Like it or not, the transition to eLearning is occurring at a rapid pace. Our children are growing up with eLearning and, indeed, are being called “digital natives.” College students can barely remember living without computers and may well be making decisions about which courses to take or programs to enroll in depending on to what extent the offerings comprise distance learning or can be taken virtually.
Adults in the workforce, with an eye to advancing their careers, are exploring credential and certificate options not even dreamt of 10 years ago in terms of availability and accessibility — all made possible by our online world. Around the globe, students previously facing educational limitations imposed by geographic proximity to schools and instructional centers are today finding ever-expanding choices.
Many of us in the information industry (even those of us considered “digital immigrants”) are deeply involved in figuring out how to shape eLearning options and how best to help students connect with and get the most benefit from distance learning initiatives.
In this issue you will find articles and quotes from Elsevier colleagues and information professionals writing about the latest developments in, and experiences with, eLearning. Here you'll find informative articles addressing Elsevier’s offerings in the area of vocational or career development eLearning, aimed at helping adult learners gain credentials or certificates. In this issue's HTML version, you'll find three articles making up the first installment of Library Connect’s new “Next Gen” section. Isn’t it fitting, while talking about eLearning, to hear from Next Gen librarians Erika Bennett, Megan Curran and Guofu Qian discussing the subject? (You can see their fulltext articles at www.elsevier.com/libraryconnect.)
We trust this issue delivers news and inspires discussion. That’s enough said. Best wishes for an enjoyable read.
Sebastian Vos, Vice President, eEducation Health Sciences, Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, USA