How the social web came to be…

I’m currently writing a chapter for a text-book (yes, I know – traditional publishing.. but…) on Adult Teaching and Learning – my chapter is focused on e-Learning (surprise, surprise).
In the process of a brief retrospective of e-Learning implementations across higher education, colleges (including community colleges) and the corporate context it’s extraordinary how focused the literature is on evaluating e-Learning by comparing the functionality of the technology against traditional teaching practices (didactic, classroom-based learning) rather than evaluating the experiences of the learners, or reviewing the innovative implementations that have extended the learners far beyond the boundaries of their classrooms and institutions!
The comparisons are just fundamentally flawed! No wonder these papers and reports can produce statistics that draw conclusions that are less than positive.
The innovative implementations that have demonstrate the potential for engaging, enriching, empowering all seem to be lost in isloated case studies and blatantly ignored by large government funded reports on trends…
In the meantime – this presentation from Trebor Scholz "How the social web came to be (part 1): A Social-Cultural History of the Social Web" is an elegantly presented review that might inform some of the opponents of learning technologies !
Looking forward to Part 2 Trebor!

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2 thoughts on “How the social web came to be…

  1. Interested in this post, because actually my training and experience is in instructional design. E-learning is interesting and many people do have access to computer technology.My main concern about it, however, it that there is no evidence that Web technologies improve learning. The technology should be seen as no more than another tool and evaluated as such.

  2. aaaah Brenda!
    You must have been reading these reports too!!!
    There is extensive evidence, case studies and examples of extraordinary learning experiences enhanced by technologies!
    Not only that we are empowering and enriching the learners experience beyond the boundaries of classrooms and institutions and connecting them to people around the globe – surely that has to be an improvement on sitting in a classroom or lecture hall listening to some “expert” blab on about something or other…
    We are creating self-directed learners, enabling them to become lifelong learners and providing them with opportunities to follow their own directions – not just a curriculum dictated by government policy.
    I’m wondering where all the evidence is that classroom / didactic teaching improves learning??
    ABB 😉

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