Monday, November 16, 2009

Asynchronous event 16th Nov to 30th Nov 09

Electronic learning (e-learning) as we all know is the use of technology that enables learning and teaching online so anytime and anywhere through synchronous(real time) or asynchronous(delayed) delivery .Selection of these methods however would depend on individual learner and of course the subject matter too.

In this context collaborative learning is creating waves in e-learning like:wikis are becoming popular,discussion forums are at large and blogs are also incorporated as online learning tool.These tools help learners overcome feeling of isolation and achieve learning outcome in a synchronous or asynchronous mode of their learning.The use of these various tools offer us opportunity for information sharing,and ease of collaboration.

The other reason of its growth could also be that many tools are free ,easy use and open source nature.Ummm yeah!

Today,as part of my mini conference assignment i choose to facilitate asynchronous event on "Blogs as asynchronous means of online learning".
If effectively implemented blogs like other e-learning tools, can offer a great medium of enhancing learners engagement and enriching their learning experience.
If we go back long ago...beyond technology blog like features existed from before in different forms eg journals that people have created "offline".In our current Facilitating online communities course too, we shared ,read,reflected ,made comments and learnt from one anothers blogs. Here i am looking forward to facilitating his event and achieving outcome on Educational blogging, how it can be achieved.

Jagadish Ghimire my guest speaker is working as a Research Engineer @ Telecom SudParis after completing his Masters in Information Communication Technology from A.I.T Bangkok last year. He has been a blogger for 5 years . He will be following the blog, so if there are any questions for him he is happy to answer.

He has prepared a 8.24 minutes presentation and uploaded in Youtube.He shares valuable insights in his youtube link on educational blogging. He talks about how implementing blog as a tool can help peer to peer sharing, exchanging ideas and how we can have links to many resources to dvelve deeper in the subject.

There is a slide that talks about creating map, i like this point of my guest speaker as its true that we record our thinking, and its also true that, through blogs/journal we capture changes in our thinking....pattern.Dont we all agree??????Although Jagadish doesnt elaborate much on this topic, it is thought provoking.What do you guys reckon?

Having said that there are lots of downside to blogs:they cant be the best modes of discussions for many reasons one being the blog author has more influence in facilitating and moderating blogs. They have full control on the original content.

Jagadish has some critical views on implementing blogs in e-learning like monitoring progress of learners and difficulty maintaining learning flow,we can discuss more on this issue.

So guys what do you all think about using blog as a e-learning tool, how effective it can be and what could be its shortfalls?

Please comment as a thread rather than in the youtube link, so that we can create a threaded discussion and can make conclusions @ the end of the two week open forums.(i mean through comments).The reason i choose gmail-blogger for the discussion is its free, as if you wished to comment directly in youtube you would have needed a account.
Just keeping it simple.
Meena Adhikari


  1. Blog as tool to facilitate learning is the excellent way of sharing knowledge. Its more relevant where the subject is complex and diversed. I personally have benifited a lot and have been using this for many years in SAP area, as in SAP its a complex Software with so many components and the skillset is all around the place, SAP has been actively promoting this for last 3-4 years using thier website I found it very usefull especially in the age of on demand knowledge base, compared to many years back when guys used to learn everything first then use it, with the help of such tools and media you learn when you require it effective and efficient.. I would anytime promote this. But for me its more towards on demand learning than structured learning process

    Satish Nair

  2. Hello Jagadish and Meena, thank you very much for the presentation - it was very clear and beautifully presented.

    Can I ask about the 'digital natives' concept, that young people are more ready to blog because of their increased confidence with technology - how generalised do you think that is? My children who are 19 & 21 use Facebook and thats about it. The concept of blogging is one they'd be very uncomfortable with - are young people genuinely happy to blog or are we making a generalisation?

  3. Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words.

