Conference on E-learning 2.0

We discussed social learning in an earlier post, and while searching for information about this trend, I found this video explaining the impact of e-learning 2.0. Have to say I think it is the future for university students if incorporated into traditional learning rather than as a stand alone. As a stand alone however it is perfect for the www.

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Best of both worlds; Blended learning

Blended learning is an interesting concept which seeks to merge the best of traditional classroom education and e-learning or technology focused instructions. Most universities already practice this especially in their IT courses, having students attend courses and involve them through their tablets or laptops. Not only universities, but high schools too, it is today very rare to see a school or course which does not provide this.

With the rise of the internet and social media, blended learning was inevitable. I think combines the best of both worlds without neccessary using this best to propose something unique. Traditional classes’ main force remains the interaction student-teacher, while e-learning focuses on speed of delivery and the amount of information available. Blended learning combines and provides both, the student can access course material anywhere, any time and much more while interacting with their teachers. The main problem blended learning however blended learning is reliant on the teacher’s skills and his knowledge to adequately facilitate the technological aspect of the course for the students, which today unfortunately is not always the case. The points below are some points the university of wolverhampton outlined as to how blended education is beneficial to the students;

  • have 24/7 access to all learning content, and to ensure equality of access;
  • gauge their progress against the learning outcomes, to receive supporting feedback on this progress, and for staff to have information on student progress;
  • participate in, and engage with interactive learning opportunities in her or his face-to-face learning sessions. There is no expectation that this need necessarily involve the use of technologies.
  • use asynchronous collaborative learning which extends the face to face learning, creating supportive learning networks, managed by learners at a time and place best suited to their needs;
  • understand better her or his learning process, act on feedback, so as to become more effective and successful, as well as collecting evidence on achievement to enhance our learners employability;
  • save time and paper, and provide feedback quickly to each learner

There are several model for blended education, check them if you are interested and wish to understand the model below

Blended learning in relation to other education practices.new

 

M-learning….hummmmmm

Ever heard of m-learning? Just from the word I am sure you can guess what it is about. Give it a shot. Got it? As you rightfully or not guessed it is learning with a mobile plateform; cell phones, smart phones, mp3s, tablettes. If you think about it, you might think that it is not a so good idea, however mlearning is the aspect of elearning which is most interesting because it completely fulfills its characteristic of learning and providing info anywhere, everywhere and at anytime. In the next few days we will talk about social learning and you will understand why mlearning is so important, how in a society where information, knowledge and education are becoming of utmost importance mobile learning is perfect. Listening to podcast on your way to school or work is a form of mlearning in case you did not know, we tend to do things without realising what they are, and many elearn without knowing. Mlearning has facilitated distant learning  so much, downloading audios about a class, reading pdfs and ebooks. Of course mobile learning comes with a lot of hinderances, mostly technological. Insufficient RAM, memory but as time passes it is the future, not the future of education but the future of learning.

Do let the heading fool you, I am not sceptic about mlearning, but many are when they hear the word for the first time, only after learning about what it encompases that they do acknowledge its importance.

E-Learning Provocateur

MOOCs get a bad rap. Dismissed as prescriptive, or teacher-centric, or unsocial, or something else, it’s like a badge of honour to espouse why you dislike MOOCs.

Despite their pedagogical flaws, however, MOOCs provide unprecedented access to quality content for millions of learners.

It’s all very well for Apple-owning, organic-buying professionals to cast aspersions, but consider the girl in Pakistan who’s too scared to set foot in a classroom. Consider the teenager in central Australia whose school has only one teacher. Consider the young woman in Indonesia who can’t afford college. Consider the boy in San Francisco whose maths teacher simply doesn’t teach very well.

Don’t all these people deserve a better education? And isn’t content sourced from some of the world’s best providers a giant leap in that direction?

Sure, the pedagogy may not be perfect, but the alternative is much worse.

Child learning on a computer

MOOC proponent George Siemens distinguishes between two…

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E-learning tools

While browsing over the internet I found some tools and social medias which can facilitate e-learning for both teachers and students.

  • Google Docs & Google Drive: Open files online and store files online, facilitates the sharing of file between individuals
  • Dropbox: Online Storage, facilitates sharing files between individuals and accessing your files anywhere
  • Twitter and Yammer: Public and private social blogging, can facilitate interactions betwwen individuals
  • Wikipedia: Many won’t like it, but this encyclopedia is amazing though it might be wrong or biased sometimes, get other sources just to be on the safe side but as an idea or knowledge initiator it is great.
  • Youtube: Can be used to post videos about lectures.
  • Prezi: Tired of powerpoint, prezi offers new presentation possibilities though their website is usually down when you need to present, be careful
  • Applications (Android & iOS): The app and play store offer some amazing applications for learning purposes
  • Instapaper: You can save online articles and read them later
  • Google.com: Find anything and everything, best search engine…seriously
  • Scribd: Document sharing website, you might find articles, whole books, essays here
  • Moodle:Course Management System that educators can use to create effective online learning sites
  • Skype: Interviews, distance real time learning can be accomplished with this
  • Wikispaces: Wiki hosting platform, currently using one and it is not bad

The internet has really facilitated learning

The compromise distance learning has always offered

Over the years, the percentage of individuals attending e-learning courses has increased exponentially. What you don’t know however is that of e-learning is a derivative of correspondence learning  which over the years has been an interesting concepts for many individuals and it is not only today that distance learning has established its roots.

Reasons for the success of distance learning over the decades I believe can be retraced to our innate wish to  learn and succeed. However the possibility to learn has not always been offered to everyone, reasons might range from financial to geographical. Distance learning offered to balance this compromise however several factors played in its disfavor, the speed and the lack of recognition of such programs. Today with the advent of social media and emergence of e-learning the problem of speed has been scrapped and the possiblity of having online courses accredited and recognize is gradually blurring the lines betwwen established instituitions and online courses. Social Media and internet as a whole have enabled distant learning to be at its full potential.

Found some interesting infographics

0001-the-ultimate-history-of-distance-learning0005-the-growth-of-distance-learning

The hidden face of MOOCs

In a way education is a business, a very profitable business at $30000 per year for certain schools, education seems reserved for the elites. That is till MOOCs appeared, the robin hood of education, promising education for all. MOOCs have been praised but like universities, they also seek profits. MOOCs are not as free as we are told or made to believe, they might be significantly cheaper than some universities but their courses have a price, they are start-ups, have investors who seek returns on their investments. Then a question arises, do they really serve the goal of providing education for all, or are students just customers. I do think universities have to adapt and engulf e-learning so as not to depend on this profit driven MOOCs, on this one I tend to defend universities because they offer legitimacy which MOOCs do not offer especially for those seeking employment after studies. A wolf should not dress as a sheep, and beyond the financial aspect its characteristics are been upgraded, it is a one way communication and does not permit the interaction education should have between the teacher and the student, learning is about thinking and not just cramming, MOOCs should not be seen better, as long as it will engulf the financial aspect the rewards will never be worth the price, but the concept online education should be better exploited.