e-Learning, as applied to K through 12 education approaches, is growing in leaps and bounds and rapidly expanding to create an atmosphere where teachers and students are able to interact more effectively both inside and outside the classroom. The focus of technology-adaptive education is focused not only on adding new technologies to existing classrooms but on taking new approaches to results-driven education designed to close performance gaps and increase students’ participation in the entire learning process.
In response to the question “Do you think that education is finally ready for the Internet,” Clayton Christensen (author: “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Transform the Way the World Learns”) responded:
“I absolutely do. I think that not only are we ready, but adoption is occurring at a faster rate than we had thought…We believe that by the year 2019, half of all classes for grades K-12 will be taught online. The rise of online learning carries with it an unprecedented opportunity to transform the schooling system into a student-centric one that can affordably customize for different student needs by allowing all students to learn at their appropriate pace and path, thereby allowing each student to realize his or her fullest potential.”
Author Emma Taylor, writing for TeachHub.com says that “E-learning, like most aspects of the applied sciences and education, is a rapidly growing and changing field. New technologies are constantly being implemented that let students and teachers better interact both in the classroom and outside of it — not only at the college level, but in K-12 schools around the world.” (http://www.teachhub.com/top-10-elearning-trends-k-12-education )
The UK website www.learninglight.com defines adaptive learning as “the delivery of education or training that utilizes technology and data to provide an individually customized learning program to students, intelligently adapting to their learning needs.” Wikipedia expands the idea to include adaptive teaching and identifies the concept as “an educational method which uses computer algorithms to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner. Computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to students’ learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions, tasks and experiences.”
Technical definitions aside, adaptive learning is the term for e-learning that adapts to a user’s needs. The concept is simply that learning is personalized, so that what is taught to students and how that information is taught is directly relevant to individual students. Because the rate of new product development has been rapidly increasing over the past decade and because education software providers and education publishers are continuing to team up to create viable new content and products, e-learning is moving towards becoming the “gold standard” of educational advancement for grade levels K-12.
5 Benefits of Adaptive e-Learning
e-Learning provides the opportunity for teachers to move beyond the traditional “one textbook” model to use a variety of adaptive and blended approaches that provide increased knowledge access to students of all learning levels and styles. Some benefits of adaptive e-learning include:
- Automated Intervention
- Identify learning gaps
- Help students reach grade-level proficiency
- Boost math and science outcomes
- Potential for “just-in-time” intervention
- More one-on-one teaching time
- Personalized instruction
- Supportive, individualized, learning atmosphere
- Encourages student/teacher collaboration opportunities via video conferencing, chat rooms, etc.
- Continuous learning
- Flexible learning schedules adaptable to family commitments and student learning styles
- Provides learning options in distant or difficult locations
- Self-paced, allowing students to move at their own pace and excel
- Potential for increased student productivity
- Allows students the time to understand the “meaning” of what they are learning rather than just memorizing facts
- Increased student engagement
- More comfortable learning environment may result in increased comprehension
- Lack of distractions can equal easier concentration factor
- Students can work when they are at their peak energy level
- More options for individualized education approaches
- Interactive classroom setting designed to promote the open exchange of ideas
- Improved outcomes
- Higher student satisfaction rates
- Increased graduation rates
- Increased proficiencies based on opportunity for individualized attention.
In today’s rapidly expanding online education market, e-learning is making a significant “dent” in the stagnating U.S. education system by bringing the power of technical innovation to K-12 learning. The impact of e-learning is already proving to be astounding and e-learning trends are becoming available faster than our current educational systems can handle. E-learning offers many new challenges, but the related benefits and opportunities including flexible schedules, the ability for students to work through problems on their own and increased student motivation levels make e-learning a desirable option to full-time classroom learning.
Global Student Network – Adaptive e-Learning Options
Global Student Network (GSN) has provided online curriculum options for schools and homeschools since 2004. Each comprehensive program adapts to individual learners, providing a motivating educational experience from a multi-media platform. GSN partners with schools to implement online learning in the classroom as well as learn-from-home settings.