Every person of learning is finally his own teacher... - Thomas Paine
I am currently developing a website that will be entitled, “The Joy Of ELearning” to explore various aspects of learning in the electronic age. In a sense, it is all elearning now; since we now use electronic technology to identify, locate, plan, create, record, assimilate, and/or communicate about some portion of most of our learning activities.
The site will investigate the interplay between three types of learning environments, Formal Learning, Informal Learning, and Experiential Learning. The focus is on exploring how technology can provide learners with more control over their own educational process and experience.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have no significant degrees, certifications or credentials in education or any education related field that qualify me for such an undertaking. What I do have is over thirty years of experience in the computer and data communication industry; many years of experience and certification in the field of outdoor education; over twenty-five years as a manager in corporate America; twenty-five years as a husband and father; 18 years of my own formal educational experience, which led to a Bachelors degree in economics; and a keen interest, bordering on passion, for improving the educational system and experience. More background Information
There are many learning environments. The traditional learning environment includes a teacher, a student; some sort of educational plan or syllabus; typically some type of learning materials or resources; and in most cases, includes some type of grading system, class advancement, or degree award. It is certainly a very important approach to learning, but I think that we all know intuitively that we learn in many different environments; and furthermore, technology, whether it dates back to the invention of writing, the printing press, or to the explosion in data processing technologies in the present day, has consistently and often radically changed how people acquire knowledge.
Just as a general practitioner in the medical field helps patients select the appropriate treatment plan and specialist care, I hope that TheJoyOfELearning.com provides a similar umbrella for understanding the various technology resources available for enhancing the learning experience.
The core of the site is composed of sections for each of the three categories of learning:
Formal Learning - associated with institutions, structure, evaluation, certification, standards, time constraints
Informal Learning - associated with searching, note taking, asking questions, organizing information, discussions, open ended
Experiential Learning - learning from natural consequences, mistakes and successes, adventure, risk-taking, uncertainty
Three additional sections support the three core sections:
The Theory, Philosophy, People, and History of Educational Thought - Standing on the shoulders of giants, where did all of this come from?
Core Technologies - Overviews of technologies that support elearning applications - web technologies, programming languages, databases, data communications, graphic visualization
Motivation, Inspiration - Why bother learning? What motivates and inspires people to learn?
And finally, a section on how one pulls all of this together to plan, manage, and coordinate the process of Life Long Learning.
Alright, there is one more section: I can’t let my hard earned bachelors degree in economics go completely to waste, so there is also a section to explore the Economics of Education.