonly utilized in business, as well as for open sources
programming and development projects.
Computer conferencing makes possible small group interaction through the rapid and
convenient exchange of written texts. We are accustomed to experiencing small group
6. interaction only in face-to-face settings. In computer conferencing one essential feature of
face-to-face meetings is lacking, the physical presence of the members to each other, but it is
replaced to some extent by new forms of textual self-presentation. The fact that interlocutors
cannot see each other means they cannot exchange many of the tacit signs that play an
important role in resolving ambiguities and establishing social control. Because of this,
communication links tend to be more fragile in on-line systems than in a face-to-face setting.
This gives rise to a form of "communication anxiety" characteristic of this new medium.
Computer conferences are most successful where they are led by a "moderator" with specific
social and technical functions that compensate for the loss of tacit cues in the on-line setting.
Teachers can employ the moderating role to organize an on-line equivalent of the classroom.
Effective techniques are identified for instructional applications of computer conferencing
Computer conferencing is a special kind of electronic mail system employed to facilitate
group discussion over a computer network. The technology makes it possible to define
private groups, usually no larger than 50, with access to a topically defined discussion forum.
Participants type messages into their own computer terminal and then transmit the text over
phone lines to a central computer where they are classified and stored. The central computer
serves as a remote filing cabinet or bulletin board where all participants can see the latest
additions to the discussion and respond. Participants can dip in to the file at times of their
own convenience, using the central computer as a "meeting place" for an "asynchronous"
conversation that may last weeks or months. As a communications medium useful for group
discussion, computer conferencing is the instructional technology through which the liberal
arts can apply computers while retaining their identity. None of the "inhuman" connotations
of the computer, which define it by implication as antagonistic to humanistic learning, are
relevant to this application of the technology. This new medium does not replace the teacher
but provides an alternative way for teachers and students to meet. Because all communication
takes place in natural language, personalities come through clearly and students and teachers
really feel that they are in each others' presence. Because all the students in the class see each
others' comments and ideas, a feeling of group membership develops, and students frequently
are able to learn as much from each other as from the teacher. In its application to video and
correspondence courses, computer conferencing adds group interaction to the other
advantages of distance learning, with its potential for self-pacing and continuing education.
Disadvantages of Computer Conferencing
Computer conferencing has become an industry-standard practice due to its cost-
effectiveness and ease of use. Instead of traveling internationally, an American businessman
can now connect to a panel of internationally based associates at the click of a mouse.
Unfortunately, computer conferencing is inherently limited in many aspects. Disadvantages
include lack of immediate response and lack of convergent thinking.
Low Pressure: The pressure to respond immediately is largely absent in online chat sessions.
People feel less obliged to speak up when there is a lessened sense of the spotlight being on
7. them. (This not a disadvantage in video chat sessions, as the conference is held visually in
High Interactivity: Video or voice conferences can be demanding for individuals who have
little training in interactive situations. If a person is used to sitting back and listening in
during physical conferences, he may have a hard time contributing to the discussion. It is
demanding to be one of a few on a video session, because of the obligation to respond
Disorganization: With the potential for everyone to respond at once, chat sessions can be
chaotic. A person might ask a question and receive dozens of answers. This can cause the
conference to branch out in several directions and open the door for off-topic discussion.
Low Potential for Convergent Thinking: With the possibility of hundreds of responses
entering the situation, it is hard to combine all the input coherent ideas. This holds especially
true for computer conferencing, where much of the feedback is text-based and disorganized.
Technical Limitations: If a conference is being held on a specific platform (such as Skype)
both parties must have the platform installed on their computers. The computers must also be
compatible with the program (for example, Macintosh computers may not work with
Windows Live messenger.) Both parties must also have a working Internet connection.
Video conferencing software has become increasingly popular because it is affordable. In
fact, most web conferencing programs do not charge for basic features. However, consumers
often have to pay to access premium features.
2. Easy to set up
Video conferencing programs are generally easy to set up because all you have to do is install
or access the relevant software online. This also means you do not necessarily have to hire an
expert to install or configure a videoconferencing solution.
3. Greater functionality
Room-based conferencing solutions afford users greater functionality compared to software-
based solutions. For example, some solutions come with basic video editing features and
even support virtualized deployment. What’s more, they can also be used for on-demand
viewing and live streaming.
4. Integration with in-house systems
Most hardware video conferencing systems support integration with in-house systems. For
example, some support integration with Microsoft or Cisco workplace solutions.
5. Camera control
Hardware systems come with camera control features such as zooming, panning, or changing
the focus of a camera. The increasing popularity of virtual reality is expected to lead to
similar changes in the video conferencing sector.
1. Quality: On the quality front, video conferencing programs are generally inferior
compared to hardware systems. For instance, some web conferencing solutions suffer from
8. freezing of video images, meaning they may not be suitable for conducting important
2. Camera control: Most video conferencing programs lack camera control features. As
such, you would need to align your webcam before initiating communication with another
3. Limited capability: Compared to hardware systems, web conferencing programs have
limited capability. For example, they do not support life-sized video images.
4. Video Conferencing Hardware: Hardware video conferencing systems refer to video
conferencing solutions that are installed in a dedicated room. As such, they are usually called
room-based videoconferencing solutions.
5. Expensive: Acquiring and installing room-based video conferencing gear is typically
expensive. As such, small and medium businesses may be unable to afford these solutions.
Moreover, you may also need to hire in-house experts to maintain your hardware video
6. Dual room usage: Room-based video conferencing may inconvenience other employees,
especially in a business that is unable to dedicate a room for this purpose.
Conclusion: Video conferencing has become essential for businesses communication.
However, whilst software-based solutions are generally cheap and easy to set up, they have a
limited capability, lack of camera control, and poor image and sound quality. On the other
hand, room-based videoconferencing systems offer greater functionality, camera control, and
integration with other systems. However, they are generally expensive and can cause dual
room usage conflicts.