    The point that you raised is a very good point and I think it is important also. I agree with you, blogs for many youngsters is very less interesting. Looking at how they hang on to FB, we should not generalize that they would give any damn to blogging. However, I think that the value of Blogging as a knowledge media is unprecedented. In this context, wrapping Educational Blogs with beautiful golden wrappers (the kind like FB) might be crucial in engaging young leraners with blogs. What is your say on this?

    Jagadish Ghimire

  4. Hi Meena,
    I enjoyed the UTube. I was particularly interested in the point about using a blog as a writing tool. I might try and get my kids into it. They are both shocking spellers and so don't write as much as they should. Being 11 and 14, they might get into this. I see them blogging their friends and talking about boys, clothes, music and movies. Maybe not my 11 year old yet!. Also interested in the comment about blogging being an informal learning tool. Is this a good thing or not? Any form of learning in my book is good learning. As long as they are learning the right thing.
    Thanks Rosanne

  5. Thanks Rosanne,I agree with you about informal learning. It is a personal choice but is becoming a popular choice too.
    As its said formal learning happens in classroom,whereas informal learning happens in learnscapes,learning without any borders.
    Satish (above) too raised a important point about on demand learning rather than structured learning.These days,its less practical to try to learn in advance, as what we want to learn may change soon.
    P.S:I for one, post something and then edit my post (can even save as a draft).For me,polishing my editing and rewriting skills leads to improving writing skills(minuscule at this point).Cheers Meena

  6. This is quite a cool idea Meena… I am glad you made this.
    Being asynchronous it gives more time for a reflective thinking as I assume that it is the deepest level of learning. Also as an eLearning tool which is accessible globally time is not the factor.
    Well done congratulations

  7. Hello Meena and Jagadish,

    A very nice presentation you guys have created on blogging.

    I really liked the point Jagadish outlined in the presentation – that with bloging, teachers can link the students to the original source of materials for deeper thinking into that subject matter. Some times in traditional teaching, information is given, but where does it come from, who did the research, how many people agrees with it etc etc, are not known. When we look into bloging , a particular information is provided, and for further reading, links can be established allowing the learners to go ahead if they want to get further details on that subject matter. Very good example of the ice burg.

    Today in a earlier meeting – by Racheal, Sara had sugested, that we do not “own” information, we can use of facilitation skills to direct learners to these information or resources and they learn from it. Its more of an open education – or as stated in earlier comments as a form of informal education.

    Cheers :)

  8. Thank you Krishan and Rosceli.
    @Rosceli ,I agree with you about taking students deep in their thinking.The rate at which information is changing today,learners need to be up to date ,rethink and even switch directions in their thinking. Promoting reflective thinking in the learning process prompts learners to understand their own thinking,relate what they have learnt to prior understanding and what they need to know as they explore.
    @Krishan i like the point of not "owning" information and directing learners to links that provide in-depth analysis thus generating knowledge from mere information.
    At the end collective knowledge is generated from this kind of collaborative thinking....come back to reflective thinking huh

  9. Meena, do you have any research evidence about how blogs are used in education eg how/why/where students engage with blogs - is it an effective elarning tool?

  10. Hey Sarah,i got exposed to blogs when i started FOC 09 course.I had read others personal blogs before and initally found it very overwhelming. After i entered the blog world i started reading personal / professional blogs and study blog(as in our module) i realised the effectiveness of it to deliver course.I have used discussion forums as a staff and a student before, so it was not a new topic for me and had explored wikis in my technical appreciation course.
    One big evidence would be the blogs that we created in our course, as well as one of the students in another course who is a teacher has implemented blog in school and it is proving effective to them.
    As a student when we were asked to see the video and blog, that was when i actually started expressing myself in writing and also relating the information to what i already know and what i that was a curve for me.I maintain scrapbook for by daughter, about her developments, on a personal level i am more motivated to create a personal blog.and after the PLN session am looking forward to being part of a learning network.Overall this kind of informal learning has benefited me & have gained so much of knowledge and look forward to carrying this learning forward :-)

  11. Hey guys,
    Just read Debra's blog where she has provided link to top 100 tools for learning 2009 and blog tool stands 10th...
    Thanks for sharing this Debra.

