As I watch numerous presentations from ‘leaders in the field’ of ‘elearning’, or ‘technology enhanced learning’ or even ‘blended learning’, or just about any term of learning that hints at using a computer, I am increasingly frustrated at the sheer repetition of it all. Those who are obviously in the thrall of The New, i.e. great new devices and technologies that make life so exciting to those who are inspired by such things, trying to impart to lesser mortals the imperative of embracing these technologies as part of their daily working lives, it all seems an arduous task. It’s making little impact – they never really get past first base.
Time and again these sessions are talking to beginners for at least the first 15 minutes of a 30 minute slot. When can we move past this? How many teachers and lecturers now consider themselves ‘not beginners’? And how accurate is that (self) estimation? My belief is this: on the one hand you have *some* lecturers who are fairly capable of using technology, and making basic decisions about technology, while on the other the blind lead the blind, as many in the elearning world are actually poorly placed to estimate knowledge and skills about technology. Perhaps as user-consumers, or user-producers at most, they see little of the potential of most of the technology they use, and are as confused as their beginner counterparts when presented with a new interface, a new device, a new ‘system’. Consequently bad practice is passed on, in the belief it is good practice.
I’m not as yet sure of where the answers lie to all this, but will be carrying out some research pertaining to relevant influencing factors. Needless to say, short
rants articles will follow in coming weeks about what happens. I do know that until this situation clarifies itself, the murky water that is elearning will continue.