Saturday, August 21, 2004

Closing thoughts on EDTEC 572.


Class ended on Thursday evening. It was an interesting semester in my EDTEC 572, Technologies for Course Delivery, class. I learned much about various tools that can be used. Actually, I feel like I only started learning a few things. The little I have learned so far has greatly increased my interest in learning even more. I am starting to think perhaps I have at least a major direction in mind for continuing research. I am interested in learning more about:
  • the various tools that can be used in a learning program,
  • how those tools can be incorporated into and work together in an effective learning program, and
  • how the tools and associated learning programs are received by various cultures.
I get the impression that these are no small areas for research; they may indeed constitute far too broad a scope. Nevertheless, perhaps my interests are beginning to take shape into a cohesive research direction. I also reserve the right to change my mind - to change the direction I want to take in my continuing research. After all, I am still in the early stages of my MA program.

I hasten to add one more very important point. I was speaking to some friends yesterday about learning technology, specifically as it can be applied in distance education. I made the point that the tools are not the most important part of a learning program; far from it. This is equally true in a face to face learning environment and in a distance learning environment. It is easy to think that the tools are most important in a distance learning environment. They are indeed necessary. However, content is far more important than the tools used to present the content. If you have no good content, presented with appropriate educational techniques, you have no learning program. Content, therefore, is king. Educational technology tools should only be used when needed to enable or enhance the delivery of the content.

That's enough for now. Thanks for reading. Check back often.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More on learning objects

Below is a copy of my last post to my EDTEC 572 class blog.

In my continued research (hopefully soon ending, at least for my course project) for information about learning objects and SCORM, I found another interesting web site with much good information and links to many other sites of interest. The site is for a Learning Objects Discovery Workshop. In particular, I was interested in the Analysis section since that is what my portion of our project focuses on. Although several of the links do not work, many of them still do. One of the working links is to a tutorial for learning objects. The Learning Object Tutorial web site has several pages of information including some related specifically to SCORM. It also contains links to several more useful sites. Another link will take you to the standards area of the web site. Once there you will find an interesting article about Learning Objects and Learning Standards that discusses much of the history behind learning objects. The article is somewhat dated (Fall 2000) yet still contains good information. The site also has useful information about learning object resources, acronyms and more. I only had time to look at several of the many links. Nevertheless, the site contains many more useful resources I hope to get to soon. If there were only 48 hours in a day…

Thursday, August 12, 2004

International Learning Technology

Here is a copy of a post I wrote for my 572 class blog. I am particularly interested in learning technology can be applied internationally.

I took a break this evening from working on my project and spent a short time looking through a few of the educational technology journals I have bookmarked. I found some very interesting information in a journal I had not looked at in several months, Educational Technology and Society, published on-line by the International Forum of Educational Technology and Society. Their April 2004 Edition includes a section of special articles dedicated to “Technology - Enhanced Learning”. There are eight papers in the section plus a beginning article that summarizes the other papers. According to the authors of the summary article, four of the other papers focus on learners and four focus on systems. Two of the papers focusing on systems – linked here and here – discuss learning objects. The third systems related paper discusses systems used to foster on-line collaboration. The fourth systems related paper describes a system used to promote learning communities. I have only had an opportunity to read the summary article and to briefly scan the four systems articles. Nevertheless, all the articles should provide a good view of some of the work the international community is doing regarding educational technology. I am interested in them because I enjoy learning about educational technology from an international perspective. Since learning objects and on-line communities are two topics relevant to our Technologies for Course Delivery course, I wanted to share them with you all. Happy reading.