Thursday, February 19, 2015

E-Learning- A Blueprint To The Future--Challenges and Status of E-Learning

As I have mentioned in previous posts, E-Learning is evolving. Although it has come along way in a short time, it still suffers from what I will term a " fragmented vision".

E-Learning and the Fragmented Vision

 The best way to explain this "fragmented vision" is to use a metaphor that many of us are very familiar with, titled: "The Blind Men and the Elephant". There are many versions of this Hindu based parable but I  think that you will grasp the meaning as it applies to E-Learning.

As the parable  is described, six blind men try to describe an elephant that they are standing beside. Being able to describe what is standing in front of them only by touch, each of them has "direct evidence" that it is a snake, spear, fan, wall, tree, or rope.

As this is put in terms of E-Learning in its present state, the digital blind men might give the following responses:

  • E-Learning is blended learning
  • E-Learning is mobile learning
  • E-Learning is augmented learning
  • E-Learning is total virtual learning
  • E-Learning is gamification
  • E-Learning is problem based learning
The problem that we have created is that all of us have created "niches" in the E-Learning world which we pursue with vigor for a variety of motives from building up the monetary value of the corporate brand we represent to seeking to help educate the digital natives of this world to not only cope with a changing environment but also to be effective agents to create real innovation in the changing digital environments.

" If we were to look at this from a blatantly honest point of view, we have been driven by some primitive instinct to mark our territory in the E-Learning world !"

In order to create an effective blueprint to the future for E-Learning, we need to step back and look at the perspectives of the other digital blind men. We need to recognize that dwelling in a niche that is set apart from other stakeholders in E-Learning will prevent us from seeing a " bigger picture" of what E-Learning could and should be. We need to collaborate as people who have a valuable contribution to make to a greater vision of E-Learning. We have the technology and really no excuses except perhaps self-interest.

The Present Status of E-Learning
Now I know that there are trainers in the corporate community and E-Learning educators who will look at the above comparison and say: "We DO serious E-Learning!!" To that I say GREAT!  However, what is needed is a unified, collaboratively arrived at vision that says that this is what E-Learning is truly all about. It should not matter what part of the world you are from. The unified vision once completed needs to go viral and reach even the dark corners of academia, no disparagement intended.

Next---Vibrant Transformative Pedagogies

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