Saturday, August 21, 2010

21st Century Education and a VLE: random thoughts

Let's step back and look at the big picture. Now I know that there are a lot of nifty Moodle capabilities and techniques but they are only useful if they are utilized in an effective learning /teaching environment.
During this week, at IT4ALL, we are discussing and exchanging our thoughts about questions like_ "What is a Learning Environment?" What makes it different from F2F, or just a simple web site, from web-based communities like Amazon, Wikipedia, etc.?

Here are some ideas:

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows” - Sydney J. Harris (American Journalist and Author)
I have always liked this sentence. One can look at his image reflected in a mirror without noticing anything elsa but himself. Education helps us see through ourselves and into reality. Reality is right out there, if we are able to look through the window.

Educating is a very delicate process. What is, or better should be, the purpose of education? How can it be achieved? What qualities and abilities will today's learners need in order to make the difference in the world we're living in? What tools do we have and how can they be used in the process of education?
It's difficoult to answer, and there are too many aspects to be considered, but technology can surely be one of the answers.

A learning environment is a place where we can learn. It can be the classroom, but it can also be an LMS. Distance learning and Moodle allow students to learn from their own computer at home, it brings the best courses directly to their houses, without having to move away and without having to spend money for transport, accomodation and so on.

I have created courses with Dokeos, but not with Moodle, even if I have tried the tools. What I will produce within IT4ALL will be my first whole Moodle module.

My course design framework will include a general presentation module, some content modules and an assessment session with different types of tests. Then I will provide a rationale of my programme.

My next challenge: creating a podcast with my answers

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