THE BIG BANG OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The evolution of eLearning over the past few decades has been anything but gradual. The contemporary explosion of information and communication technology has directly affected the process of learning across classrooms in the academic and corporate sectors. From the VHS tape to the current day educational clouds, technology has been effectively leveraged to enhance the process of learning.
Traditional learning methodologies were trainer or teacher centric, leading to a wide barrier in terms of time and geography. Technology primarily served to close these gaps with the introduction of video recording of lecture sessions that reduced geographic constraints.
The evolution of the personal computing and networking technology in the form of the internet made learning possible, anywhere and anytime. Software applications specifically designed to deliver effective learning content created a whole new visual and cognitive experience for the learner.
STRUCTURE OF E LEARNING
The growth of multimedia technologies, software applications and internet based solutions has created a plethora of possibilities that enrich the process of learning.
The evolution of the internet created a need for bandwidth to host the enriched content. The usage of content and its impact on the learner has to be measured. The management of assessments and assignments resulted in the need for automation, and technology had a role to play in meeting these demands and Learning Management System’s (LMS) provides the solution.
Though technology reduces the dependency on the trainer, it cannot and will not replace the trainer in the classroom. Technology plays a major role in optimizing the basic time consuming operations such as tests and quizzes and learning progress measurement. These aid the trainer to transform into the role of a facilitator and remain the most important source of interactivity in the classroom.
NEXT GEN LEARNING
The future is always better than the present, as seen from the past. The stage for next generation learning systems is set. Though technology saved time and costs, infrastructure and bandwidth issues have continued to be an area of concern. The evolution of cloud computing presents a solution to a lot of areas of concerns in terms of technology use in the learning process.
Clouds cater to the basic learning needs by hosting applications that present information, track use of information and more importantly save information.
While the LMS forms the backbone of the learning environment, the cloud is what adds muscle to the system in terms of connectivity and strength. The shift of focus of the IT industry towards cloud computing, with major players such as Amazon AWS, Azure or Google is an indication that the cloud is the future of technology.