E-learning tools have been around for over a decade and there are still many school systems who cannot provide students with adequate learning technology. There have been improvements in the past years but schools still have a long way to go.
Having the capability to distribute learning content and resources, organize lessons, assessments, discussions to meet each student’s individual needs, and track each students progress would give students the means to be extremely successful.
The impact of Web 2.0 tools has already been tremendous. People can very easily interact and collaborate instantly all over the globe, websites can be easily created and updated.
Web 2.0 tools in education would be a great asset for teachers and students. Using a Web 2.0 tool such as Pageflakes would allow teachers to create a page full of “flakes” for their class.
These “flakes” could include just about anything, from news feeds, photos, videos, calculators, and much more. For every lesson the teacher could pick out and organize many relevant resources for the students to quickly click to access.
Schools should train students to create and operate within their own Personal Learning Environments. Personal Learning environments would enable students to take control of their learning by allowing them to set goals, organize learning materials, and communicate within minutes.
It would be beneficial if students had a platform that enabled them to "demonstrate one's ability to collect, organize, interpret and reflect on documents and sources of information.”
ELGG is a fairly new platform for open source social networking and publishing. ELGG is a great place to get started on making a Personal Learning community that has many features to keep you connected.
PLE’s would help teachers facilitate all styles of learning, freeing up time to work individually with student’s instead of having to be in the center of the classroom or spending time redirecting students attention.
Classroom management issues would subside because students would be actively engaged in meaningful and purposeful assignments catered to them.
Students with the ability to personalize their own Personal Learning Environment would enable them to continue life long learning. PLE’s can be used as a tool for gaining real-world knowledge, inspiring students to be in control and to display the outcomes of their knowledge. Knowledge that transcends classroom material can be brought together in a students PLC.
Stephen Downes, a senior researcher with the National Research Council of Canada mentioned in his E-Learning 2.o article that, learning is incorporated in every facet of life, “from daily household chores to arts and culture. Learning and living, it could be said, will eventually merge. The challenge will not be in how to learn, but in how to use learning to create something more, to communicate. In the world of learning, what this means is having learning available no matter what you are doing.”
Bringing together evidence of on going knowledge from home, school, and personal interests is something we would love for our children to be able to do.
The concept of the PLE marks a fundamental change in education. Now E-learning is blended with traditional education to provide students with access to many forms of information.
No longer is the teacher the main source of information for the students. Students now need to use all the information handed to them, reflect on it, applying it to real-life concepts and forming their own meaning out of it.
Though the students that are sitting in the classrooms are a part of the “Digital Generation” many of them are not equipped with the skills need to create and control their own PLE. Since many schools and families are lagging behind in technology it would be a large task in itself to just teach how to operate computer software and applications.
Furthermore, some students may not be able question and decipher facts from opinions when given resources. Offering students the chance to work in a PLE will provide teachers with opportunity to teach the skills necessary to learn computer applications and e-learning tools.
References http://www.elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=articles&article=29-1 http://teachers4schools.com/open/category/future-vle-ple-lms/ http ://teachandlearnonline.blogspot.com/2005/11/die-lms-die-you-t oo-ple.html http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7 /Web_2.0_Map.svg http://octette.cs.man.ac.uk/jitt/index.php/Personal_Learnin g_Environments http://teachers4schools.com/open/2006/07/are-open-content-text books-coming-part-1-of-3/ Nonaka, I. & Konno, N. (1998). The Conce pt of "Ba": Building a Foundation for Knowledge Creation, Californi a Management Review, 40, 3, 40-54. Seely Brown J. & Duguid. P. (2002). Th e Social Life of Information. Harvard Business School Press (2002).