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Letter To Editor

Online Learning

Arturo Ramo

Even if the computer is not the panacea of future learning, no one can doubt that it is a very powerful teaching tool with the power to change a professor’s way of teaching and a student’s way of learning.

When a child encounters a computer and educational software or the Internet, the protagonist is no longer the professor but the student who reads, understands, and learns by him or herself.

Professor Jesús A. Beltrán Lera distinguishes reproductive or passive pedagogy from the active and innovative pedagogy of the imagination.

Websites can be categorized in two groups: those that display texts and drawings that can be copied and printed (but are passive and static), and those that are interactive. In these latter ones, a dialogue between the computer and the child is established.

An interactive model could be as follows: the screen displays information and the student reads and understands; the computer poses a question with various answers to chose from and the student answers; if the answer is correct, then the computer rewards the student, but if it is incorrect, then the computer informs the student of his or her error. Interactivity allows for an instant correction in the student, which serves as a motivating factor.

On the Internet today, lots of websites with interactive exercises can be found, one of them is the so called “Teaching Applications” (Aplicaciones didácticas, www.aplicaciones.info), which responds to the second pedagogical model and provides five different sections with interactive exercises: spelling, math, reading, poetry, and riddles. Spelling is carried out through exercises of spelling rules, single words, and the study of homophonic words. Math is carried out through exercises that require mental calculations and the solving of problems.

At the end of the questions, the student clicks a button with the name of “points”, that once clicked on three results are revealed: the number of correct answers, the number of incorrect answers, and a score with one of the following evaluation comments: “Very good. Magnificent”, if there are no errors; “Good, but you can do better”, if points (from 0 to 10) are 7 or more; and “You must repeat the exercise”, if the points are inferior to 7. This interactivity produces a positive feedback that increases the student’s motivation and stimulates scholastic activities.

Arturo Ramo

Independent Forum of Opinion

http://indeforum.wordpress.com