Technology Assisted Learning – Then and Now

Over the years, technology has evolved and has changed the mode of delivery of learning content. If you were to compare a traditional classroom training of yester years to modern day mobile learning, it is simply the evolution of technology that has helped in integrating the original content in a different format and delivering it to learners. Originally, information that had been limited to the pages of bulky books can easily be accessed on your mobile screen or from your laptop. This reveals the contribution of technology to learning.

Let us start with computers and CBTs, and see the difference they bring to learning. Today’s laptops have evolved as one of the most powerful tools to facilitate learning. The high multimedia content facilitates learning through audio visual mode. It enables the learner to see the content, listen to it and understand different processes by virtue of using simulations and different animation techniques. This simplifies the learning process as learners experience better understanding of the instruction in the curriculum and it prompts easier recall through deliberate reflection of what they have learned earlier.

Next is the internet, which opens doors to the modern era of online learning. With internet access becoming more ubiquitous, an increasing number of organizations are offering web based learning. With the aid of internet, learners are easily getting access to their desired information, and are able to interact with a distant facilitator, thus creating a context for communication.

There are some other technological tools often referred to as Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, YouTube and forums that allow learners to create and share content with other learners. For e.g. through blogs you can provide tips or post some valuable links or can clarify any terms. YouTube allows you to take a quick glance of the high quality videos on virtually any topic. Thus as a whole, these tools act as powerful intellectual aids to learning.

Social media is another example that leverages web technology for enhanced learning. Facebook today has emerged as a popular social networking media where learners can keep themselves up to date with others. They can share the course materials or can get the links to these materials. Twitter, the micro blogging site allows you to read short text message and get instant response from others. Thus for quick retrieval of information, it becomes useful to learners.

If you were to consider the possible benefits of technology offered to learning, it can be summed up this way – technology contributes to increasing learner’s engagement and provides any time access to training. As mentioned earlier, one example for this is mobile learning. With mobile learning, learners are engaged in real world contexts in the form of problems or exploration of some information and can access relevant information or training at their point of need. The ability to think critically and solve problems gets strengthened in a great extent.

It can be rightly said that the various ways in which technology has evolved with the passage of time has contributed greatly to learning enhancement.

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Written By Arindam Nag

Arindam Nag, Instructional Designer

Tags: mobile learning, online learning, Online training, social media learning, Web-based training
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