Why eLearning really stands for E(everyone)-Learning
A personal comment to start with…
Well, what can I say, it has been a while. I started Blogging on SDN a long time ago. Actually – it was July 2003 – just before SDN rolled out to the public. I have not had much time to Blog this past year. In fact, my last Blog was in Dec 2004… Well, I’ve been punished. My original Blogger ID #22 was taken away from me due to inactivity. Hey, I’d switched to being the Managing Editor of the SDN then (2003-2005). But that is OK, in the interim I’ve returned and now I proudly own Blogger ID #41346. It is good to be back.
Why eLearning really stands for E(everyone)-Learning.
Or in other words: “Learning is a social activity (done by individuals)”
I think that if you take a group of people and train them on the same topic (in a class or using eLearning), then they will each understand the topic, but each in a different way.
Don’t get me wrong – they will know how to perform the task they trained for, but each one of them will have a unique approach.
This unique approach (or angle) is based on the knowledge provided in the training as well as the previous knowledge that each person has. And, I believe that every person has something to teach every other.
Everybody knows something these days that they can share. Everyone has something they can learn from another person. The most successful learners are the ones who know how to learn from many people.
In the past few years, I’ve heard several interpretations and stories about how the term “eLearning” was born. If you are interested in this as well, I encourage you to visiting Jay Cross site.
I would like to add my own interpretation. I think with eLearning, “Learning is a social activity (done by individuals).”
To support my claim, I would like to share the following graph with you:
Let me explain:
- When we were young we learned by playing with our friends. We were very socially active (or at least we wanted to be).
- As the years went by and we had to go to school, we were still learning with our friends in class.
- In high-school or university we were sent to learn in the library. I can still recall the “Shush!” sound the librarian made every time my friends and I tried to ‘collaborate’ or conduct some social (and, well, time wasting) activities.
- Congratulations, we started to work. Time for training was always pushed against any deadline, end of quarter, or any other management judgment.
We were expected to learn during work. “On the job training,” from a social point of view is creating a team of one or more people who share the same interest at a specific time. In many cases you get the chance to meet new peers. But mainly – you learn by yourself for yourself.
- People are social creatures. It is hard for us not to communicate and share. So you see all kinds of ‘networking’ and ‘communities’ arise. The Internet and related technologies allow us to ‘be friendly’ again, to share, and to collaborate, any time, any where. As far as I can tell, the main challenge for a learner in this phase is to avoid the ‘white noise’ and the amazing opportunities to waste time.
Personal note: I think that SDN is a great example for a community so active and so focused – wasting time is not the problem. Having enough time to spend in SDN is.
- Some prefer the community model. And some would like to have some more structure and ‘authority’ involved in their learning experience.
The current/next trend is ‘storytelling.’ Like 3000 years ago, there is nothing like sitting by the campfire and hearing a good story from a good story teller. Your imagination and previous knowledge create a vivid picture and improve your understanding of the topic. In modern times, storytelling is returning and is picking up momentum (especially in enterprises). This activity involves social activity as well as collaboration. Meeting rooms and open spaces replace the campfires, but the energy is still there.
Looking for the right storyteller is similar for the search for guidance. A ‘guru’ who can tell you the right story; a “certified” subject matter expert with a gift for storytelling.
Well, this brings up an interesting question. How can we know this person is a ‘real’ expert?
This will be the topic of my next Blog. But first some food for thought:
In today’s ‘open standards’ and ‘open source’ environment, many technologies, protocols, and services are developed by individuals and companies with the support of the community.
So, if there are “community supported designs,” “community supported services,” and “community supported websites” – how about “Community Supported Certifications?”…
Think about it…
(Please check some of my previous Blogs, such as “Network of Communities = Community of Networks” for some ideas…)