Saturday, May 21, 2016

E-Learning's New Mindset --Thoughtful and Sustainable Engagement

With the new technologies that are being brought into the mainstream to be incorporated into the service of E-Learning, we need to be very discerning as to what kind of mindset such technologies will foster within the learner. Not every technology, which on the surface looks promising, will necessarily be beneficial and supportive of the goals that we have for E-Learning. There is such a position as being "paralyzingly cautious" but there is also a position that could be termed "rock star awe" where we recklessly adapt and incorporate a technology because its concept dazzles us.
In order to be discerning we need to be clear on what type of mindset that we want to foster in the learner as they pursue their learning in ways that benefit the societies that they live and work in.


In order to transform E-Learning to a form that promotes thoughtful engagement, we need to see what qualities should make up serious E-Learning that is applicable to not only the formal education sector but very applicable to the learning cultures of business. The most important revelation that should impact those entrusted with ID and training in the business culture is that today's 21st century learners are not taking part in the training for the cute badges or the check marks on their task completion lists.

If we look at what serious E-Learning should entail that will foster thoughtful engagement of the learner in his or her learning so that deeper, sustainable learning takes place, we have to ask ourselves as ID's , Learning Principle Experts and trainers:

"Are our deliverables creating the type of learning culture that leads to innovative and creative problem solving and solutions?"


So, the obvious question to ask is:

"What does this have to do with the selection of technology as a tool for serious E-Learning?"

To answer this question, lets consider a couple of technologies geared to social media. One that everyone is familiar with is Twitter.

Credit: www.Diane Benner

"Does the Twitter technology foster the type of mindset that promotes the depth of thoughtful engagement required to achieve the level of learning that we will need for learners in E-Learning?"

If you remember from the last post, the level of thinking skills required for learners to become effective agents of change and able to solve complex real world problems collaboratively, were at the upper end of the Revised Bloom Taxonomy. The very nature of being able to demonstrate the ability to effectively search, evaluate, authenticate, synthesize and then task information from multiple online databases and professional learning communities to a given real world problem, requires a level of thoughtful engagement that is rarely seen in Twitter technology. How the technology is routinely used is a revelation in itself.


Another new technology is what is called "Bite Sized  Learning". Again just as Twitter involves learning within 140 characters, this type of learning suggests a "buffet style learning " where you really draw on information at the surface. It is questionable whether this type of technology fosters the type of mindset that promotes thoughtful engagement required in serious E-Learning.

The skillsets required for modern learners in an E-Learning, collaborative world can be achieved only if we are careful and discerning about the new technologies that we come across. As ID's ,Learning Principle Experts, educators, and trainers, we have a responsibility to make our pedagogy as an active, dynamic and adaptive paradigm to be the driver for change in E-Learning both in the business culture and in the formal education sector. Technology is only useful if it helps our pedagogical practices expand to capitalize on what the changing world wide web has to offer.

Next.....Habits of the E-Learner's Mind

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