Online Learning To Reshape Our World ?

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I’ve been behind the mark in getting some good material out relating to online collaboration tools because I’m actually formulating new potions back in my personal ‘Colab’oratory. I am continuing my search for KISS (keep it stupid simple) online environments that will allow us all to connect online in amazing ways – no matter where we are in the world. And some cool tools are certainly rising to the top. I’ll admit as well that I’m finding the whole online tools explosion to be very daunting! Whoa, we’ve truly got a tiger by the tail, and no one knows what its head looks like! Anyway, I’ll be writing more in this area. A tools offering will be coming online on my DiscoveryFuel.com online tools page soon as well.

For now, I want to plug George Siemens from eLearnSpace.com (see details below), who is writing some great material on the whole online learning thing (otherwise known as eLearning). He found this article in The Atlantic and it’s worth you giving it a scan. For me, it emphasizes our need to learn learn learn about online tools and begin to use them alot. Why? Becaue it will give us the freedom to self-select what we want to learn in an accelerated, expanded, and deepened way without the limits of travel and location that have restricted our education in the past. It talks about how education (learning) and the bad economy are related, describing how education is ramping up, just as it has in the past during periods of bad economy.

Read up from eLearnSpace blog

Adhering to the motto “a provocative title will surely increase readership”, Atlantic has an interesting article on How the Crash Will Reshape America :  Economic crises tend to reinforce and accelerate the underlying, long-term trends within an economy. Our economy is in the midst of a fundamental long-term transformation—similar to that of the late 19th century, when people streamed off farms and into new and rising industrial cities. In this case, the economy is shifting away from manufacturing and toward idea-driven creative industries—and that, too, favors America’s talent-rich, fast-metabolizing places.

I find Richard Florida’s “world is spiky” view to be more accurate than Thomas Friedman’s “world is flat”. But, in this article a tension that I’ve felt with Florida’s work is more clearly revealed than previously. Florida has argued – generally quite effectively – that location matters. Cities and regions of creativity and innovation spur growth. To succeed in your career, it’s a good idea to be in areas that are hotspots for your field. But…I am not sure how to reconcile this view with the growth of technology. Now, more than ever, technology has reduced the challenges of distance. Online education and distributed teams reflect this. Video conferencing and online conferences reduce the need for travel. Is location less, not more, important than in the past?

Questions or Comments? Contact Me <mailto:gsiemens@elearnspace.org> Read ERN online at:http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/. Visit www.elearnspace.org <http://www.elearnspace.org/>  for extensive information and resources on elearning Visit my connectivism <http://www.connectivism.ca>  site for resources on the changing nature of learning. His book, Knowing Knowledge is available.

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