Monday, April 25

Questions about eLearning and Public Education

LCB received an email from John R. Wallace who is new to the elearning world and seeking advice on resources on the web regarding public education and elearning. Here are his questions. I'm sure the Learning Circuits Blog community can overwhelm him with good ideas!

....Which brings me to you. I have found the entries at
"The Learning Circuits Blog" to be very interesting,
serving as excellent stepping stones in my recent, much
more focused exploration of e-learning. I hope you might
be able to offer some advice...

Why am I having such a hard time finding articles or
information about e-learning as it might be applied in
public education?

Where are the discussions, the forums, and the people who
are involved?

Are large publishing houses the only real source of
investment in K-12 multimedia content (thus obviating the
growth of ADL-type communities in the field of public

Have I just been Googling the wrong two dozen search terms?

Also, what area(s) of e-learning do YOU see as having the
greatest potential in contributing to public education?...


Godfrey Parkin said...

There’s an awful lot out there. In fact there seems to be a lot more experimentation going on in academia than there is in corporate learning (probably helped by the fact that, unlike corporate learners, students are both digitally blasé and unafraid to criticize “old think”). Interestingly, there appears to be a lot more overt e-thinking going on in Canadian, Aus/NZ, and UK education systems than in the US. Maybe US schools and universities are just keeping a low profile. Or maybe they are so paralyzed by the politics of innovation that there is, in fact, not much going on.

Googling may not get you great results because much of the discussion takes place in closed environments. Here’s where blogging and RSS have come into their own.

Three sites worth visiting for starters:
Centre For Educational Technology Interoperability Standards, mainly UK, is a mine of useful information.
EdTechPost, a Canadian site, is loaded with links to get you exploring further.
Stephen Downes’ maintains a treasure trove of news and commentary at Stephen’s Web, and his daily (free) e-mail newsletter is well worth getting. I don’t know how he gets the time to both monitor and comment, but he’s usually on top of everything relevant that is happening.

A couple that are RSS feeds only (the sites originating them are secure). So drop these into your feed reader, and get lost for a few hours:
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (
Online Learning News and Research (

Godfrey Parkin

Anonymous said...

To Dave Lee: I appreciate the posting of my questions; thanks Blogmeister!
And thank you Mr. Parkin for such a prompt and thoughtful reply. Having read a number of your posts in the TLCBlog recently, I am confident your suggestions will bear fruit.

Clark Aldrich said...

I guess I am not sure yet what the question is.

Harold Jarche said...

There's also Will Richardson, on mostly blogging in K-12:

as well as Nine Shift:

and here are my Furled items for public education (not all about elearning):

Harold Jarche said...

The Furl link in my comment above didn't come through in Blogger, so go to this link and filter by "Public Education"

Anonymous said...

I am pleased to have learned a greater conversation is occuring than I had discovered on my own. Still, the difference between that dialog and what is apparent for higher ed (and corporate training) seems like the difference between, well, an elementary school and a university.

CETIS was indeed a good jumping off point (thanks Mr. Parkin). A site search of "K-12" took me into completely new territory. And I am still drilling into the other sites y'all have suggested. The "Eschool News Online's ed-Tech Insider" is now in the top level of my bookmarks (thanks again blogmeister).

One term not searched proved to be a key: interoperability. Which has been useful in new searches. It was your assistance (and links) which led me to the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) home page. I wonder now: Are any here at TLC already familiar with SIF?

An interesting bit: "Thirty-six percent of [K-12] districts that were planning to expand their distance education courses selected course development and/or purchasing costs as a major factor preventing their expansion." (from a
U.S. Dept of Education press release titled "Landmark Study Yields First-Ever Data on Distance Education in Elementary and Secondary Schools")

jay said...

Part of the lack of cross-fertilization between academics and corporate suits is social. At Online Educa in Berlin last year, a conference that combines schools, companies, and government, one session almost reached class warfare, with the professors disdaining all corporate learning and the corporates pointing out the professors were merely academic. Ugh. Corporate stuff is just trade.