Learning and Playing get Personal

Learning and Playing get Personal

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4454-0.ch007


Developments in information technology are finding new applications in teaching, and these “e-learning” approaches are having a significant impact on the way people learn and play. Since e-learning, which includes different types of learning and can be applied to a variety of situations, offers many benefits for students, it is increasingly being embraced in both academic and corporate teaching settings. The market for e-learning has seen remarkable growth as e-learning has been applied in various ways to education in primary and secondary schools, institutions of higher learning, and workplace settings. E-learning approaches are even beginning to affect the way we play, and there is potential for online gaming platforms as new e-learning tools. The remarkable growth of e-learning is no surprise, however, since in the case of both learning and play, e-learning breaks down long-standing barriers.
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The Rise Of E-Learning

“E” Means More than Just “Electronic”

Superficially, e-learning refers to forms of learning that are administered electronically. It’s the same “e” that prefaces “mail” when referring to e-mail. In practice, however, that letter signifies a great deal more. Just as e-mail revolutionized the way people send written correspondence to one another, e-learning has revolutionized the way in which people learn and the way in which society as a whole thinks about learning. E-learning methodologies may well employ electronic tools in their delivery, but what really makes e-learning unique is the way in which one can use those tools to create a uniquely customized and individualized learning experience.

E-learning takes on many forms, but the support of an information system is at the core of all of them. Ultimately, this is the goal of e-learning—to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from an information system to an end user. In this sense, e-learning can refer to the act of locating information via a search engine, taking a college class over the Internet, or using a custom designed piece of software to learn a new skill on the job. Any time knowledge is imparted from an information system through an electronic medium, e-learning is taking place, regardless of whether an automated test, a piece of software, or a “flesh and blood” administrator or teacher oversees the actual process of transmission.

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