Volume 76, Issue 1 (2017), pp. 113–126
This study analyzes the genesis of distance education functions within the contextual conversion of technological and educational paradigms. The genesis is based on the technological and educational environment consistency factors, therefore, it is analyzed as an integral technology and education symbiosis phenomenon. The study distinguishes between historical and educational distance education genesis paradigms, which are defined on the basis of distance education functions’ interchange. Distance education genesis is described within nine stages and is expressed as a holistic model through objectives, approaches and functions genesis. On the basis of this model, distance learning genesis cycles and their components are identified. In accordance with modern teaching theories, distance education objectives and functions are substantiated in technological and educational paradigm interchange contexts, defining consensus and dichotomy of teaching / learning processes.
The development of information technology (IT) in the process of modern primary education poses new challenges for participants in this process. Despite the fact that the development of IT enhances teaching/learning, and makes it modern and attractive, the unrestricted and irresponsible use of IT can have negative consequences for both the physical and the mental health of younger school-age children. The article analyses problems related to features of creating a healthy child-friendly teaching/learning environment in the context of the development of IT in primary education. A total of 237 primary school teachers in western Lithuania were interviewed by means of a written (questionnaire) survey research method.The research results show that a computer is the main IT tool in the primary education environment. Almost all the interviewed teachers had them in their classrooms. Teachers lack in particular interactive boards and tablets. Only a very small number of teachers had them in their classrooms. The teachers interviewed lack more diverse means of IT in their classrooms, which limits the possibilities for using IT in the education process. The results of the research reveal that although primary school students know about safe use and health-care when working with IT, they are not able to apply the available knowledge in practice. Children lack the acquisition of practical actions and skills in applying them in life situations. Only a third, and even fewer teachers, agreed that while using IT children are able to sit correctly at a desk, protect their eyesight, do eye exercises, coordinate eye and hand movements, etc. Therefore, not only are modern means of IT and their safe installation important for the creation of a healthy child-friendly primary teaching/learning environment in the context of IT, but so is the development of safe and healthy child-friendly behaviour with IT: the regulation and distribution of work time with IT at school and at home, the responsible use of IT; not only the provision of knowledge about the use of IT to students, but also the formation of practical skills and their application in life situations.