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iGeneration: The impact of Technology on Children’s Development


In the modern world with its pace and globalization, e-learning has gained a wide scope of application and a high degree of popularity among the society. In the previous time, child education process required more efforts, time and costs. E-learning has simplified all these factors and created a favorable atmosphere for all potential students due to simplicity, availability and affordability. This research paper presents a brief overview of different sources on pros and cons of e-learning vs. traditional child education. Moreover, researches and studies overviewed in this research paper are grouped in accordance with the issues they are focused on. Therefore, works of modern scientists and works of previous years devoted to comparing and contrasting of e-learning vs. traditional child education are grouped and presented in this research paper.

Background information

In the work by J. Bilbao, it is claimed that IT technologies is a new though favorable child education atmosphere. The author underlines that the target audience of e-learning exceeds the borders of traditional academic level to public interest (2008).


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Vrettaros and Argiri (2008) are focused on helpful tools of e-learning as simplifier of this kind of child education. They underline the importance of web-platform for e-learning, due to which e-libraries and free journal articles are available for any target audience.

Tucker and Hodge (2005) have worked-out criteria for e-learning students and traditional child education of students. The scientists found no differences between these two forms of child education.

Traditional child education endows students with the ability to have more time for their study; ability to listen to teacher’s explanations during their study; study is of their primary concern (Ryan, 2001).

Many studies underline that students choose e-learning in order to save costs (Koprowski, 2000). In spite of traditional child education, e-learning doesn’t require travelling for conferences, libraries etc. either for students or for teachers.  


The study utilizes the principles of three research methods: explanatory research, causal research, and descriptive research. Explanatory approach is that, which goes beyond traditional descriptive research and serves an effective foundation to develop theories and make predictions. Explanatory research is aimed to build theories that explain and further help to predict future social events. The ultimate goal of explanatory research is to monitor and control social events, including education. In the proposed study, explanatory research will be used to study various variables constituting the background of the study. Explanatory research will also build the basis for the creation of new theoretical propositions regarding the benefits of single-sex schooling for boys in New Zealand.

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Nevertheless, there are studies, which suggest alternative approaches in assessment of e-learning VS traditional child education. The scientists Bowman and Kearns (2007) claim it is essential to combine e-learning and face-to-face child education. They underline the importance of modern technological devices usage in the process of child education as well as the necessity of communication between teachers and students.

Jasinsky also makes an emphasis on the necessity of e-learning socializing: “…there is a shift away from the “e” [in e-learning] and back to “child education”’, a shift ‘from exploring technology tools to … a better understanding of e-learner pedagogies, client perspectives and demonstration of good examples of working models in local contexts” (Jasinski, 2006). This scientist shows a little shift from e-learning to traditional education, because the latter supposes instantaneous clarity and explanations connected with a new material.

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Ryan also suggests the ways socializing of e-learning may occur: through students’ creative groups; interactive seminars; meetings in the real time etc. (Ryan, 2001).

From this point of view, e-learning is considered as a beneficial investment of any company and organization. Essential amounts of money invested in e-learning or e-training by organizations lead to experienced employees’ upbringing and essential profits of the company ($18 billion in 2005) (Koprowski, 2000).

E-learning is often considered as a starting point of traditional child education. Thus, there are researches focused on this point of view. Traditionally, child education theory supposes the effectiveness of child education in case of students’ partaking in the process of child education; assignments with references to real life and experiences; critical thinking appears as a result of self-projected activities (Eble, 1994; Honebein, 1996). With regard to the mentioned background of successful child education, e-learning is a starting point, when an individual has an ability to project his knowledge on real life and develops his critical thinking with no disturbances from around (vs. traditional child education, when student’s thinking is disturbed by time restriction, other students’ presence and other factors). In this paradigm, a lot of works are presented (Benek-Rivera & Matthews, 2004; Jasinsky, 2006). These scientists make an emphasis on active child education of students and criticize e-learning if it is not an interactive process.

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Effectiveness of e-learning is possible, as Driscoll (2002) claims, in case of active involvement of students in child education process; when covering issues turns to exploring new ideas; when interactive tools makes the process of child education interesting and fascinating.

Interactive abilities to conduct researches and write research papers are underlined by Johnston et al. (2005) and Pallof & Pratt (2003). These scientists make an emphasis on innovative technologies and internet activities, which enable students to work efficiently.

E-learning is also considered to be an efficient one because students refer their theoretical knowledge to real experiences and practices (Eble, 1988). Solving really existent problems is more interesting and efficient than think over invented problems and tasks (Duffy 1996; Honebein, 1996).

E-learning has also another advantage in comparison with traditional child education. It is an ability to apply innovative technological methods (multimedia functions), such as creation presentations, animations etc. (McDonald, 1999-2000). Thus, in spite of traditional child education, the content is delivered in an interesting form both for the student and the audience (in case of interactive conferences etc).     

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E-learning has a serious disadvantage: extra-time is spent not on knowledge gaining, but on solving technical problems, instructions etc. (Laine, 2003). Moreover, an isolation of a student, which was called an advantage in one of the previous sections of the literature review, is considered by Brown (2001) as a disadvantage. Individually facing the problems, feeling frustrated with no support, a student’s child education may be spoiled (Hara & Kling, 2000). Furthermore, students of e-learning need to be more self-organized, feel greater motivation (Golladay, Prybutok, & Huff, 2000; Serwatka, 2003).

Traditional child education has the first and foremost advantage over e-learning. It is face-to-face communication with teacher and other students. Therefore, it is possible for the student to ask the professor question and explanations at once, in spite of e-learning, where the student needs to look for clarification online by himself. Traditional child education is also supported because there is a possibility of students’ communication (creative groups’ creation; friendship relations establishment etc). Study groups are efficient in the process of child education, because every student has a possibility to stand for his point of view; critically evaluate information etc.  

