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Thursday, November 02, 2006

The "e" in "eLearning"

The issue of the "e" in "eLearning" seems to come up more often than it really deserves. It's currently being talked about by Harold Jarche, Dave Lee and Albert Ip. My guess is that there's not a lot to really discuss here. Of course, I'm adding to the discussion right now? Why would I do that if there's no issue? The problem is that there may be an implication that somehow people who talk about eLearning are only talking about technology.

No way! By putting the "e" on the front we haven't somehow cut ourselves off from learning. We are simply alerting people to the fact that we are likely using technology and specifically web technology of some kind to assist in learning (and really performance). I like how Harold summarized the topic area as the:
intersection of learning, work and technology

Okay, I called my blog "eLearning Technology." So I'm more likely to discuss technology right? Yes, I am. My Ph.D. is in Computer Science not Instructional Design. However, at the end of the day - like someone with background in ID, I'm trying to figure out how to ultimately help drive human performance.

So, can we all just learn to get along and learn to love the "e"?


Harold Jarche said...

Hey, Tony, I think your "e" is great ;-)

My concern is more that by defining a field as e-learning, a large number of learning facilitators have opted out of the "e" stuff, because they're not into e-learning. Now that digital communications are almost everywhere, we need to get this conservative majority more involved, and perhaps the "e" is keeping them out.

Darius said...

As Papert says, perhaps we need to illustrate the discussion with just one more term, "paper".

As in "Please list all the advantages that pLearning has over our current methods."

Or should it be "p-Learning" or "paper-Learning"?

Tony Karrer said...

I'm wondering if maybe this is a skewed sampling with two people who are obviously "e" centric. On the other hand, isn't most all of it technology including paper?

Anonymous said...

Agree with all. As instructional designers, don't we aim at delivering appropriate content in the most appropriate manner: e, p, or c (classroom)? "E" is a way, but not the way.

Regardless of the delivery system, learners do assume a lot of the responsibility for the actual learning.

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