Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My first steps in e-Learning 2.0

E-learning 2.0, much like Web 2.0, is about communicating, collaborating, and experiencing content first-hand. Over the past year or so, I’ve been reading a lot about all the exciting new stuff happening in the industry.

I have to admit when I first heard about and read blogs, they never quite seemed educational to me! They were more for, well “time-pass”. But, now, blogs are where I’m learning most from, especially, the new learning trends. Those blogs are what inspired this one! Just reading about what others have done, are doing, will be doing is enough to set me want to know, want to learn, want to do more! In the same “genre” are podcasts, webcasts, etc. which I’m yet to try myself...maybe some day I will.

Then, there are wikis. I was intrigued about its potential; especially after I read someone describe an actual course they developed with a wiki as one of the elements. That’s when I thought… well, maybe this works. So, I went ahead and created one! No, its not in the public domain right now…maybe I’ll put it out there when I feel more confident about they way it is shaping up. But, I’m definitely warming up to the idea of how it may work in a classroom/community/group based learning system. There are some concerns about the authenticity and credibility of the information people put up in these wikis. There are reports that the original wiki, Wikipedia may have some accuracy issues since the content is not ratified by experts. This is also leading to serious concerns because a huge number of people, students and teachers included, are increasingly using Wikipedia as a source of reference for practically everything under the sun! That said, the power of wikis as a collaborative tool is definitely worth considering, especially in an instructor-led learning environment, where someone can ratify the wiki contributions.

What other exciting stuff have I learned? Well, there’s rapid e-learning. I’m not a great fan of using rigid, inflexible templates to create look-alike courses, and I definitely don’t subscribe to the notion that someday anyone will be able to use them to create meaningful, effective learning. However, I do see the utility of using the rapid e-learning tools too. Especially, now that I know not all of them are as rigid as I thought they were. You can definitely create some pretty neat stuff with them. So, I’ve decided I’m going to start using some of these tools.

The other interesting e-learning 2.0 development is Second Life or virtual worlds in general. This is an area I’ve only really read about and am itching to try. And in all probability that is going to be the thing I do next (when I manage to get enough free time of course!).

Oh and that reminds me of the regular educational games -the serious kind that people are now thinking of calling Immersive Learning Simulations. I created a few of them some time back for a K-12 audience and well, I want to do more! I loved the concept, challenge, and creativity involved in creating them. I absolutely believe that games can be a great educational tool if designed correctly.

I guess that’s my list of what I’ve learned and what I plan to learn about e-learning in general and e-learning 2.0 in particular.


  1. Hello Vinnie...kind of stumbled upon your blog. I think you'd be surprised at what you can do with the rapid elearning tools. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in a "template" paradigm, but that doesn't have to be the case.

    In fact, you can do quite a bit. Check rapidelearningblog.com. I've got a lot of examples of things that are more than templates.

    For example, consider the points you made about web 2.0. Well, with the authoring tools there's no reason why you couldn't incorporate them easily into your course. I've built courses that include wikis and forums inside the module. That's something I couldn't easily do with Flash. And yet, I was able to do that in minutes with the authoring tools.

    Contact me via my blog, and I'll give you a sneak peak at something I'm working on for a future blog post.

    Have a great day.

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  3. Hey Vinnie
    Not sure what I did to my first comment, so I'm trying again ...)

    Came across your blog in the Comment Challenge.

    I am a huge fan of wikis and blogs . We're into our second year of using them (Year 7 students). They are learning so much from each other as well me and we are all learning how to use various web2.0 tools at the same time.

    Our class wiki
    is the hub with

    our class blog
    branching off the side.

    One of the most helpful e-Learning areas for me is

    Classroom2.0 Ning

    It's just jammed packed with goodies and colleagues only too willing to share their knowledge and expertise!