Many professors are now offering their classroom lectures as podcasts. Think of e-learning and you probably envision students using computers to take online classes. Let's see how these forms of e-learning technology are being used.
Net generation students are well versed in technology, often arriving on campus adept at communicating by text message, e-mail and message board and armed with laptops, MP3 players, smartphones and PDAs. Many have years of experience with online social networks, blogging and downloading music and video.
• Download podcasts of course lectures and professors' audio study notes to their PDAs, smartphones or MP3 players to review wherever and whenever they have time.
• Check and copy information from the professor's daily or weekly blog, including the course syllabus, assignment changes, study notes and other important information.
• E-mail or text message study partners to set up study sessions and get answers to each other's questions about the material they're studying.
• Send instant messages to professors with quick questions or to set up a time to talk more extensively by phone.
• Log in to an online forum or visit a private chat room to discuss the topics being studied with the professor and other students in the class.
• Take notes, photos or video with an iPod or smartphone during lab experiments or in the field to use later as part of papers, presentations or test preparation.
• Bring work home from campus, share information for a collaborative project or submit a project to a professor with a USB flash drive.
• Buy and use educational software available for PDAs to review the subject they're studying.
Students are well versed in the mobile technology that has become part of e-learning, while professors know the subject matter well but are less experienced with new technology.
This type of learning is particularly successful for higher studies or corporations.