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factfile1.13 Anytime, Anywhere Learning


E-learning entails engaging in an education program via the internet, on a local intranet or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), or on a CD. This may mean the whole course is delivered online; or there could be a mix of face-to-face and virtual learning, known as 'blended learning'; or at the most basic level it may simply involve a teacher making worksheets and presentations available online for students to download. You may have experienced one or more of these electronic modes of delivery yourself.

Imagine a course where the teacher or lecturer makes a video recording of the lesson or lecture so that the students can view it again to revise or to catch up if they cannot attend. Perhaps the teacher could make a podcast of the lesson for students to download onto an MP3 player.

All of this is happening already, and it is radically changing the way schools and colleges operate. Interest in e-learning is growing fast, because it enables students to study almost wherever and whenever they like.

Sites such as Livestream and Ustream allow educators to broadcast audio and video of their lectures live on the internet. Students can access the lectures from anywhere in the world. A chat facility allows the students to talk to each other, and to ask the lecturer questions in real time.

You Tube Edu

Special educational areas of sites such as YouTube Edu and iTunesU allow lectures from schools and universities to be shared with students around the world.

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