Logistic Issues in Introducing Remote Learning Devices: Case Study

Logistic Issues in Introducing Remote Learning Devices: Case Study

Amiram Porath (AmiPorCon Ltd., Israel)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9784-3.ch015
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Educational organizations have to face logistic hurdle when introducing remote learning using mobile devices. Unlike the introduction of a new textbook, the introduction of e-learning into educational environment requires adaptation, on the physical as well as the human infrastructure levels. The case study below describe such a move in a regional high school in Israel and presents the major logistic question the move presented to the school and other interested parties. The answers may differ from country to country but the questions seem to be more generalize, and therefore should at least be considered when preparing for the move. The paper ends with some of the lessons learnt, and recommendations for the future.
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Normally when dealing with the introduction of remote or electronic learning the issues discussed are pedagogic in nature and relate to topics involving the learning experience, improved learning, the role of the teachers and even to some extent relate to the cost of the change (Twigg, 2003; Garrison and Vaugham, 2007).

The educational models dealing with the use of new technologies cannot be separated from general models of learning. The models of technology use in learning those as Siemens has shown (2004), require us to adapt the learning process to the technology as it changes the learning process as it has changed our daily lives. These models (Siemens, 2005) are ever changing and require constant monitoring to better understand the way they change.

The use of social networks has created communities of learning, and neither their impact on the learning process nor their importance for the learning experience can be ignored (Arbaugh, 2008), moreover, it requires constant watching for developments and new emerging models (Garrison, 2009).

To order the analysis of the status of technology in education we shall make use of their impact on three types of interactions involved in the learning process, as described by Anderson (2003): Student – Teacher; student – student; and student-Material. It is mostly related to that last interaction that we aim the discussion in this chapter. However, our focus will not be the pedagogic issues related to remote learning, but rather the logistics involved in making the move from the old method of teaching using textbooks, and frontal teaching in the classroom, to using tablets as remote learning device in the classroom and on-line. To illustrate some of the aspects involved a case study will be presented below.

Unlike the old hard copy books used for study from high school and up to the top of the academic world, the new technologies used for remote or distance learning seem to hold new challenges.

The hardcopy books, were inflexible in the aspect of updating, which could be done only by issuing a new version, which was both costly and time consuming. The new technologies seem to be more flexible, easier to update even during the courses and therefore seem to offer better information, better updated, with a potential to focus on interest areas of the students and teachers.

However, the new technologies involving both hardware and software seem to offer new challenges. The hardware needs to be compatible with the software used for the learning process, its platform requires adaptation to the applications popping up regularly all the time, there is demand to make the learning material adaptable to the platform and the applications regularly.

However, the complexity is bigger than can be envisaged in a single glance. The structured education system from high school and upwards, requires that the teaching material be compatible with the system approved curriculum. That is done by two parallel means: the authority approving the education organization degrees and courses requires that the teaching be compatible with predetermined approved curriculum, so as to create a unity of degrees and diplomas. Further to that there are regular state, regional, international exams that determine the grades of the students and these refer to a specific set of knowledge, predetermined as part of the study plan, and therefore enforcing the specifically approved curriculum on all student.

It is therefore evident, that while the platforms (hardware and software) seem to offer more flexibility in the study plan, it is so only for private un-regulated courses and teaching systems. Otherwise the degree awarding authority, if not the teaching organization by itself, are responsible to inflexibility in the teaching environment that supersedes any technological inflexibility caused in the hardcopy version of learning books by their technology.

Any degree awarding system would require the teachers or the teaching organization to at least supply the curriculum of the course or degree program, including reading material, topics to be covered etc. and in many cases would also at least in the preliminary stages, require also a monitoring period to determine the level of teaching and availability of material to the students.

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