• 30Jan
    Author: Katherine Pisana Categories: Educational Technology Comments Off on Further evidence of ed tech prosperity in the midst of economic gloom

    Post - Jan 29, 09

    I intentionally set aside some time to read eLearn Magazine‘s Predictions for 2009.  I feel the need to say ‘intentionally’ because I’m finding that if I don’t specifically allocate time to accomplish defined goals, I generally end up tossing away an unfinished To Do List and that just leaves the bitter taste of guilt in my mouth.

    Anyway, continuing on from what I was saying in yesterday’s post, the predictors also anticipate that the lower costs and more convenient access to e-learning will result in its increased demand in the upcoming year.

    Allison Rossett expects to see more technology however with a disproportionate level of understanding of how to use it. Translation: more opportunities for confusion! Not surprising though, as the rate at which new developments in the applications of technology mushroom on an hourly basis, while the training and development initiatives within educational institutions do wonders at keeping skill levels of teachers stagnant in the areas of educational technology. Perhaps this could be an opportunity for improvement – dare I say, a point on the agenda – for schools intent on gaining some footing in these fast paced digital times…

    Mr. Downes predicts the proliferation of synchronous online classes…and considering the number of upcoming online seminars I’m scheduled to have with my tutor groups this year (something I haven’t seen this much of since I started my MA ODE with the OU in 2006), I think he might already be right!

    Roger Schank asks the question, “Does a college degree guarantee any practical (material) success in life?”. He predicts that many institutions will have to evaluate what kind of graduate they’re producing and whether these new entrants into the workforce are capable of contributing in any meaningful way. On this note, I just heard a story from a friend yesterday that many of his former classmates at Cornell are deciding to prolong their graduate studies for one more year in an attempt not to have to face the reality of the current job market. If schools put more emphasis on the development of enterprise and entrepreneurialship in their core curricula, would we have as many ripe students still hanging onto the tree branches?

    I won’t comment on each prediction but have a look through the list for yourself. Ugur Demiray shines a great monetary ray of optimism on the global e-learning industry, Jay Cross touches upon the recent phenomena of closing down corporate training and development departments and replacing them with coaching and mentoring schemes designed to foster ‘a more natural approach to learning’, and David Porush comments on what he sees as the ‘incoming tidal wave’ of returning students as a consequence of current job markets.

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