Art Historical E-Learning and the Virtual Museum Space

This study considers the virtual museum experience as a tool for enhancing art historical e-learning, both within traditional and online educational platforms. Using online museum collection environments and virtual exhibitions, this study considers the benefits and shortfalls of simulated e-viewing spaces, which are capable of presenting advanced visual information. Although a rich theoretical framework exists in relationship to the concept of experience simulation in an increasingly technological world, such as Jean Baudrillard’s (1994) postmodernist Simulacra, very little research explores the potential of the virtual environment in the context of e-learning applications related to the visual arts. This study steps beyond the application of theory-for-theory’s sake, by comparing various online exhibitions and museum platforms, in an effort to find relevant applications to the concept of experience simulation as a tool for studying art and art history. It is proposed that, although the virtual viewing space is not a perfect substitute for the live viewing experience, the capabilities of high-resolution digital imagery and museum simulations allow for greatly enhanced understanding of visual properties. Unlike the traditional museum or classroom space, e-learners have the added benefit of being able to zoom, scroll, compare, and harness content from a variety of sources and platforms.

Do Videos Have a Place in e-Learning Classrooms?

The problem with using videos in a hybrid classroom environment to teach basic skills to the 21st century learner is that videos are neither a new technology nor do these lectures align themselves to any student learning styles or any desired educational learning outcome. This paper will examine how videos fail to align with any of the following seven learning styles: visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. In addition, they are in direct opposition to the goal of creating an active learning classroom. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, we need to foster in our students the learning skills of creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, and group communication and collaboration (Blair 2012, 8-13). To do this, we cannot go back to failed historical learning systems; old technologies repackaged as innovative technologies. According to the website (www.p21.org) for Partnership for 21st Century Skills, we need to discover new ways for students to learn to use technology "as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information." There is a strong need for interaction between student and teacher and peer-to-peer communication and collaboration for e-Learning to be effective. It is imperative for educators to look for new learning technologies that are more than a relabeling of old methods to meet the challenges of this century.

Pedagogical Foundations of a Mobile Application for Language Acquisition

In today’s increasingly technology-dependent world, mobile applications are becoming more pervasive, impacting educational practices across learning contexts, and subsequently changing the landscape of education. This paper focuses on the pedagogical foundations informing the design of a mobile application (app) crossword puzzle developed for teaching vocabulary to students of a second language. The crossword puzzle app is inherently game-based, making the learning process more appealing to students as an aid in the effective acquisition of vocabulary. It offers a degree of challenge, motivating students to try to solve the puzzle, but also aims to make vocabulary acquisition more exciting and rewarding. It provides an opportunity for students to practice and repeat the sentence patterns and vocabulary, which in turn, assists in the improvement of students’ performance in language acquisition. From a pedagogical perspective, evaluating choices, making inferences, and drawing conclusions are key skills essential for completing crossword puzzles. As a mobile application for smart phones and tablets, the advantages of crossword puzzles are ubiquitous and can be within an arm’s length of most students, and running on a device and in an environment for which most students greatly value.