Friday, February 17, 2006

Thoughts worth chewing on

Some of these are my thoughts, others are unattributed thoughts overheard at the conference, while much of the data about web usage came from Will Richardson's workshop.

  • 70% of the jobs in 2020 don't exist today
  • 80% of the technology that will exist in 2020 doesn't exist now
  • The read-only web has only been around about 12 years
  • The read/write web is where all the action is and is the future of the web, and it is only a couple of years old
  • In 2005, someone accessing the web for the first time became the billionth person to do so
  • There are over 40 million blogs, with a new one created every second
  • There are 7 million new web pages created every day
  • In the past year there was a 3,600% increase in the amount of consumer generated digital video

Many of the new learning technologies are enabling something dubbed "Nomadic learning" (podcast) …students can go where the relevant information is, from many different teachers (compared to one teacher in the classroom). There is also alot of talk these days about m-learning for mobile learning, or the use of cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices.

No other part of higher ed is a "vendor-driven" as E-Learning. The major players in the IMS market have such control over what we do and how we do it. That is one reason why the open source IMS platforms are getting more and more attention from higher ed.

There is a lot of research and rhetoric flying around higher education about the importance of building community among online learners. A very detailed study was presented at the conference about the factors that have a positive and negative affect on the sense of community. However, the researchers never bothered to ask the students whether this sense of community in E-Learning was important to them. Our satisfaction survey results collected at LSC indicate that it may not be very important at all.

According to Mickey Slimp of the Northeast Texas Consortium:
Most e-learners who dropped said that the main reason was related to communication issues
• Can't find teachers
• Slow response from teacher
• Inconvenient office hours

It seems to me that this all means that we have to pay more attention to the concept of transactional distance, and keep working to minimze it. Cheers. BD

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