Sunday, May 31, 2009

Google Wave: The Next Generation of e-Communications?

By announcing that the new Google Wave is opensource, Google is capitalizing on power of the opensource community to help finish the Wave's development. According to webmetricsguru, Wave will enable new architecture that allows building of new applications -- Wave has the potential to "deconstruct what a document is" and enable further collaboration on documents, as well as the possibilities for art, analytics, not to mention new forms of Google marketing (see Social Media Today's article).

Will this really "make life easier" as many tech bloggers and twitter folk are stating? Am I old-fashioned because I like having separate ways to communicate online, including the difference between private email messages, public blog posts, (semi)private instant messages, etc? Do we really want to integrate *everything*? I like integration where it makes sense, but too much integration could be scary; how will this affect privacy and security?

Google Wave YouTube Video (posted on May 28, 2009 and as of May 31, 2009 almost 1 million views).

Friday, May 22, 2009

State of E-Learning in Canada - Report

Yesterday, the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) posted their report on the "State of E-Learning in Canada." It highlights some interesting trends in online learning for Canadians -- I particularly like their profile of e-learning for students in first nations communities, students in elementary and secondary schools, students with disabilities, and students in a post-secondary environment.

"Many Canadians go online to pursue learning opportunities. In 2007, one-half (50%) of all home users (16 and older) went online for the purposes of education, training or school work."
- State of E-Learning in Canada, CCL

The CCL also posted a great fact-sheet that summarizes some key points to take away from the ever-growing e-learning trends, including:

"How does e-learning help Canadians learn?
E-learning provides Canadians the flexibility to learn at their own pace at any stage in the lifespan—thereby fostering positive attitudes about the value of lifelong learning.
Self-directed: Learners can choose content and tools appropriate to their differing interests, needs, and skill levels.
Reduces physical and geographical barriers: More educational options to learners with disabilities, and those living in remote areas.
Timely: Learning can be delivered and learned when desired or necessary."

It will be interesting to see if the promise of web 2.0, social software, and other e-learning trends will actually result in more effective learning in addition to increased flexibility, and if we'll be able to add words like "engagement, interaction, community connections, authentic learning" to the list of things that e-learning enables.