Monthly Archives: June 2012

Learning and Elearning

Last weekend I sat on a panel at the Sunday Times Festival of Education, Wellington College to discuss Elearning.   The panel was chaired by Julia Skinner (@theheadsoffice) with David Mitchell (@deputymitchell), Christian Hilton (@shipstonhead) and myself engaging in conversation with each other and attendant delegates around this area of education.   Unlike Question Time our panel held a general consensus on our given subject.   Unlike the lively Thursday night TV show we failed to get each other’s hackles up.   None of us got angry, raised our voices or stormed off stage, we nodded genuine approval and encouragement, we shared our stories from school, our hopes and our concerns about the direction of education as it struggles to fully embrace the opportunities ICT presents across all schools.

We were united in our belief that it really isn’t about Elearning or learning, it is simply about learning in the 21st Century.   Learning today looks different to learning in the past.   Learning in its traditional sense was restricted by time and place.   There was an assumption that knowledge resided with one or two people and was fixed.  Today’s learning explodes this myth, learning is not restricted by time, space or place.   The lines between formal learning in school and the informal learning that occurs outside of it are blurred.   Knowledge is  immediate,  accessible to all and ever changing.  Learning today presents a range of  potential problems that educators need to address as pupils can be easily convinced of the authenticity of the information they read online.  Making full use of the oportunities technology provides us with means teaching a new set of skills.  Thinking critically about information, questioning facts, checking sources and reliability have never been more important than now.   There is so much we can do to further the learning experiences for our pupils but we must ensure we are equipping them with the right tools for the job.