What is elearning?
A: So far elearning is mostly used to refer to online courseware, most of which just moved traditional course material to the web. For most of people in the academic field, elearning is just something to fanaticize teaching. So all of their work involves how to teach the course material better. However, I think elearning is not about teaching, it is about learning. Teaching is just to share learning experience. It is about how we can free learning and return learning back to what it is.
Where are the ideas from? Who else are doing the same thing?
A: Elearning has been a hot topic in academic field and commercial development. But what they are doing are simply moving the course material online or fanaticizing teaching. It is far from what elearning is supposed to be.
I have found that the ideas in the unschooling movement very close to my thoughts on elearning. Here are some links that you can read more about unschooling: http://del.icio.us/yalecolumbia/unschooling Unschooling movement has been going on for a long time. However, they haven’t realized that the new technology brought by Internet and www actually can make their dream finally come true. Especially the recent development in web2 provide the core engine to such change.
There are actually some sites in the web2 community addressing the learning issue. But it more scattered efforts. I feel that at least openly there is no one who has the master plan/vision for the whole elearning thing.
What is wrong with school? What is the problem with learning
A: John Taylor Gatto did a fantastic job on this. His website is at: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/index.htm
If you don’t have time to read that site now, let me give a brief rundown here:
Most students coming out of school don’t know how to learn. So certainly school is a big failure in this regard.
School is just an institution to enslave people’s minds. School uses tests to screw up certain kinds of people, who are not good at passing tests, make them stay as manual labor, and screw up some other kinds of people, who are good at passing tests, and make them stay as mental labor. We, essentially free human being, are screwed up this way, if you understand what “essentially free human being” means.
School is the product of mass production. It enlists people in certain majors to make them able to play certain function and stay in that role in the stiff hierarchy of organization. However, open source movement provides an alternative to such stiff hierarchy.
For students locked in an artificial environment and out of touch with real life for so many years, their mental states must be ill-affected.
So what new things does this elearning bring to learning?
A: Real life is the best learning environment. Instead of learning statically and artificially in school, how can we learn dynamically in real life? Elearning provides solutions.
So what is future learning like?
A: In the future, school will not be the dominant place people go for learning. Individuals will be free to choose various forms of learning, being it workshop, online courseware, doing activities with other similar minded people, or browsing website…
(to be continued)
How can we start?
A; There are many ways we can start. Right now, I have two core software: (to be continued)
How will these alternative ways of learning affect society at large?
A: Actually many (maybe most of) social problems today can be traced back to the school dominated education system, e.g. to the enslaved minds coming out of school system. (to be continued)