E-Learning Grab Bag

Here are a few items on the theme of e-learning that have caught my attention lately…

TOP OF THIS LIST: Experiencing knowledge to succeed, by Michael Jones, Yafle.com, Dec. 13, 2004. Excerpt: “Many in education – and especially many in e-learning – forget a simple truth. It’s not what you learn, it’s the process by and environment in which you learn it…

“Those who attempt to boil down information to a set of standardized learning objects that can be consumed interchangeably and acontextually risk losing sight of the contextual and collaborative elements of learning. Now, for some types of learning (e.g., procedural training), it’s perfectly correct and efficient to simply transfer information from A to B. This is simple knowledge transfer and acquisition. More complex learning, however, is essentially experiential and deeply contextual.”

Read the rest of this list…

  1. Learning Times: “An open community for education and training professionals. Members have free access to a wide range of opportunities to interact and network with peers from across the globe. Member activities include live webcasts and interviews with industry leaders, online debates and discussions, live coverage of industry conferences, and international working groups… Also features free group collaboration tools.” I joined this community not too long ago. I haven’t had a chance to explore it thoroughly, but so far it seems pretty useful. (Thanks to Croncast for this link.)
  2. Corporate E-Learning, by Michael Specht, Dec. 23, 2004. Expanding upon my Dec. 10, 2004 article, Corporate E-Learning: Focus on Tasks, Specht notes, “What struck me about it is Amy is almost talking about a sophisticated RSS environment for learning objects.” Quite intriguing…
  3. Backwards chaining in corporate training, by Rebecca Thomas, Education Niche, Dec. 21, 2004. An interesting explanation of a learning technique in which people learn a process by first learning how to finish it. Then they proceed backwards through each step until they master the whole process.
  4. Learning from the Fourth Grade, Incremental Blogger, Dec. 19, 2004. A look at why PowerPoint has become a common presentation tool among grade-school students.
  5. M-Learning: European mobile learning program. “Aimed at young adults, aged 16 to 24, who are most at risk of social exclusion in Europe. They have not succeeded in the education system, cannot read and write adequately and have problems with simple calculations except in familiar contexts. They are not currently involved in any education or training and may be unemployed, under employed, or even homeless. What do many of these young people have in common? A mobile phone.”
  6. News from the Neurosciences, a collection of scholarly articles from New Horizons for Learning. “How would it affect educational systems if everyone truly believed that the human brain could change structurally and functionally as a result of learning and experience–for better or worse? How would it affect how we teach and how students learn if everyone believed that the kinds of environments we create for learning, how we teach, and the learning strategies we offer students could result in better mental equipment they will use throughout life? In News from the Neurosciences, you will find articles that support the validity of this concept, as well as articles of current interest on various other aspects of brain research and its implications for education.” (Thanks to Stephen Harlow for this link.)