In this video produced by KQED, learn how new developments in computer-mediated learning can enhance educational experiences. Hear from experts, and explore three examples of cyberlearning: students learn about astronomy and game design in the Universe Quest project; students use remote scientific equipment to learn about radiation with the iLab Network; and students use handheld devices to play an augmented reality game from MIT and learn about climate change.
We are living in the information age—the development of networked computer technology has created a world in which information flows freely. The speed at which people share ideas and the wealth of information available on the Internet characterize this era. Children are growing up in a digital world where such technology is second nature to them. In the field of education, this is an exciting time to find ways to harness the power of computers and the networked environment to better educate students.
As defined by the National Science Foundation, cyberlearning is the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. Simulations, remote laboratories, visualization technologies, serious (educational) games, online forums for discussion, and digital libraries are examples of cyberlearning tools. Cyberlearning has the potential to transform traditional modes of education to provide students with learning experiences that would otherwise not be possible.
For example, remote online laboratories allow students to work with equipment that they would not typically have access to in their schools. Scientific instruments can be too expensive or delicate for classrooms, but a remote laboratory would give students the opportunity to manipulate such equipment. Wet labs are also often too difficult or dangerous for classroom use, but with cyberlearning tools, it is possible for students to participate in labs without being exposed to potential hazards.
Cyberlearning can provide opportunities for more authentic inquiry experiences, creative problem-solving activities, and collaboration with other students; it allows for new ways of understanding content and gives teachers more varied ways to interact with students. Educational materials and learning technologies can become globally available, making learning more affordable and accessible.
Cyberlearning can be thought of as learning that is mediated by networked computers. Most people are already in a computer-mediated work environment, but the world of education has not gotten there quite yet. Changing traditional forms of education can be difficult. For example, an issue with replacing hands-on lab experiences with cyberlearning experiences is that some schools will not give credit to students unless they have hands-on wet labs. One of the biggest problems in incorporating cyberlearning is time—how does a teacher find time in a prescribed curriculum to accommodate cyberlearning tools? Curricula may need to be restructured to effectively support cyberlearning. In addition, the cost to bring computers and mobile devices into schools can be an issue. While challenges remain in implementing cyberlearning broadly in schools, there are many benefits to using technology to engage students and make their learning experiences richer and more exciting.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.