An Emerging Trend in Education: the Online Classroom

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An Emerging Trend in Education: The online classroom
Phillip Stuart
Lincoln Memorial University
Trends and Issues within Educational Technologies
EDL - 872
Dr. Chris Henderson
July 06, 2012

An Emerging Trend in Education: The online classroom
The National Science Foundation, which managed the Internet in the early years, prohibited using it for commercial purposes until 1993, when it lifted the ban. This led to the growth of the World Wide Web, with its user friendly features and colorful graphics. Over time, the Internet became a huge electronic library of information. This enormous amount of information made accessible through the Internet made the medium even more attractive as an educational tool for elementary, secondary, and college classrooms. Is the future of education in the hands of the virtual classroom? How did we get this far? Are there implications for future use, or are we on a dead-end course? This research paper will trace the development of the online classroom and implications for future use along with some pros and cons. The Development of the Online Classroom

According to Alan Cardy, (Cardy, June, 2009):
In spite of its apparent recent popularity, distance education methods can be traced back more than a hundred years to the 19th century when improvements in postal services paved the way for correspondence courses. Since these early days, distance educational programming can be tracked through five different stages or generations. Keep in mind that each generation was not eliminated by the next but rather accumulated and persisted with the newly emerging versions. Correspondence Education

This type of education was based on print and the postal delivery system. Students would complete a paper version of a lesson, send it back, and receive the graded paper along with the next lesson. This process continued until the course was completed. Multi-media model

This model combined print, audiotape, videotape, and computer-disc technologies. The learner would purchase the material, read it, and complete any activities on their own. Learning a foreign language by playing tapes in the car and completing a workbook is an example of this type of program. Tele-learning model

This model utilized synchronous communications using available technologies such as videoconferencing. This technology is used by the University of North Carolina to link its main campus to other extension of the university. The course is presented on the main campus while students at other UNC campuses watch in real time. This method is being used by other large schools to teach other campuses throughout their respective states. Flexible Learning model

This model uses interactive media that is delivered through the internet forr online delivery. It also includes computer-mediated communications Intelligent Flexible Learning model
The main difference between this model and the flexible learning model is campus portal access which gives students and faculty access to the university. This involves 24-7 interactivity with all components of the university. It was with the diffusion of personal computers in the 1980's, linked by the Internet, that spurred online learning programs. Over time, the Internet has become a massive electronic library of information thanks to the advances that linked numerous websites. The vast amount of information available through the Internet made the medium attractive as an educational tool and spurred the use of technology in elementary, secondary and college classrooms (Shane, 2012). Potential Benefits and Challenges

The Internet provides an ideal opportunity to focus on key areas of the preschool and kindergarten curriculum such as emerging literacy and math skills. Online mathematics activities can provide practice with patterning, numerical relationships, sequencing, three dimensional manipulatives, and classification (Schanen, March 2003). Steve Lohr (Lohr, 2009),...
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