E-Learning Affordances

I’m taking a MOOC called E-Learning Ecologies. At first, I wasn’t sure it was interesting or applicable, but I am finding it to be a fantastic experience. I don’t take MOOCs to get the certificate — I take them to get the knowledge. I don’t have time to do the level of work for the certificate, but I certainly enjoy being exposed to the new ideas and concepts. This is just a place for me to jot down some notes from this week’s conversations.

The 7 E-learning Affordances

The 7 E-learning Affordances

This course is putting forth 7 E-Learning Affordances. (See image). These are completely applicable to my work and to my shifting views of education.

Today, I’m watching video lectures about students as content creators as opposed to content consumers. The concept is quite basic.

  • Traditional learning: hand a student a textbook, asking them to read a chapter and spit back the info on a test.
  • Content creators: assign students to report on a topic. They talk about a report, but it could be a written report, a video, a poster, etc.

Assessment changes, too. It becomes irrelevant to be able to recall a series of facts. If you did all the research, you learned how to find the facts — a much more valuable skill. The  capacity/ability to produce a scientific artifact — becomes the evidence of learning, not the memory. “The test that just assesses memory is not as important as the test of what you actually did.”

While this concept is not at all new to me, I liked how they explained it. There is, as well, the need for me to find others who reference this type of thinking. For example, when I talk to people at my kids’ schools, it always goes better if I can cite a professor or academic work.

Balance of Agency

Here’s a great example in the shift of balance of agency — many years ago, there was Casey Kasem’s Top 40. We were told the top 40 songs. Now, everyone has music on their phones, create their own playlists — create their own top 40.

This is a shift from centralized agency to distributed, where people build their own.

Another great example is video games v. film/tv. In a video game, your actions have an impact on the narrative. In a film or tv show, you have no impact on the narrative. And — the video game industry is now apparently larger than Hollywood!

How does this impact education? This shift to active learning has to be reflected in schools. Kids are used to defining their own narrative, be it a playlist, a video game or learning. If learning does not adjust, we have problems.

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