My e-learning philosophy

My professional career has been somewhat checkered. I first started work as a technician in media and technology back in 1976 when things were a lot less sophisticated than they are now. I entered into the world of academia when my interests in learning technologies grew beyond how they worked and I became interested in how they could be harnessed to support and enhance learning and teaching. Being a student at the Open University gave me some insight into what people go through when they are studying at a distance from their parent institution. It has helped me to create new experiences and activities which exploit new social media and give students interactive opportunities.

In a recent Skype interview with Gary McCafferty we talk about how my career has developed and I discuss my philosophy on e-learning. We talk about how social media is being used to support distance learners and create dynamic collaborative environments. The entire interview covers a range of other topics including backchannels and Twitter, digital natives and immigrants, the semantic web, social tools and academic rigour, learning technology affordances and constraints, a critique of institutional VLEs, e-portfolios, online submission systems, blogs and wikis, Web 3.0, One Laptop Per Child, mobile phone technology and Second Life. I also discuss issues surrounding usability, accessibility, social presence, peer networking and the future of learning technology.

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