I hope you have filled out the eLearning Iniative Stakeholder survey at the Ontario Knowledge Network for Learning
Here is a sample of my response to a few of the questions.
What concerns, if any, do you have regarding the quality of education that will be provided by e-learning? Please suggest how these concerns could be addressed. Relate to creators of course and learning object content that are not familiar with todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s classrooms. Do not use developers in isolation, but with connections to the classrooms that will see benefits of eLearning, with direct discussion with the teachers. That northern rural communities will not have the infrastructure to support the use of eLearning technologies because of bandwidth issues. Keep open the idea of using digital TV as a mode of communication be which eLearning might be delivered. Training will not be made available for staff using eLearning technologies. Educators need to be informed about how to best take advantage of eLearning whether as a separate course or in a blended model. And how to effectively use different learning techniques when teaching online, and not replicating what is done in the f2f classroom. Another concern I have is the underutilisation of eLearning courseware because of a lack of knowledge by f2f teachers. Educate – Inform – Train
What pedagogic concerns, if any, do you have with regard to providing quality educational experiences using e-learning? Please suggest how these concerns could be addressed. The pedagogic concerns I have relate to teachers, course and LO developers replicating what they do in a f2f classroom online and not taking advantage of the medium for what it can do. It will be more important in the development of HS online courses than LO because of the time that would be devoted to learning. I fear asynchronous content development will be the norm rather than adding elements of synchronous content created through real-time tools and holding real office hours. Meeting online similar to organizations like Tapped In, Learning Times or even as a Virtual Conference like KnowTips.ca, has real benefits with regards to the development of learning through synchronous methods. Those who have used this technologies (webex, Elluminate) know what it means to connect with someone in Austrailla sharing the same learning goals dicussing a PowerPoint Slide using audio conversations.
Do you believe that having all district school boards use a single development and delivery approach for e-learning would be beneficial? Please explain your answer. I do not believe this to be the case. The eLearning environment needs to be flexible for teachers so that courses can be customized. The ability to move courses easily based on CanCore or Ontario developed standards between LMSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s or CMSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, should be discussed with major portal/LMS/CMS developers, or look at developing standards through open source community LMS solutions like Drupal or Moodle. AS an aside, it would also be nice to see that the Ontario Government provides technical support to the provinceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s schools on one Open Source LMS/CMS/Portal (ie Drupal) since this seems to be the stumbling block for implementation of this freely available software in school boards. I also believe that if we lock course content in inflexibly LMS systems like Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Angel etc. We will not allow our teachers to take advantage of loosely connected tools that make up social networks and connect them together to customize elearning experiences for students. (rss through blogs/podcasting/screencasting, delicious, flickr, furl etc.)
Do you believe that having all district school boards use the same computer programs to develop resources and classroom materials would be beneficial? I do believe in standardization that allows the interconnectedness of software and data (i.e. open source) but educators should be able to develop materials in environments in which the feel the most comfortable. If a person has been using MS Word all their life and they like the product and can use it efficiently and effectively, they should be able to develop in that software. It might be wise, if at all possible, to push the software companies in order to make sure WordPerfect files can be read on MS Word and vice versa, rather than forcing a new variation of a tool on someone. I believe that getting software in the hands of teachers, students and even parents can have a profound impact on the general knowledge about the uses and extensibility of a particularly software product. If you want to promote learning web page design give everyone a copy of Macromedia Dreamweaver, but do not force others out of using MS FrontPage.
Would it be useful to store large amounts of curriculum resources in a central location in a board and have these resources identified and searchable by grade level, subject area, expectations, etc., and make them accessible to all teachers in all boards? This is a leading question. In some cases this might be an option when you need to ensure and validate the content that is being shared. Also, if you need to manage DRM and you want to maintain control of the resources. This might not be the best way to ensure pervasive distribution of resources. Putting the responsibility of creation and distribution can be done on in individual level and in fact it has been done for years. It is just repurposing an old tool for distribution – Peer 2 Peer -Kazaa, Napster, BitTorrentsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Have creators define the metadata that goes along with their resource initially, but as the information is continually passed on to others new meta-data will be added to the resource as other users pick-up, modify and re-share the resource.
Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€ On Search Ability If I was to have searchability I would want it at different levels as the question states, but I would also like to to be an adaptive search that responds to my profiles. If I were a grade 7 math teacher searching for algebra LOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and I found some LO better than others, another grade 7 math teacher should be able to tap into my expereince and alsi chagne the meta data for a particular learning object. Perhaps having the meta-data of a LO in a sort of Wiki environment.