I have been doing a lot of reading lately about how educators use electronic resources in schools and universities etc. This large report gives an in depth analysis of, what is for me, the current paradigm in the use electronic tools in online education.
As a guide for educators I feel that it ignores the emerging tools already out there, that people use to network and or socialise electronically (blogs, Facebook type sites etc). I reckon that if electronic educators can design courses that tap into social software that people already use, rather than give them a login to a course held on say WebCT then learners:
1) will be more motivated to access the course
2) in some cases create their own materials that live on outside of the course/ institution – e.g. archived blog entries etc.
3) will be empowered to make use of the many social web applications that facilitate knowledge sharing and networking. These skills will transfer into other situations both educational and outside of education (e.g. the workplace)
4) will organically make connections with people outside of a particular course that aid their construction of knowledge.
I am really interested to develop courses that:
– don’t use proprietary learning environments (e.g. web CT, Moodle etc)
– utilise a range of social web2.0 like applications (blogs, bookmark sites, discussion forums etc) to create personal learning materials and persistent learning ecosystems for the learner.
I’d be really interested to hear from people who are trying this approach to online teaching and learning.