Today I participated in my first International online class for using Moodle. What a neat experience. The teacher and facilitators of the class used a live software tool to make the course interactive. Not only where the students from all over the world, the teachers were too. The main teacher was broadcasting live from Israel and another from Mexico. Many participants were K-12 teachers, professors, graduate students, administrators and IT specialists. I have been monitoring the Flat Classroom project, where high schools kids connect with kids in China, via live sessions like this; however, I have not really experienced many international sessions like this myself in a synchronous environment. Most of the classes in the past that I have taken have mainly been asynchronous.
Even at this day and age, the main focus for online learning is in the area of pedagogy, not andragogy. The mix between the two are very important to me, as I have been teaching Senior Citizens and other adults. Teaching adults has always been at the heart of what I wanted to do in life. Over the last year I have become heavily involved in social media/networking strategies and projects with my current employer and how these tools can be used in various aspects of e-learning. I’m not by far the most acclaimed expert in e-learning; however, I do know that using different methods is essential in teaching in a synchronous/asynchronous environment. Additionally, how adult learners can use social networking in their learning processes. How can using the social networking (or Web 2.0/3.0) be integrated into the motivation and learning strategies for adults? How can we use these social networking tools to break down the digital divide that still exists? How can we use the social networking tools to further the informal learning processes for adults? As the use of social media/networking tools continues to be adapted world-wide, there will be many choices now and in the future for providing many ways for e-learning to occur.
I think back to when I was young and how I would visit my grandparents on Saturday’s. Not only did we watch the Lawrence Welk show, we listened to the Beach Boys on an 8-Track. Not long after that came cassette tapes, then CD with CD Players, now music players the size of your thumb or less. The adaptation for listening to music to what it is now, has happened over a 40-60 year span. The last 5-10 years e-learning has become much more popular, thus, still has a long way to go.
“Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined.” ~Peter F. Drucker
A personal note: I have learned so much from using social networking tools from so many experts. If these software tools had never come to be, I would still be in my own little silo.
You are welcome to comment; however, all opinions and comments written in the post are solely my opinions.