  12. oopsy blogs have come down to 14th place in 2009, unlike last year when they were no 10.What made it drop down????time to think & research

  13. I think the point you raised though might represent mere figures, are important. I liked your question here. Understanding the reason why blog is pushed a little further down in the list might lead us to interesting and insightful results on e-learning. Is this downgrade just a mere vibration or is it that blogs as learning tools are loosing their charm? It indeed is a question worth giving a serious thought...

  14. Thanks Jagadish,it is still in the top 25 though:-)

    On a serious note,twitter the social networking site is also a micro blogging tool offered free,and one needs to sign up to tweet(140 characters).
    It also depends on the features supported by the tools interface i guess, that makes it effective & .popular
    End of Week 1 today
    Guys gear up for Week 1 reflections coming up

  15. I really enjoyed the presentaion, it was very clear and soothing (music) made it easy to listen to.
    I am completing another course within this qualification, appreciation of online tools for elearning. I am currently completing the final assignment and I have chosen to use a blog for students to reflect and document their learning log. I teach in early childhood and the blog is a good way for students to collaboarte their ideas and reflect on their teaching activities. I agree you donnot have to be a technical expert which is great for me! Many people are use to using email and this tool seems to be as easy to use as email so students make a smooth transition. The students do get to visit subject areas and reflect on these and it is great how it creates their journey. They can look back on their learning and see what worked well and what may need to be developed in their own teaching practice.
    Thank you for your presentation Meena.

  16. Thanks Kylee,yeah that would be a interesting subject for pre-schoolers.Thinking about it, it would be cool for parents to also know what their kid is learning (would there be a privacy issue in here ).
    Are you planning on incorporating blogs in early childhood in the near future?
    All the best -M

  17. Hi Guys end of week one today,this would be the last week.Thank you all for participating and sharing your thoughts and experience.Your comments have been great in producing a overall picture..........
    & Thank you Jagadish for your content.
    Now,would anyone like to share what activities can be used around blogs to engage the learner and reach outcomes.
    One activity i can think of is that educators could use blogs to structure and host a course and also keep their learners up-to-date with course information.Similar to the way our course was combination of wikis and blogs.
    In Catherine's conference today Gladys the guest speaker mentioned "Learn to use the tool,and also learn to take advantage of the tool".
    Good luck to all---Meena

  18. Hi Meena invited me to share my use of blogs with 5 year olds. I work in a class where the teacher and I have used a blog with them.
    Next year I plan to get more classes to use them as our school subject is 'relationships'. So blogs will be ideal for this. The children see it as part of their writing. You do have to work on the subject matter with some children but don't get bogged down with grammar and spelling especially because of the age. Speed can be an issue as often typing is slow so you often need to pair them up with another child as support.

    It is a great way to engage the learner. Next year I am doing more ICT in the school and it will be interesting to see if 'blogging' become part of their language (this is a Decile 4 Auckland Primary School). I have still to decide on what structure the blogs will take and also how receptive the class teachers will be with this - ie will the children blog when I am not in the class.

  19. THanks for sharing your weblink Katie.(guys there is a .(dot) missing after enviro in Katie's post :-)).Such a wonderful initiative taken by you and all involved in implementing blog for 5 year olds (good amount of time spent),it clearly shows how they have used this tool to express what they are learning and what they will be learning and some problem solving as well,incredible.
    I understand your concerns whether they will blog in your absence,but with habit,reminder and practice some may get proactive in blogging.As they grow with blogging, they are sure to improve their writing skills (and grammar), because with the abreviation'al text message culture we were kind of loosing it.

