The continued development of information and communication technologies has virtualized the teaching process in many ways. Instructors are now using various forms of multimedia and web-based systems in delivering and teaching content to students. The use of computer mediated communication (CMC) has enabled synchronous (realtime chat) and asynchronous (forums, e-mails) communication to provide a more socially constructed form of learning.
Understanding the connection of technology and the learning process has been the goal of many scholars who stated that use of technology should play a wide roll in transforming the process to a learner-centric model that is flexible enough to address the need of the individual learner. However, in spite of the use of technology we see today, this goal is far from achieved. The setback is due to focus on automating teaching efforts by recreating the environment in the classroom instead of creating new forms of learning content and tools that address dynamic needs of every learner. The traditional approach in content delivery and transmission from teacher to student is unable to keep up with the multiplying rate at which knowledge is growing.
There are many challenges to overcome in incorporating technology successfully within the learning paradigm. These challenges include high production costs, insufficient storage, low content standards, isolated and closed systems. However, the new Internet (Web 2.0) and other recent development in technologies can assist in redefining the learning process that can meet the demands of the 21st century and overcome the shortfalls of current methods. The end result should be an environment where a large numbers of students participate in the creation, delivery and consumption of content that meets high standards. This content should not be subject to the sole purpose of grading but rather should be open for further evaluation and refinement by all experts involved. This method will in turn form a cycle that supports the expansion and improvement in quality and quantity of opportunities available. As more and more users are involved, this effect will become increasingly powerful and far-reaching in its learning effectiveness.
Teacher Centric and Socio-Constructivist Learning Models
The teacher centric model of teaching is based on suitability in information transfer. The core objective of the student in this model is to memorize all the information acquired without being able to simultaneously interact or provide feedback. This is apparent when weak testing methods like multiple choices are used to quiz and stress the memory. As a result, students focus more on learning what will be on the test and therefore ignore the remaining material which eventually hinders the learning process. Lectures, textbooks, videos and text based websites are all forms of non-interactive media that do not allow individual differences and cannot be adapted to individual needs.