Time and again over the last couple of days the presenters and keynote speakers have all moved away from the shock of the new type approach, i.e. new tools, toys and tricks, the bling of ICT and peeled this away to ask us to look at empowering students and teachers alike. It is as though the last several years have been a process of removing the layers of an onion to get at the heart of what e-learning is. This is an interesting point, because in recent years we have liked to precede words with i or e to give them cachet of techieness or educool.
Today has been a continual mantra of its not the tools its what you do with them. Sylvia Martinez started the morning by challenging us with the statement that if what we are currently doing with ICT (the purchasing lots of kit model) and it is not working, then do not do more of the same. We need to look at how we are using the ICT tools in our class and ask what is effective. For me this was a bit of an ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ moment. If just putting equipment in a room and concentrating on training staff how to use the equipment is not having an impact on learning, then we need to concentrate on the e-learning model.
This brings me neatly to the point where I can start to allude the much longer post I need to write. For many teachers there is much confusion over what this e-learning thing is. To which I am going to say from now on, drop the ‘e’ and you will have a clearer picture. Now lets pick a tool identify its educational potential and use it well, once this has been mastered, we can add another and so the L4YER C4KE can be made.