  20. Hi Meena,
    There is some great discussion happening here, and the presentation was thought provoking also :)
    Jagadish mentioned blogs as a great learning tool to facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and I would agree wholeheartily. I only started blogging this year because it was a requiremnet for two of the GradCertAppld eLearning papers I have done this year, and I would say that I have learnt a lot from the posts, comments and discussion generated through the use of blogs.As Jagadish also stated peer-to-peer learning happens very rarely in a face-to-face environment, perhaps this is because f2f teaching is still predominately teacher led. I also liked the iceburg analogy in the YouTube presentation, being given links to further readings is great. I think Krishnan made a valid reference to this with regard to source of information give by teachers in a f2f class.

  21. blogging is not new, its same as people earlier use to maintain diary, but BIG difference is reach and access.

    using blog to teach and learn academics and professional work (especially)is of course no doubt becoming as a boon to someone who is stuck up.

    but personally i feel only one risk in it that, when we get access to power of knowledge so easily we tend to under-evaluate and fail to appreciate and apprehend the worth of it and efforts behind it.

    With ready access to answers we instantly jump to the destination and not reach it ourselves.

    Before the internet Bang happened, especially the software folks used to get to the answers and solutions themselves, today there is galore information access to everyone but very few are armed with for recreating a solution.

  22. @Catherine, thanks for your comments and guess what me too started just this year blogging as part of course requirement and have learned heaps, just worried about absorbing it though .(maybe have links/references in my blogs for future). Blogs have encouraged me to formulate my thoughts better(much better) and interact with other participants, which in a traditional set-up would have taken more “pushing” from the tutor. It’s my “voice”, that i have captured, and can look back on my learning journey.
    I also believe if there is a proper linking or tie up of different tools just the way our course was delivered through wikis and blogs, we got exposed to so many tools and they will be beneficial when we take our step into online facilitation
    As Krishan mentioned, learning through links would be acknowledging the sources and also sinking-deep in the subject.I too liked Jagadish’s ice-berg analogy,in f-2-f even if the teacher actually does cover all content how much can we absorb straightaway and answer back. In this instance, the process of thinking could lead to more knowledge.

    @Ajit , thanks for your comment and YES you have “pinned it” i too come from those days when Web didn’t exist and we had to sit for hours to arrive @ a solution, i hear you ajit 
    I miss the challenge we faced those days, but looking back even those days we used to learn from one-another collaboratively ,i remember us in the staff room discussing the technical problems we faced , and how you and others used to come up with solutions. Now the peer circle can be larger, you can have a support from someone who you haven’t ever met, but possibly you have learnt a lot in this arena without face-to-face contact. Amazing isn’t it?
    I do agree about your argument on under –evaluating and not appreciating the contents worth, because copyright policies are not followed by one and all. However, academically learners are encouraged to learn the concept of referencing and are expected to follow acknowledging and referencing & yes it is a boon for someone who might learn so much through blogs (or other user generate content in wikis etc). It has high scope of interactivity with the wide world, you are not controlled by time & distance and the reach and access has not only changed the way we think and learn but how we live.


  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. First of all Great Work Meena!
    This is purely my view as a personal blogger and a NZ high school teacher.
    Your questions are put in inverted commas and I have tried answering some of the questions as they are quite interesting and very relevant to my profession.

    "So guys what do you all think about using blog as a e-learning tool, how effective it can be and what could be its shortfalls?"

    Like any other learning media, blogging has its own benefits as well as pitfalls.
    Blogging can be a very effective tool for e-learning. It can be used as a forum for teachers and the students to interact about a particular topic that is being covered. Teachers can facilitate the student learning and encourage self-initiated learning. The teacher offers himself/herself as the main resource and the degree to which he/she is used up, is up to the student. In this student-centered educational setting, students discover what it means to be autonomous, spontaneous, creative, and self-disciplined in their efforts to reach their own goals. One of the shortfalls of using blogs in e-learning is that the students miss on real life interactions with their teachers as well as their class mates. This could lead to developing poor communication skills as they progress in their life as majority of their interaction is done virtually.

    "Meena, do you have any research evidence about how blogs are used in education eg how/why/where students engage with blogs - is it an effective elarning tool?"

