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Kniha: E-learning učení (se) s online technologiemi

19.8.2012 - Kniha E-learning učení (se) s online technologiemi

Před nedávnem  vyšla moje nová kniha o e-learningu, kterou jsem tentokrát napsal s kolegy z naší fakulty – více informací je možné najít na webu nakladatelství Wolters Kluwer, kde je rovněž možné knihu objednat, přečíst si obsah, ukázku z knihy i jednu recenzi na knihu.

Kniha je originální minimálně ve dvou věcech. Má online podporu a jako jedna z mála odborných pedagogických knih (ne-li první) vychází zároveň v tištěné podobě i jako e-book.

Postupně zde budu publikovat další informace o knize a dalších aktivitách, které jsou s vydáním knihy spojeny.

Citace: ZOUNEK, J. a P. SUDICKÝ. E-learning: učení (se) s online technologiemi. 1. vyd. Praha: Wolters Kluwer, 2012. 248 s. ISBN 978-80-7357-903-6.

New Book: ZOUNEK, J. a P. SUDICKÝ. E-learning: Teaching and learning with online technologies. Praha: Wolters Kluwer, 2012. 248 p. ISBN 978-80-7357-903-6.

We live in a society in which electronic networks play an increasingly significant role. Digital technologies are becoming an important medium in many areas of human life, not least in the area of education: they have critical potential with respect to teaching and learning support and constitute a driving force behind innovation processes facilitating the emergence of new learning forms ­­­– formal and informal learning – and even entirely new learning approaches, e.g. mobile learning and learning personalization.

            Although this publication reflects these technological developments, the authors are primarily concerned with e-learning in the context of teaching and learning as such: the book takes into consideration various approaches to learning, e-learning and learning theory as well as empirical field research – including research carried out by the main author. Most chapters thus include a section detailing relevant research findings. The authors of the book likewise draw on their own experience with the long-term application of online technologies in education.

E-learning is essentially perceived as an educational process, utilizing online technologies in accordance with ethical principles. The various methods of the application of such technologies are dependent primarily on educational objectives and content, the nature of the educational environment and the needs and capabilities of those involved in the educational process. In addition to aspects of learning in a virtual environment, the publication primarily focuses on the application of online technologies in a traditional classroom setting or on their utilization in so-called blended learning.

            The first chapter introduces the human learning process, focusing on its basic principles and forms. Although views foregrounding the increasingly important role of digital technologies in the learning process are naturally examined, differing opinions are explored as well, including claims that the learning process itself has not changed much but that in fact learning conditions and expectations linked to learning outcomes have undergone a significant transformation. The publication also points out elements which have literally gained a new dimension thanks to digital media – e.g. communication supported by cutting-edge ICT technologies.

The second chapter is devoted to the distribution of e-learning roles, and while the text focuses on “new” skills acquired by students (e.g. visual-spatial skills), emphasis is also placed on directed and self-directed learning as well as on the so-called personal (digital) learning environment. For the purposes of the publication, a student is considered in the most comprehensive sense of the word, regardless of age or form of education he/she is involved in. In addition to students, the e-learning environment naturally calls for teachers/educators, i.e. professionals responsible for “teaching, training, instruction, etc”. These teachers are currently subject to a range of new requirements, which are subsequently reflected in their work, their professional profiles and their competencies. The authors therefore focus on teachers’ competences in the digital age as well as on issues of pedagogical thinking and technological pedagogical content knowledge.

The third chapter covers teaching and learning theories. The study of such theories provides a deeper understanding of educational principles, thus facilitating the effective implementation and utilization of online technologies. Significant theories such as neobehaviorism, constructivism and connectivism are perceived as instances of differing approaches to education but not necessarily as contradictory or mutually exclusive concepts. Learning theories are generally quite specific with respect to learning management, indicting areas in need of special emphasis and describing the individual roles involved in the teaching and learning process. This theoretical perspective enables the authors to include a pedagogical reflection on the possibilities of employing technologies for educational purposes and ensures that the resulting publication provides more than an oversimplified and purely technical approach to e-learning, though a book about e-learning naturally cannot ignore the technologies themselves.

The next chapter is thus dedicated to providing a pedagogical description of selected online tools. The publication introduces a new classification of online teaching tools employed in an e-learning environment, which clearly maps the teaching and learning process (including its individual stages) with respect to the usage of individual online technologies. The chapter also details the functions, possibilities and limits of each of the selected technologies in a teaching and learning environment. The list is an extensive one, featuring tools and services from social networks and mobile technologies to wikis, podcasts, webinars, e-portfolios, games and simulations. Special attention is devoted to online information visualization and presentation and project management tools.

            The next chapter provides insight into the advantages and disadvantages of using online tools in education: the pros and cons of individual tools are analyzed from the point of view of students, teachers and institutions currently using or about to implement online digital technologies. The authors point out the dangers of turning to the latest technologies only for the sake of modernizing teaching or in order to simply implement new technologies regardless of their actual contribution.

            The penultimate chapter goes on to address the general issues associated with the preparation, planning and execution of a course or teaching routine implementing online tools. The publication summarizes the findings of the preceding chapters, detailing the various stages of teaching preparation, execution and assessment and differentiating between the use of online technologies as components in a classroom setting and as integral elements in blended learning.

The final chapter provides particular examples of the application of online technologies in actual teaching practice in a university setting, including descriptions of courses – designed by the authors themselves – which incorporate a variety of online technologies. Individual course descriptions are provided in a unified format which covers course descriptions and degree program affiliation, learning objectives, course preparation, student and teacher roles, teaching types and aspects of online technology implementation and teaching and assessment methods.

The publication includes an online support website – available at www.phil.muni.cz/uceni-online – which provides all links mentioned in the printed book as well as a range of complementary and supplementary information for each chapter along with examples of the application of various technologies in teaching practice, etc. However, the online support has little value in and of itself: it is most useful when combined with the publication itself. Ideally, the book should be read with a computer, tablet or mobile device at hand.