Traditional classroom learning, this word is very familiar to all of us. Yes, it is the method of teaching where the teacher takes us through the learning experience and guides us through the learning and the most important advantage of this kind of learning is the physical presence of the teacher guiding us through the learning.
In today’s fast moving world we need to keep ourselves updated and upgraded all the time. Or else we shall be left behind. There has also been a vast change in the field of education also. We have distance learning at our service. Distance learning is anytime anywhere learning. Learning is lifelong process of knowledge and skill acquisition. Learning is critical in an age which is rapidly following global ideas. Internet and World Wide Web have brought innovative changes in the field of learning (open and distance learning as well). Learning environments and web based learning courses have become accepted to distribute learning content to learners. They can be used either to support traditional method of learning (complementing books and direct-teaching process) or to help independent learning(such as, self learning).
What is distance learning?
Distance learning is defined as any learning methodology in which learners and teachers are separated by geographical location or in which students are separated from fellow students or educational resources. It relies on technologies of delivery in order to achieve communication and interaction. E-Learning and M-Learning are examples of distance learning. It may include training, the delivering just-in-time information and guiding students.
Different kinds of distance learning:
E-Learning takes the help of telecommunication technology to deliver information for education and teaching purposes to its users. With the growth of information and communication technology, e-Learning is emerging as the paradigm of modern learning. The greatest benefit of e-Learning includes liberating exchange of knowledge and information between learners and teachers, or peer to peer, from limitations of time and space
M-Learning can possibly as a means of learning where the learning takes place with the help of leading technologies (which are handheld devices). This means that m-learning could take place through mobile phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and their peripherals, perhaps tablet PCs and laptops, but not desktops.
Distributed Learning comes from the idea of dispersed resources. Distributed learning is a model that allows teachers, students, and even the learning resources to be located in different geographical locations so that instruction and learning occurs independent of time and space. It is sometimes known as blended learning. Distributed learning focuses to integrate people and learning resources that are distributed among different geographical locations.
Difference between E-learning and Online Learning
We come across the term online learning in our life very often these days. Is there any difference between E-learning and online learning or they are synonyms?
Well, they are not synonyms. Online learning refers to the learning which is done with the help of internet. During online learning the learner is hooked on to the internet. E-learning is slightly different from online learning. E-learning or electronic learning is done with the help of electronic media like laptops, computers, PDAs, etc. The presence of internet is not a necessity here. It is an added advantage.
Advantages of Distance learning:
Distance learning is time saving, cost saving, time independent and it suits the needs of an adult learner who wants to manage work and studies at the same time. This form of learning is learner dependant. It only depends on the efforts and enthusiasm of the learner.
Different organizations that were already involved in distance education (offline) have also adopted this new technology and have started to offer online learning as an extension to their distance educational activities. The corporate sector has shown keen interest in this technology as it is cost saving, coupled with the flexibility in terms of anytime anywhere learning.