    Educational blogs which are different to technical blogs are new phenomena in our schools and institutions. As far as I am aware, research evidence about using blogs in education is very limited especially in high schools. Majority of schools have limited funding for ICT, not enough of computers etc which makes it difficult to implement e-learning tools.

    "Blogs have come down to 14th place in 2009, unlike last year when they were no 10.What made it drop down????time to think & research"

    From what I have understood about blogging it is like an e-hobby (virtual) for me. It takes time to write a meaningful and exciting post which is essential, to entice someone to read the blog. People have limited time due to personal and professional commitments; hence there is a slow decline in blogging.

    "Now,would anyone like to share what activities can be used around blogs to engage the learner and reach outcomes."

    A blog, being a website can be easily and quickly updated, categorized and can help to order the chaotic thoughts and experiences we all have, while learning. Students can challenge, argue, hear other perspectives, analyze and reflect which will boost their knowledge power. Another advantage of blogging is that we can embed photos, audio and video clips, hyperlinks, online testing etc in a blog to get a complete feel of the subject. All the references within a subject area are readily accessible.

  25. I believe that even when there were no blogs, collaboration was the key to learning. And as pointed out by Ajit,blog offers collaboration as a primary feature. Another area where I think we can look at is the "motivation effect" because of the influence model that might be seen in a social network of educational blogs conncected via blogrolls. We learn not just wbecause we want an answer to a question, knowledge exploration is a fundamental aspect of learning. And blog networks are so effective in this. (And so are wikis.)

  26. Thank you for the presentation, very easy to follow and listen to. Great to read the comments as well and the discussion. I am encouraged to see that blogs are being used by students, as I teach on a course that students are encouraged to have a blog and also participate in the course blog, however there seems some reluctance, even if there is marks against the blog. I would also like to see this used as part of another course, where students need to record information during the semester that then can be used to write up a reflective report. I find that alot of students will only "write" what they have to for an assignment! rather than writing to learn or for enjoyment so this could also be a struggle for some!

  27. Hi Meena and Jagdish, congratulations to both of you for such a brilliant presentation about blogging.
    The best part I personally like about blogging is it's FREE.
    It is as easy as sending an e-mail as mentioned in the presetation, and offers a direct link between the interested parties in the community. Through blogs the e-learners gets a genuine audience for their work which in turn provides a great amount of motivation to do their work. It provides a platform for the readers to leave comments in an interactive format. (Which is what I am doing right now). And again it can be made more attractive with the additional graphics and videos. In addition Sychronised and Asynchronised both kind of blogs enhances the thinking process of the participants.

  28. I think participants in this blog have said lots about the positive aspect of blogs – albeit without any backing from any academic research - therefore I’ll touch on some of the disadvantages of blogs, also without any backing from any academic research papers – all of them being my own personal opinions.

    Jagadish made the point that blogs improve writing competency. Does it? Rosanne commented above that by encouraging her children to blog might improve their spelling. I do not think that can happen. A good example to prove this is this blog itself! Looking at the threads above and the main blog article, how many posts follow the correct grammatical rules and have correct spelling? (There may be heaps of problems with my post – am just putting my point through). Should it be “ice burg”, “iceburg”, “ice-berg” or iceberg? Since this is an educational blog, part of a graded course, it is expected to be formal and follow simple grammatical rules I suppose. So instead of “i” shouldn’t it be “I”, can “can’t” be spelled as “cant” and should “&” be “and”? Do not get me wrong here – I am just highlighting this to make my point. If we as adults do not adhere to these in blogs than what is stopping the kids, whose writing competency we are trying to improve and who are “born txt natives”, to follow these sloppy ways. What I am trying to say here is that regular discussion between familiar people gives rise to slangs and sloppy writing thus diminishing the quality of proper usage of language.

    Moreover there is one feature in most digital medium of writing which some people think as “godsent” but in actual fact it reduces users’ spelling ability. It is called Spell Checker! Now almost all browsers come with a Spell Checker. Like calculators reduce one’s ability to do simple arithmetic similarity Spell Checkers make us not to care or remember simple spelling. So it does not necessarily mean that writing lots will improve writing competency.