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Teachers don’t tend to support e-learning. They claim that traditional education prepares traps of real life for students; students may meet unplanned or urgent situations (unplanned tests, assignment etc). Thus, there is a presence of a stress factor, which is absent in e-learning. Teachers also tend to question e-learning degrees as incompetent (McDevitt, & Ormrod, 2010).

There are studies devoted to comparing and contrasting e-learning and traditional child education. These works are valuable because the researchers find similarities and differences between these two forms of child education. E-learning is widely discussed in these works with a positive connotation. It is underlined that e-learning allows to study anytime you like and communication during online conferences is a perfect alternative for communication during classes. Furthermore, affordability of e-learning is underlined by these scientists (McDevitt, & Ormrod, 2010).

Traditional child education in comparison with e-learning is underestimated as an obsolete form of child education, which can’t provide students with a large amount of current sources, instantaneous information on innovations in any sphere. Moreover, traditional child education requires hiring of professional teachers and instructors; there is also a need for well-equipped laboratories etc. Students’ procrastination leads to teachers’ work overload; printed materials for child education are very costly. Consequently, traditional child education is often considered with a negative connotation.

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On the contrary, if the price for e-learning is lower than for traditional child education, is it really efficient? From this point of view, these forms of child education are also compared and contrasted. Thus, researches of this paradigm underline the advantages of e-learning in case a student is well-motivated and self-organized. In this case, he needs less time spending online; costs for child education are less than for the student, who requires more communication with his instructor.

Efficiency of e-learning is also underlined by the researches and represents one more point of view for the discussion. This scope of works underlines the importance of students’ self-control over the process of study. The teacher is considered to be a secondary person, who doesn’t teach but helps to learn something new. Student is the only one person responsible for the results of his child education. Motivation of students is the most important factor of a successful child education. A student is a master to himself. He doesn’t spend or ‘waste’ time in the classroom; he dedicates his time to learn the things necessary for him. No motivation – no e-learning at all because an unmotivated student will never start his child education and never finish it (McDevitt, & Ormrod, 2010).

Another group of scientists claim that traditional child education can’t be obsolete because constant checks, seminars, students’ participation can’t be underestimated. In these works, an emphasis is made on the necessity of group cooperation, problem solving by students’ team groups and a low quantity of lectures. Productivity and enjoinment in the process of child education should be reached by all participants of this process.

Discussion and Analysis

The works on researches on traditional and e-learning lack researches directed on exploration and discussion of practical strategies of these two forms of child education; strategies, which will develop and complement e-learning or traditional child education. For example, in many studies, it is underlined that in the classroom teachers can use printed materials and their own charisma in order to engage students in the process of child education. Thus, it is necessary to conduct a research, which will present strategies for teachers of e-learning how to develop their charisma and influence personally on student’s enjoinment from the child education process. It is possible to work out a set of phrases, words, individually compiled assignments etc. In such a way, e-learning will step by step gain advantages of traditional child education.

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Consequently, it is possible to claim that traditional child education process can borrow something new from e-learning. For example, teachers of e-learning are mainly innovators and creators of the studying materials. They don’t neglect to make corrections, additions, or develop new approaches in the child education process. This strategic line can be explained by the fact that online resources are various and available. Therefore, it is easier for e-learning teachers to rework them than for traditional child education teachers, whose materials are generally printed and can be found in libraries or archives only. At this point, it is necessary to suggest conducting a research directed on study of e-learning teachers’ approach to reworking and compiling their studying materials. Empirical data can be obtained from e-learning teachers’ methodical experience and traditional child education teachers’ methodical experience.     

Therefore, researches directed on exploration of e-learning and traditional child education differences require profound work at practical decisions for teachers’ work simplification and efficiency, though it is also necessary to underline the lack of researches on culture of e-learning. The study and expansion of culture of e-learning is of primary concern nowadays. With regard to the fact that there is a high level of e-learning availability, a large group of potential and current students together with their teachers should have a well-regulated, well-ordered atmosphere of e-learning. Such issues as readiness of a workplace, programs to be learned, economic and educational efficiency etc. should be covered. It is relevant to make an emphasis on strategic development of successful cooperation of teacher and student of e-learning process. For this purpose, it is necessary to assure absence of technical failures, misunderstandings or twilight explanations etc. Thus, as far as we can see, there are numerous issues to be covered in researches on e-learning and traditional child education.

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This research paper is focused on studies and researches directed on exploration of similarities and differences, pros and cons of e-learning and traditional child education. With regard to the considered various scope of works of modern, as well as acknowledged scientists, it is possible to claim that the major part of works is devoted to e-learning study.  This prevalence of researches can be explained by a high level of e-learning availability and affordability, as well as a higher degree of students’ satisfaction and efficiency of e-learning.

A chosen scope of studies and researches gives a possibility to make an unbiased comparison and contrasting of e-learning and traditional child education.  A decision to pay attention not only to modern researches, but also to researches conducted in 80s-90s, can be explained by an attempt to generalize different points of view on these two forms of child education.

Moreover, previous sources have predetermined a current consideration about e-learning and traditional child education. Thus, currently, it is claimed that efficiency of e-learning prevails over traditional child education. Nevertheless, the fact that a combination of approaches borrowed from e-learning and traditional child education should not be underestimated either. Thus, an attention of researchers is paid to the importance of teacher-student communication, student-student communication etc.

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Furthermore, every aspect of e-learning and traditional child education covered in the referenced researches and studies has been properly analyzed and studied on the basis of empirical data and theoretical background.



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