Saturday, November 03, 2007

Finding my Voice

I'm planning to deliver a speech, and I thought it might start like this.

"I want to speak with you today about technology in education. More specifically, about information communications technology as it applies to learning. This is a domain which I describe as 'learning communications'.

Learning communications may be thought of as arising from the eLearning market, which is traditionally segmented into, one the one hand, companies which produce technology solutions like learning management systems, and on the other, companies which produce content. But the learning communications market includes both content and communications, in much the same way as say, interactive digital media.

If we look closely at eLearning content, we can see that even the content courseware, modules, and RLOs (ie- reuseable learning objects) cannot be separated entirely from communications. Each comes with an agenda, protocol, pedagogy and set of desired learning outcomes. It would be nice to think that an RLO is a static, stand-alone piece of content. But it is much like the tree which falls in the woods; if there is no one around, does its falling make any sound?

Thus we must always return, in fact we should begin, from the perspective of communications. We must ask, what is the best medium of communications in order to affect the desired learning outcomes? That is the perspective of learning communications."

Comments welcome.


Anonymous said...

Our team at the Gilfus Education Group just released this white paper to provide critical insights to practitioners while clarifying "Social Learning" as a concept.

Social Learning Buzz Masks Deeper Dimensions Mitigating the confusion surrounding “Social Learning” (Download Here)

It is our hope that by leveraging socially based technologies the education industry can shape a new educational technology paradigm that realizes the promises of true “Social Learning”.

By understanding its applications we can create a unique opportunity to improve student engagement, student retention, academic success and overall educational outcomes.

– Stephen Gilfus, Gilfus Education Group (Founder Blackboard Inc. left the organization in 2007)