  29. Secondly blogs are time consuming and hard to maintain. In a classroom atmosphere opinions are rendered and debated same time. For example, if I did not understand Meena’s answer to Sarah Stewart’s question, “Meena, do you have any research evidence about how blogs are used in education eg how/why/where students engage with blogs - is it an effective elarning tool?”, in class, I would have clarified with her at the same time but in a blog environment I’d have to wait for her reply and in the mean time the discussion could be hijacked to some other topic. In class, discussions take place in real time and when the class finishes the teacher is free to do some other task. In a blogosphere due to its 24/7 “opening time” threads can be posted anytime. This makes it hard for the blog moderator or facilitator to keep track and kindle the discussions. Moreover the moderator or facilitator has to spend more time, at different hours, “looking after” the blog. On top of that you cannot be sure that everybody is participating in the discussion if there are no marks allocated for posting threads. Unlike in classrooms students cannot be monitored and encouraged to give their opinions.

  30. Finally blogging requires technology. In technologically advanced countries or most first world countries educational blogging could become a normal part of school curriculum but if the whole world is taken in context traditional education will lead for years to come. Even in New Zealand there are many students who would not be able to participate. It is one huge drawback. Students need to have ICT resources both at home and school to take full advantage of eLearning. If it’s a vlog (video blogging) than high speed internet connection is a must which many countries including New Zealand lag behind in.

  31. @Jagadish, Thanks for participating again. I agree with you about benefit of collaborative learning from blogs(and wikis as pointed), it can be a great medium to be connected with Peers and tutor/facilitators. Even day to day, if we get stuck in a problem or want to find out more, the mantra we follow is “google” for knowledge exploration. Learning seems to have extended to informal learning through various web options like google, social networking tools, wikis, education blogs etc

    @Rachel, Thanks for your feedback. Educators and learners have already started venturing out of their networks and forming groups through blogs, wikis, twitter, facebook page. In Roseanne’s conference on “Personal learning network”, Anton the guest speaker highlighted that we build our learning network and look for collection of e-learning resources in our network. When i popped the question how do we start our personal learning network he suggested through educational blog.
    I enjoyed the blog link of Katie, where they have implemented blogs for 5 year olds, at this point it looks like the kids have got used to the idea. I like the idea where the teacher helps students sharing their ideas as they are at elementary level. If successful, in the future, it might help them discover answers through peers and reach a wider audience. The aspect that each student (regardless of age) has a voice worth being heard is giving students ownership of learning. If the practice goes on, students may well be in the path of communicating, sharing online more ethically, effectively and moreover safely in an online environment. Not sure, if everyone would agree with me.
    Although blogs can be viable and effective tool, it may not necessarily fascinate everyone or get the best of someone due to different types of learners with different learning styles. Perhaps if the educators themselves reflect and blog or use wikis, Also, learning can occur in many cases, if the learner himself/herself immerses to learning and is willing to take any challenge, whether the learner will be able to meet learning outcome following a tool (suitable or not) would remain questionable!!!

    @Neethika, thank you for sharing your views and benefits and pitfalls of blogging. I agree with you about learners missing real time interactions and although they could improve on writing they may not be confident in presenting/communicating in the real world. According to me, learning may happen with reading a blog article, learner may not wish to respond through post.
    And Yay, it is a free tool which would reduce the distance and could help the trainer communicate with the class. Besides free tool and a e-hobby we can build our own learning network by reading blogs related to our interest, i find this link good to explore for topics of interest:
    Thanks once again for sharing your point of view about the questions posed.

    @Smita, thanks for your views. Yes making blog more attractive with graphics, videos, links for more exploration would be so much helpful. Did you mean live blogging by synchronous blogging, just recently Stephen (another participant from our course) shared this link.

  32. @ Praneel, Thanks for your views on blogging, just goes to show how we all have different point of views.
    You have definitely made valuable points, where we need to look back and work on our spelling and grammar mistakes. It is essential, as we progress in our learning.

