A few thoughts on getting started in e-learning … back when

I’ve embedded a small 6 and a half minute sound file below.  I produced it quite quickly about around a year ago in response to a request from Sue Waters, a Higher Ed colleague in Perth, WA. She wanted some feedback from others who were dipping their toes or leaping into the deep-end of the big e-learning pool at the time.

In my response I talked informally about why I believed e-learning to be useful, how I went about integrating it into my own learning and teaching methodology, and what I experienced in my use of various applications and services. It was a quick response, but in listening to it again I was reminded that the more things change, the more they remain the same. I can’t quite remember why I responded this way, though I think at the time I was producing podcasts for a lecture series I was teaching at the time. My digital recorder was on the table, so I picked it up and away I went.

I brought the file out of the archives today because I was intrigued by some of the discussions I picked up via a Twitter stream earlier this week. It’s conference time all over Australia right now and during the past couple of weeks, colleagues have been reporting on the sessions being held in various e-learning focussed gatherings.  One of these was the ASCILITE 08 Conference in Melbourne, which has been exploring the ways and means of Web 2.0 … do we still call it that … as a way of facilitating teaching and learning. Some of the tweets talked about many of the ideas I had touched upon in this small podcast. I was left wondering whether we had moved along in our thinking over a year or more; the issues and discoveries seemed to be the same as they were back then.

Well of course we have moved along; it takes time to integrate the new into the tried and true.  I am mindful that many more colleagues are now either more confident, engaged or striking out in the wake of the early adopters of learning technologies. And of course, not all are willing … many have been forced by their administrative masters to do so. It’s a funny old business this.

For what it is worth, here was my thinking from mid-2007.

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