What Teachers Can Learn from Students’ E-learning Likes and Dislikes…

Laura is a writer and recent Cambridge graduate with particular experience in the area of education technology. She has worked with a variety of different education companies and is active in the 'edtech' community on Twitter, so she prides herself on always being in touch with the latest developments and exciting new tools in e-learning.

There is sometimes a tendency to assume that all students will love education technology and e-learning – after all, students love computers, the internet, and mobile devices right? But in fact, while there are many things students do enjoy and find rewarding about education technology and online learning, there are also some things they may find frustrating and distracting.

The best teachers can learn a great deal about how to tailor and implement their edtech teaching from these student likes and dislikes. Here are some top tips…

 

What students LIKE about e-learning

It’s convenient.

The simplicity of keeping notes and files in one easy place and always being able to log in to check assignments appeals to students as it makes it much easier for them to stay organised and on top of their work. Capitalise on this using a site like My Big Campus, which allows teachers to organise lessons, hold discussions and post videos and documents for students to view all in the same place. And don’t forget great file sharing tools like Dropbox.

 

It makes connecting over distance easier.

E-learning is a brilliant tool to use with students who aren’t able to meet teachers on-site, whether that means entire distance learning courses or using technology to check in during the school holidays. Take advantage of great tools like Show Document which allow you to work simultaneously on a document with a student from different locations, giving the same effect as a face-to-face lesson.

 

It makes learning fun!

One of the best things about e-learning and the new wave of education technology resources is the potential they provide to turn learning into a game. Capitalise on this with brilliant online resources like educational games and animation tools.

 

What students DISLIKE about e-learning

It makes them feel isolated

Sometimes there’s no substitute for a face-to-face tutorial. Students learning over the internet can become discouraged and may feel unsupported, and this can lead to a risk of them losing interest and putting in less effort. Work to avoid this using videoconferencing tools like Vyew which allow you to talk directly to students at the same time as using interactive whiteboards as if you were right in front of them in the classroom!

 

It can be distracting

There’s a lot of good out there online, but there are distracting sites like Facebook and YouTube too! Sometimes students log on with the best intentions but end up procrastinating and wasting time. This can be a particular problem with younger students, so when using education technology tools in the classroom it’s important to maintain a very watchful eye and use close supervision and directed use of tools to prevent time loss!

 

They have to work alone

Often e-learning involves one student working with one device, which can be lonely and runs the risk of losing out on the brilliant benefits of student collaboration. Try these great online tools to encourage students to work together.

 

What are your experiences bringing technology into the classroom? And what are the tools that your students love and hate? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Image courtesy of Flickr, Lupuca

  • Navyatha Bodhanpu

    Certainly there is a lot for the teachers to learn from students owing to the gap between the boomers and the millennial.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

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