The global educational environment has continuously passed through an array of changes and Malta has constantly embraced those changes which benefited local students. We have moved from having no resources, to having books available in libraries and now we have available a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. Classrooms have evolved from the traditional dusty blackboard to the whiteboard which gave way to interactive whiteboards and projectors becoming the norm. As time passes both in our educational, professional and personal life alike we are experiencing a more rapid increase use of digital devices. Given the readiness of information and the available technology, not being reachable or updated is no longer an excuse.
This evolution has taken us into a new era of learning with e-learning platforms becoming the hub of learning. Thus the million dollar question is, what can e-learning do and how will this aid the educational sector? An e-learning system is a website which allows common communication between school administrators, teachers, students and parents; consequently, communication has become more feasible.
A teacher is given the ability to upload the content of a lesson on the web giving students the ability to access this content at any time of the day from anywhere. In return parents are given the possibility to access the lesson as well and help their kids with their revision and be aware of their schooling progress. e-Learning will also help students keep up to speed with lecture content even when they have to miss the very same lectures for any valid reason.
School personnel are given the ability to communicate activities and important information to students and parents both as a group and as individuals. Both students and parents will have the ability to read communication efficiently, effectively and at the touch of a button on their systems.
Students are able to discuss and share ideas amongst themselves using a single communication system. Nevertheless this communication is monitored by teachers to avoid certain information which is irrelevant to the academic material from being circulated. This will also encourage pupils to ask questions online which they perhaps would have not asked in the classroom.
e-Learning is being noted for its contribution to the environment. Reducing wastage of paper when communicating means reducing costs and contributing to a greener world. With an e-learning platform everything is communicated online; accessible anytime, anywhere with minimum effort, thus creating the ability of a continuous communication path.
More importantly, educators are given the tools to motivate and create a more interesting lesson to appeal to students thus creating a learning space that can be enjoyable and fun as we move away from the traditional learning environment. Such tools allow a kinaesthetic learning experience with the introduction of videos, online games, quizzes and learning activities. This experience can be the vehicle to a positive learning environment.
e-Learning platforms allow students to study at their own pace and have a full picture of their learning path and the goals that need to be achieved during their scholastic year. An e-Learning platform acts as a buffer between these different methodologies and will also enable parents to monitor their children.
Nowadays with the internet super highway playing a major role in our lives and the ever increasingly growth of social networking, e-learning is inevitably becoming part of our educational life. The Government of Malta has recently embarked on a multi million Euro project to implement a full-fledged e-learning system in all Primary and Secondary Schools in Malta and Gozo. It is envisaged that this project will aid all those involved to deliver and receive a positive learning experience, with a higher level of education and communication amongst all those involved.
Chris Camilleri, is the Service Support Department Manager of Computer Domain. He has been in the IT sector with close relation to the educational sector for the last decade. He is one of the key players in the E-learning system implemented by the Maltese Government in all Governments schools in Malta and Gozo.