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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 

Nothing short of a miracle

...with the exception of the communication-oriented tools (discussion forum and on-line chat), [it] is principally a tool for disseminating course information (including course notes and lecture slides) and managing teaching. Unfortunately, providing convenient access to course information does not readily translate into student learning.

And for my next trick, I will attempt to spin this criticism into an award-winning effort.

Difficult because my views are more in line with those of Stephen Downes:

What happens when online learning ceases to be like a medium, and becomes more like a platform? What happens when online learning software ceases to be a type of content-consumption tool, where learning is "delivered," and becomes more like a content-authoring tool, where learning is created? The model of e-learning as being a type of content, produced by publishers, organized and structured into courses, and consumed by students, is turned on its head. Insofar as there is content, it is used rather than read— and is, in any case, more likely to be produced by students than courseware authors. And insofar as there is structure, it is more likely to resemble a language or a conversation rather than a book or a manual.

The e-learning application, therefore, begins to look very much like a blogging tool.


Your posts are like a primer for the Internet and the WWW, in which you reveal a wonderful perception and awareness of a new medium (media). I keep telling my friends and colleagues that you are such a great resource for providing insightful observations that are consistently informative and provocative. We are still in the process of discovering the properties of this new media, but actually "properties" is not quite the right term since they appear more like distillations of process...

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