    It is probably true (for me at least) that many of the views may not be backed by proven research, but come from experiences (like the one we had) of learning from one another’s blogs like in our current course.
    In this context, personally i would like to add that any research article (before publishing) could benefit if uploaded in blogs to share and made open for inputs from larger audience,just the way we were enlightened about our practices by your feedback.
    Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research. The question would remain debatable whether or not it should be open for public before being published.

    Talking about spell check feature of Microsoft, i personally don’t trust it let alone use it, as many a times it flags good grammar as bad, it may work well for good writers who have generally have good understanding of rules and may be able to differentiate between the good and the bad.
    P.S I have re-read my post to make sure i do not make silly errors with spelling, and will try to maintain good writing practice (smile from your best colleague ever-Meena)

  33. Hi Praneel, while moderating, i realised you had another post and wanted to answer as a separate post to this thread.
    Educators could update latest course content, assignment submission reminder and links (can be easily updated as blog posts are chronologically displayed. This is, if blogs are implemented in course curriculum. I am sure we all have different views on this too.

    As i mentioned in my comment earlier, blogs can be a platform of sharing ideas, make connections to the topic and can also a positive method (?) of obtaining feedback .However i do agree based on my own personal experience that blogs are easy to start but hard to maintain due to its 24/7 facility, although i am following up on all blogs, if i have missed a day i have lot of catching up to do.

    Yes , the good news is that blogs helps learner capture their thoughts real time. The other news is, it lacks the real time spark as you mentioned, learners may not be tuned in to give real time response, which could lead to hijacking of a particular post in the blog which in face to face had yielded real time response.
    If responses to posts/comments are structured well, i suppose it could overcome the barrier at least 50 percent of not 100.Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Replying to your second post Praneel.

    Thanks to all the participants for bringing my blog alive with your positive and critical comments.


  34. Response to second post of Praneel made before publishing, oops definitely need to think twice before clicking.
    Cheers Meena

  35. In response to last post of Praneel:

    In this technologically advanced world, don’t we all want to support digital literacy and foster student’s development to make learning more easily accessible?

    Students like me would not think of continuing education due to family/work commitments, with this course, I am enjoying the self paced rhythm of informal learning at my own pace. I put my daughter to bed, finish my house chores and get on with the computer. I am glad I am able to do this, because I do not wish to stop learning? Agreed many subjects require human interaction and practical experience, so online learning may not be ideal in all scenarios.

    How necessary is it to be digitally active , how about if it benefits you in exploring your understanding on a subject?

    Again talk about it and the best bit of blogs are that it’s a free tool and a effective one too, even though it offers the many benefits and setbacks as discussed before. What will outweigh what, advantages with disadvantages or it would be question of access to these implementing tools?

    One of the biggest benefits of using online tools in today’s fast paced set up is that (say blogs in our case) learners will be updated with latest content. This would save on CD or other forms of resources with re-duplication and re-distribution cost.

    It also depends on the scenario we are in, and would not be suitable where you need immediate solution because of the time gap. Many educators are already supporting mixed delivery to support self paced learning with live conference/chat sessions.

    Follow this link on elearning trends, a interesting read , it is about implementing online learning to your benefits.

    NZ government is already taking initiatives to promote learning culture, by funding institutions and also providing free (limited) access to internet at community libraries. Well not at a larger scale, but getting somewhere…

    Yes we suffer on bandwidth compared to other countries; recently one of the participant from our course had trouble getting into one of the conference due to poor bandwidth in their area.

    Hopefully the bandwidth problem is sorted, and some day high bandwidth connections become as common as having/using a phone.

