Imagine for a moment that you’ve jumped ahead eighty years. What would the state of education reveal? No one holds a crystal ball that can tell us this. Eighty years ago, television was still a rare novelty and low capacity electronic computers the size of large rooms were ten years from becoming a reality. Few, if anyone, could have imagined in 1931 the future existence of personal, desktop computers and the Internet. Could 2091 hold artificially intelligent tutors that converse with their students, guiding them through a difficult subject with personalized care? That unknown future may contain wonders beyond our current imagination. And yet, today’s elearning software is still pretty amazing.
But first, what exactly does “elearning” mean? The “e,” of course, stands for “electronic.” So, elearning includes learning aided or performed with an electronic device or platform. Typically, this refers to computers, whether they are desktop, notebook or handheld devices.
The software can take the form of a specialized application running locally or across a network, on a server. It can also take the form of a more general application, like PowerPoint or Flash customized for a specific lesson.elearning software can also take the form of a website or web-based application. These can include video presentations, interactive web pages, or online training courses. The Internet is rich with such resources.
At one’s fingertips, one can take sales training one day, study mathematics the next and complete compliance training the day after. Tutorials abound for everything from programming languages to foreign languages. Education can range from corporate training to scholarly inquiry and practical applications like electronics or do-it-yourself plumbing. The educational potential for content alone limitless – let alone the potential for learning from connecting learners to one another.
eLearning software also includes authoring tools, which enable educators and subject matter experts to create and share educational content. As an elearning marketplace, OpenSesame is a platform where content developers can sell their courses and where training managers and learners can browse, research, select and purchase elearning courses.
Online educational platforms are the campuses of the 21st century— for both corporate training and higher education- because of their convenience and long range cost savings. Individuals will be able to take the training they need in their homes, at their own pace, with ease. For both corporate training and higher education, the 21st century is looking good.
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