eLearning, while once a limited force in education, has moved into the mainstream, and is poised to become a leading part the future, in large part because of the necessity of remote instruction during the pandemic. Students are also becoming more immersed in the online environment outside of the classroom, with increasing social media outlets, gaming platforms, and an “Ask Google” mentality. That makes it more important than ever for teachers to upgrade their methods to connect with a networked student community.
In order to be an effective tool, eLearning has to encourage both teachers and students to interact on more than just a cursory level. And since eLearning changes the ways students both acquire and use knowledge, teachers need strategies in place to ensure the instruction is not only topical, but also engaging.
One consequence of having the Internet in all aspects of our lives has been to decrease our attention spans. Online you can jump from one page to another with a simple click. You can follow an idea across multiple platforms in no time at all. And you soak up a greater percentage of information from streaming media instead of the printed word. Any successful eLearning platform has to address these issues instead of outright dismissing them.
One way to address the attention issue is to “chunk” information into bite-size pieces, such as incorporating quizzes, games, and interactive tools that engage and challenge the students in a manner similar to the mobile apps they use and the online games they play.
Another consequence of the Internet has been a massive decline foot in the number of children who read for pleasure, especially with text that doesn’t come in an online format. So, bombarding students with printed texts in the classroom is counterproductive for students who aren’t getting daily information from reading newspapers and books like generations before them did.
eLearning can get around this by using more videos that engage all of a child’s senses. While educators still aren’t clear on how — or if — videos can fully replace reading and assimilating information from a printed text, it’s clear that many modern students can still learn well with the help of video tools in and out of the classroom. Striking a balance between print and online learning is key to student success, especially where reading comprehension is concerned. Many students still comprehend more of what they’ve read when it comes from a print source.
With eLearning, teachers can teach and students can learn from anywhere and everywhere they have data or Internet access. And by engaging students where they’re already engaged — in the online environment — teachers will alter the way students acquire educational knowledge to match the way they acquire daily knowledge in the first place.
 Lynch, Matthew. (November 11, 2019). “How eLearning Changes the Way Children Acquire Knowledge.” The Tech Advocate. Retrieved from https://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-elearning-changes-the-way-children-acquire-knowledge/.