The distance learning has a goal to make a learner obtain all the necessary knowledge and skills completely independently, without participation of other people. It is still not possible, but we should admit that over the past several years the distance learning (e-learning) has covered a large number of learners all over the world.
The Internet has become a huge technological breakthrough, more important than radio and television. Since it got possible to exchange instant messages with any person who has Internet access, the global network found its use in the field of education. Distribution of the “fast internet” has made it possible to launch “online” seminars (Webinars) for training and to give private lessons via Skype and other similar instant messaging applications.
However, there are some disappointing facts in the distance learning system. The expenses of companies from 2004 to 2006 for the purchase of e-learning courses have fallen sharply. It has to do with low efficiency of distance learning for a variety of parameters, such as lack of motivation, ineffectiveness of verbal skills development etc.
Distance learning has already begun integrating with real time learning.
In the future they will balance with each other. Most likely, e-learning will be used for theoretical material, and a teacher will provide the “problem” aspects of learning, which are more effective in thinking skills development than taking lecture notes. Also real time lessons will be devoted to practical skills development.
A variety of motion and pressure sensors makes it possible to develop a set of motor skills. Sensors for programming may become available within two to three years that in continuation will lead to the creation of a whole virtual reality. For example, already existing flight simulators create realistic conditions, in which you can work out real piloting skills.
The development of medical technology will also create a new training system. In particular, sensors that make it possible for disabled people to move their prosthetic arm/leg, controlled by their thoughts, will provide a basis for student’s movements supervision. For example, with the help of a computer it will be possible to teach beginning pianists to hold hands in right position. In general, a possibility to control a muscle contraction by a weak electric signal could be used to work out the movement accuracy.
The history of e-learning is directly related to the development of technology and communication systems. Distance learning will become an integral part of our lives, since gives us an opportunity to learn faster and more efficiently. However, traditional education is not going away, but will be complemented by excellent opportunities of e-learning.