Category Archives: On Education

E-learning & Social Media- Can E-learning maintain its effectiveness?

Pursuing effective E-learning in the era of Social media seems a big challenge. While the yield of education is preferably the freedom, it is currently being conducted in a regulated and controlled manner. E-learning has risen as the solution to offer freedom for students in the way that traditional face-to-face interactive learning cannot provide. Now, the most excellent learning experience has become a reality by blending both in-class and E-learning. However, peer interaction probably the major lacking on the part of E-learning. It is the factor that stresses comparison between teacher control and student freedom, which is boosted by social media. With the comparison generated, teachers are unable to direct the learning way anymore. The role of teachers have confined to influencing the students for attaining the finest learning experience.

Is Social Media causing Education Improvement or Chaos?

According to the statements of two experts named Henry J Eyring and Clayton M, most of the online courses let students to work individually at their own speed but given no peer-to-peer interaction, until social media utilized along.

In 2004, a website was developed by Mark Zukerberg, which is considered as the earliest iteration of social networking process and facebook. It was a stream of technology revolution that copy the way users socialize and interact by means of electronic media, short sounds, texts, which are named as Social network. (Lawrence, R., 2009).

Today, social networks are strong enough to be a true and novel definition of collaborating, conversation and sharing in quite innovative form. While social network implies collaboration, sharing and conversation, it is typically in reverse polar from extremely controlled and regulated education. Hence collaborating social networks to present controlled courses of E-Learning proposes chaos, particularly, in unstable field of E-learning.

Social networking concerns more about liberty and freedom to be created among users. It provides leverage to collective voice of students as equal to teachers’. Hence, the participation, thoughts and opinions of the students cannot be neglected or taken as of low worth any more.

By integrating social networking with E-learning, a new form of learning style occurs. In a classroom where teachers up till now used to be a centre, teachers are now not able to limit the involvement and participation of students just in class. Students can raise their voice, opinion, and ideas anywhere, anytime. And, in case, if any idea gets the interest and favor of the majority of the mates, it can take a shape of collective voice strong enough to alter the manner, the class is conducted. Hence, classroom learning can easily shift from teacher- direct style to sharing students’ interest, by means of collective voice. There is a possibility of E-learning environment to be chaotic as teachers would be there without any ability to direct or control.

Then, how will a teacher teach contents as suggested by curriculum without having ability to control the route and pace of the class, attached with social networking? Nicolas Lamphere suggests the following three rules that can help using social media in an effective manner:

Rule 1: Social media is about making conversations among your market and audience.

Rule 2: You cannot direct interactions with social media, however conversion can be influenced.

Rule 3: Influence is the foundation on which all reasonably practical relationships are created.

Teacher can utilize social media resources to influence face-to face conversation to go in track as proposed by the curriculum. When utilized effectively and cautiously, the integration can make learning atmosphere more motivating and exciting in a cyber setting.

Lawrence, R. (2009). E-Learning and Social Networking. Retrived March 28, 2012, from http://ezinearticles.com/?ELearning-and-Social-Networking&id=2811820

Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Self-Taught Genius Dies at 89

On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, the world lost a modern-day genius, one who was rivaled only by the likes of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. In addition to being creative, innovative, and remarkably intelligent, these iconic men shared another thing in common—they were all largely self-taught.

Having never graced the doors of a college classroom (at least not as a student), Ovshinsky transformed the technology, automotive, and alternative energy industries with his groundbreaking theories and inventions, many of which were initially perceived as highly controversial if not downright foolish by his colleagues. Still, one consultant and colleague of Ovshinsky, Chicago physicist Hellmut Fritzsche, called him “the only genius [he] ever met,” despite his 40-year career at the University of Chicago (as cited in Woo, 2012).

Perhaps the most notable accomplishment of the “energy genius,” as he was called, was the invention of the nickel-metal-hydride battery, which has been used to power such high-tech machines as laptops, cellphones, and even hybrid cars.

It might be said that Ovshininsky’ s legacy left its mark on not just the energy field, but on the education field as well. At the very least, his life’s work begs the questions: Is compulsory education and college education really necessary, or does is, as John Taylor Gatto, author of The Weapons of Mass Instruction, argues, serve only to dumb us down or stifle our creativity? If more of us were given the freedom to learn on our own about the things that most interest us, would we accomplish more as individuals, as a society, as a species? Yes, I believe we would, and although he never officially weighed in on the subject, I happen to think our modern day genius would agree.

Ovshininsky died of prostate cancer at his home in Bloomfield, Michigan.

References

Woo, E. (2012, Oct. 20). Stanford Ovshininsky dies at 89; inventor founded new field of electronics. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/20/local/la-me-stanford-ovshinsky-20121021.