“Most successful educators, the teachers who are the best teachers, are the ones who share the most completely with the most students,” expresses David Wiley in his TedxTalk,( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb0syrgsH6M&feature=player_embedded ) on openness in education. Wiley continues to elaborate that sharing can take the form of expertise, resources, feedback, collaboration and time. So, if education, by David Wiley’s definition, is a relationship of sharing and we as educators strive to be successful, how will this impact our instruction, course delivery and content for e-learning?
The evolution of e-learning continues and radical changes are destined to happen. My philosophy of education centres on student-centered design, the importance of relationships and the role of educator handing over the control of content while becoming a facilitator and co-learner with students. What challenges and opportunities lie ahead as I begin to meld my philosophy of education into the possible future of e-learning?
Sharing and openness in education are going to be key factors in the continuing evolution of e-learning. Stephen Downes on E-learning 2.0, http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1104968 , recognizes the emergence of Web 2.0 as more of a social revolution, than a technological one. Downes asserts, “Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology. It's about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services.” The dichotomy in the evolution of e-learning steering toward openness is that a system remains in place that withholds content through the use of copyrights, passwords and policies. Wiley calls it a “collision” when “powerful new media and technology are in ravenous demand yet outdated ways of thinking reinforced by law turn technology against itself.” He uses course management systems such as Blackboard and D2L as examples of online technology capable of sharing content with everyone yet have restrictions and passwords that keep people out by concealing and withholding information. With the idea of education as sharing, how will that influence the delivery of the online course I intend to create for my photography class? The challenge may be in not choosing a management system at all, but instead, developing a course that uses a multitude of non-learning management systems that allow for an open, sharing learning community.
The answer to an open, sharing learning community using a non-learning management system may very well be found in the use of GOOGLE APPS. Ryan Bretag, http://www.ryanbretag.com/blog/?p=3962&buffer_share=f4099, shares in his blog that Google Apps is “a digital space for all where control and management is shared and shifted to everyone.” Google apps for Education, http://elearningindustry.com/the-amazing-power-of-google-apps-for-education, offers Google forms, Google Voice, Google+ , Blogger and a whole lot more. Justin Vail writes the “hidden beauty of Google Apps is the sharing, security, and web-based platform.” The use of Google Apps appeals to my understanding of e-learning evolving towards openness and sharing.
The blog Around the Corner-Mguhlin.org, http://www.mguhlin.org/2013/02/cobbling-together-lms-teachers-work.html , states as school district educators, we should be re-evaluating our teaching tools and approaches. My approach to e-learning needs to adhere to the values I have towards sharing and openness in education while supporting my philosophy of education. I envision my online photography course to contain a mixture of Google apps tools that fit a student-centered approach with self-directed learning, student-generated content and a facilitator guiding and learning along with the class.