E-learning is a distance learning method which has been spreading for more than two decades: as the most well-known and by now usual e-commerce, it allows physically disconnecting who supplies a content or a product from the user, thanks in particular to the Internet and wi-fi technologies. In this article I explain the meaning of e-learning and what it is for.

E-learning: what is it?

E-learning is used mainly by students who can listen to lessons at home or in the library through a computer, a tablet or even a smartphone. Almost all the universities have put online different training possibilities, ranging from short seminars to complete courses: just type “e-learning” on Google and numerous university training proposals will come out among the first results. There are also frequent short online videos in which some teachers are asked for an opinion on a much-discussed topic at that time, as for example various universities have done about Brexit or the so-called “sovranismo”. There are also universities that operate exclusively online, even if the regulations in force require that the exam must then be taken and validated with the physical presence of the teacher.

Does e-learning mean only university education?

The educational possibilities on the WEB certainly do not stop at the university environment: there are practically infinite and increasingly widespread are seminars (also called Webinars), masters and training courses offered via Internet by training agencies, companies, schools of various kinds, up to meditations or other forms of spirituality spread online by well-known religious and / or spiritual personalities: the speeches of religious personalities and gurus (from the Pope to Yogananda, from the Dalai Lama to Deepak Chopra) are clicked online.

The numerous courses or cultural contents sold on CD or DVD should not be forgotten, which represent a certain percentage of this multimedia training mode.

In short, e-learning has a practically endless number of users and can relate to any aspect of human knowledge, from Web marketing to meditation, from cuisine to philosophy, opening up potential for the dissemination and learning of enormous knowledge, unknown until two decades ago.

Advantages and disadvantages of e-learning

Can e-learning replace the physical presence of the teacher, the religious or the trainer? The answer is no: without bothering Plato, for whom the Truth only deals with the souls that are confronted “live” together, it is clear that the physical presence of a person will never be comparable to a video in which images are seen passing over a two-dimensional screen, for when they are defined, even if “live”. Not surprisingly, companies, to conclude important business, spend many money to send their managers physically to meet their counterparts and so do politicians with international meetings or institutional travel: there are cases in which physical contact remains indispensable. But there are many advantages, however. We list some of the most important ones.

• A distance education can be used by a person at any time of the day, choosing the free one and / or one that suits her;

• At the end of many seminars, a questionnaire is compiled which immediately gives feedback on what has been learned, thus making it possible to measure oneself directly with the teaching material;

• Distance learning allows the development of specific “tailoring” contents tailored to the recipient, thus making it possible to better modulate the training proposal;

• The elearning of religious / spiritual (but also artistic and cultural) content allows millions of people to listen to their referents and learn content of potentially great emotional importance, at any time;

• With e-learning the learning paths are traceable and memorable, to better understand the development of one’s own path;

• The variety of online content and the possibility of use are essentially unlimited, greatly expanding the possibilities of learning new things.

The ideal would be a mix of the two modes: the “live” learning is formally irreplaceable due to the depth of the track that leaves in the usufructuary, the “electronic” one, an integration / expansion with infinite possibilities.

There is no shortage of risks: any attacker can spread falsehoods, playing on his charisma or personal fame, up to the possibility of spreading “formation” of violent and destructive content, as unfortunately the chronicles have accustomed us to ascertain.

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