Ever wanted to take a class that was not offered in your school? Or a class that is beyond the spectrum of your subject choices? The good news is that you can! Welcome to the world of e-learning, which gives everybody the chance to explore subjects beyond their horizons and gain more insight into a specific interest. E-learning is the use of technology for educational purposes. It incorporates various media — audio, text, animation, streaming videos and live conversations online – to educate people across the world. Learning online can be an individual effort, or instructor-led. When you think of e-learning, today there are two main options that the high school student can consider: e-learning using available web resources, and the more organised MOOCs. Let’s consider these one by one.
E-learning using web resources
There are several websites that can help a student enhance her learning, alongside high school classroom learning (see end of article for some recommendations). One such website, for instance, is the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org), a non-profit organisation that offers more than 4600 video tutorials on various educational subjects, with interactive challenges and assessments. Websites like Khan Academy can be of immense benefit to high-school students:
- The tutorials and online resources complement school work, allowing students to explore classroom topics in greater depth.
- Students can work at their own pace, using these tutorials to strengthen their understanding of a subject.
- They can also move beyond their curriculum to discover and explore topics of interest to them.
- Learning that happens through interactive and visual means is enriching and enhances interest and retention.
From the Horse’s Mouth
ParentEdge spoke to Paulette Altmaier, Head of Education Partnerships, Khan Academy and this is what she had to say:
Why e-learning? How can it benefit high-school students?
“E-learning enables self-paced, personalised learning. Self-paced because students can learn at their own pace and can spend the time they need to really understand the material before moving on to new material. This allows every student to be challenged and does not leave any student behind.
Students appreciate online resources, not just for learning new concepts but also because they can apply those concepts by doing online problem sets. In addition, students don’t feel pressured when learning online since, as they report, they can watch a video 20 times, but would feel stupid if they asked someone to explain a concept to them 20 times. Doing problem sets online allows a student to get immediate feedback. Instead of doing 10 homework problems and getting them all wrong, students immediately know whether the first problem is correct, and if not, why, since our site gives them all the steps to a solution if they need it.