Corrections Today Volume: 71 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2009 Pages: 42-44
This article examines e-learning or distance education available to correctional employees.
E-learning is the use of internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance regarding a new way of thinking about learning. The next generation of correctional employees will have advanced computer and technology skills, and will learn differently than individuals from past generations; the next generation will learn by exploring information, critically comparing and contrasting information, and using various technological mediums. E-learning should run parallel to a knowledge management system that helps reinforce a training curriculum. The emergence of new technologies and the growing need for more flexibility in scheduling seem to be driving the need for distance learning. Because of programmatic design, e-learning is convenient for participants and can be completed during downtime. Several distance education and e-learning training programs are offered specifically for corrections professionals. Computer-based training solutions have not yet been fully integrated into the public safety sector; because of the traditional nature of the work involved in day-to-day correctional operations, training has often mimicked the work environment with its interactivity, which may be one reason e-learning faces opposition. Several online training/education programs are discussed in detail, such as those from the National Institute of Corrections, the University of Maryland University College, and the American Correctional Association. The article concludes by stating that as technology advances and the training uses and benefits are realized, e-learning solutions will be widely embraced and eventually will become the norm. 7 endnotes
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