The 3 page paper is an analysis of the topic (A Historical and Socio-Cultural Analysis of Online Learning ) from an historical and socio-cultural frame . This section provides context for the problem and should review literature related to the topic. The initial sections of the paper are below. The possible subjects that should be covered in this paper ordered are
1. The development of the internet and internet based courses
2. social ramifications of internet based courses
Be sure all citation is in proper APA style. Please email me if there are any questions.
Sections 1 and 2 of paper:
While the execution of education has changed in some fundamental ways in recent years, the United States throughout its history has recognized the importance of education. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, the delivery and the purpose of education have been influenced by technological innovations in some profound ways
Today?s American society, and even some of the world, views education as a lifelong endeavor. There can be no doubt that the ?age of the Internet? and online courses (distance education via the Internet) are helping working adults further their careers and broaden their personal horizons. (Levin 2002)
These transformations are directly linked to some specific historical events that in essences are changing the nature our social contract. Examples can be cited like, the millions of ?Rosies,? who were empowered by the experiences of the workplace. After World War II, these women were no longer content to return to their former lives and wanted more. This learning experience created a new social contract for women that achieved much through the Women?s Rights Movement. Similarly, the Civil Rights Movement and even more recent shifts in American demographics have created an increasingly multicultural society.
This study will provide a critical review of the scholarly and peer-reviewed literature concerning educational policy in the United States and the way it has been affected by socio-cultural factors and forces This study will seek to determine what historical events have played the most influential role on this evolution in learning and why.
To determine the impact of such historical events and the socio-cultural forces upon which they depended, a series of case studies will be presented leading to an analysis. The analysis will provide a mixture of the findings of the literature review and case studies.
Preliminary Review and Discussion
According to the U.S. Department of Education?s Web site, the ?Enhancing Education through Technology (ED Tech) initiative is a recent program that is designed to improve student achievement through the use of technology.
The basis for this initiative is the fact that, ?Technology is a tool like any other, and the value does not come from having access to it, but rather how it is used. ED Tech grants will improve the quality of education by developing new ways to apply this tool to teaching and learning? (The Facts About…21st-Century Technology, 2006, p. 1).
The fact sheet also reports that, ?Online tests deliver reports on student progress instantaneously instead of weeks later. When designed well, curriculum software can engage students in solid academic curriculum like never before? (emphasis added) (p. 2).
Confronted with multicultural classrooms full of adult learners of different ages and at different stages of their careers has become an ever increasing challenge to academic institutions. Keeping the curriculum relevant to the needs of adult learners? is not new but is one of the very reasons technological changes has been so important.
Technological changes introduced has also increased instructor workloads. By the time many teachers master one state-of-the-art application, it is obsolete and school administrators and school board push for ?new and improved? versions. In addition, online programs like Indiana Universities Division of Labor Studies instructors report spend more man hours with online course versus traditional face to face courses. (W. Mello, personal communication, Apr. 13, 2006)
There is a deficiency in the evidence in the understanding of how, when and why adult learners take the time and make the investment in learning. This knowledge will help educators and policymakers alike formulate better curricula and improve effectiveness and offerings of online courses.
As study in this regard could look at English as a second language (ESL) programs (also referred to as ?English for Speakers of Other Languages? or ESOL) that are becoming widespread in onlinelearning forums (Adult education, 2006).
Although there are some similarities between teaching children and adults, there are some important differences that must be taken into account as well. According to the Wikipedia entry for ?adult learning? (2006), ?Educating adults differs from educating children in several ways. One of the most important differences is that adults have accumulated knowledge and experience which can either add value to a learning experience or hinder it? (p. 2). The encyclopedic entry here points out that yet another important difference between teaching adult learners and children is that adults typically use their knowledge in a practical way to help them learn more effectively (Adult education, 2006). The editors add that a recent historical event that helped fuel the adult education explosion was the introduction of personal computers in the last decade of the 20th century.
The preliminary research showed that a number of historical events can reasonably be asserted to have had a profound influence on the nature and purpose of education in the United States, with many of these events having taken place in the last few decades and even the last few years. Although the experts continue to debate the direction online learning will take in the future, the trend is clear today and the need to understand how, when and why adult learners make the investment in time and resources to pursue online learning programs will help policymakers and educators alike develop better programs to serve this growing population of learners.