Jun 15 2018
With the evolution of the internet, ready access to information continues to increase substantially. Educators have taken note and are using various elearning strategies to improve access to quality STEM education, better communicate information in ways students understand, and as a result, increase student engagement.
Educators are using elearning tools to provide access to quality STEM education, regardless of location or budgetary limitations. The National Science Teachers Association considers elearning essential to providing a well-rounded science education due to access to up-to-date information to enhance curriculum. The incorporation of elearning is an important tool for educators in rural or otherwise isolated school districts to remain competitive. The access benefits are not solely student information, but also networking and professional development opportunities for teachers. With access to elearning, teachers have exposure to a greater network of other STEM educators for information sharing. Students and teachers alike also benefit from information on the most up-to-date technologies to remain competitive.
With the advancement of technology, students have become immersed in interactive technology, changing the way they learn. Teachers who use e-learning strategies for STEM are able to cater to the digital savvy of students by providing interactive, immersive experiences for their students. These elearning strategies provide the students with hands-on context of what were previously abstract concepts, allowing their students to better engage and understand the subject matter. This interactive technology allows students to begin learning more complicated STEM concepts at a younger age since they are able to interact and conceptualize complex theories.
The use of elearning technologies in the classroom ultimately increases student engagement. One study at the University of Pennsylvania compared the use of traditional instructional methods against the addition of elearning strategies. The results were impressive–teachers who employed elearning as part of their curriculum saw an increase in student engagement. By using elearning as a tool, students were allowed to work at their own pace and, as a result, remained more engaged with the learning material.
Using elearning technologies in the classroom is ultimately a benefit to STEM students. By leveling the playing field and making information more accessible, the use of elearning technologies provides substantial educational opportunities anywhere. eLearning also allows students to better understand complex scientific concepts by providing the ability to interact and create mental models. The use of elearning improves student engagement by allowing students to learn at their own pace and helping them to maintain interest in STEM subjects in the classroom and beyond.
About the Author
SolidProfessor Digital Marketing Manager and keeper of Rahn, the office dog.