    What do you all think of this and the previous post? Do share
    Last day of the forum, Cheers

  36. Hi Meena,
    I think the advantages to using blogging as a learning tool far out weigh the disadvantages, and where the learning outcomes would be better met in a synchronous environment there are many online options now available, as you stated is your post above 'Many educators are already supporting mixed delivery to support self paced learning withlive conference/chat sessions.'Even subjects that are more hands on and perhaps considered as ones to be taught face-to-face only can be successfully adapted for blended delivery. Enjoyed the discussion that your asychronous online event has encouraged:)

  37. Hi Meena,

    Rather late to the party so please accept my apologies for my tardiness. I think that your facilitation of the Slices session is a great example of how a blog can be used for asynchronous elearning. I agree with Roscali as I am a reflective person, so being able to access and re-read the discussion is always a help to me.

    I also can identify with the comments relating to how young people don’t appear to have embraced blogging. I am following a blog written by a young person it’s Jessica Watson and she is using the blog as a means of communicating her progress. Notably she has 200+ comments for each post. I wonder how many of them are from young people. I am following the blog out of interest but I am learning too. I am being exposed to sailing terminology and geographic references of a maritime nature. Having said that I have not posted any comments, I guess that I have gone into lurker mode. Another point relating to whether young people are engaging with blogging is a personal observation: Young people are fickle, they move very quickly with the times and blogging may have been superseded by twitter, facebook, bebo etc. The fashion and music industry depend on this behaviour in young people.

    Krishnan’s reference to not owning information is so true, as educators we are vehicles of knowledge transfer. That knowledge is not ours but knowledge of others relating to the topics we specialise in.

    Praneel’s comments got me thinking - I agree with the spelling, I use the spell checking facility in word. I can spell but my problem is that I didn’t learn to type so quite often transpose letters. I agree that blogs are time consuming but so is preparing lessons and resources. Lack of access to technology, we live in a changing world and more and more people are gaining access to web 2.0 technology. This is the most common excuse from staff in my institute for not engaging with interactive technology. I lived in the UK until 2 years ago and the Government invested money and took a lead in making the internet accessible for all. People have access to the web free at libraries, community settings and educational settings. This needs to happen in NZ or we will fall behind other OECD countries.

    The key thing for me, as a practitioner is that technology is a tool to be used appropriately to enhance and support learning. It is not a panacea; a poor teacher will not become a great teacher by using technology. A variety of teaching methods and variety in assessment methods should meet the needs of students and encourage learning to take place.

    Oops sorry Meena, I have gone on a bit

  38. @ Catherine, thanks for your input, me too have enjoyed all the discussions generated in this event. Can i beat the teen sailor Jessica Watson blog posts though?

    @ Debra, thanks for sharing Jessica Watson’s link, it’s incredible, had seen her in the news when she embarked her record breaking journey on October, i saw 200+comments generated by her latest blog post. I guess this is one event people can’t get enough of, and the support seems to be so high, compared to the criticism that created quite a stir before she began sailing solo. I like the fact that she has taken technology with her and regularly posts her reflections. What does that say?

    Online learning tools have helped enhance learning experiences by customizing it to suit individual learner needs and circumstance. I am glad i had the opportunity to continue learning and am able to make “meaning” of whatever i have learnt. The truth is i do reflect but do not record; this could help me look back in my learning journey.
    Should follow Bronwyn’s framework theory for personal reflections?

    Can we say “Learning will occur in a community rather than in the classroom” in the years to come!!!


  39. To find out more about learning in a network or community, I would advise you to have a look at "connectivism" which is a learning theory mooted by George Siemens:

  40. Hello Meena

    I know you are wrapping up this event so look forward to hearing your reflections on how you think it went.

    From my point of view, I thought you did a great job of facilitating this event. It was very interesting to compare what you did and the progress of this event compared to that of a lice event. In one respect it is easier to facilitate an asynchronous event because you none of the immediate technical nightmares that go along with synchronous events. But on the other hand, you have to attract people to the blog, capture people's attention, and motivate them to leave comments and enter discussion.

    I believe you did a great job of providing interesting material to discuss, asking questions and guiding discussion. I also enjoyed the way you used the email group to remind people what was happening, and summarizing the first week's discussion.

    I think it was a little confusing having the video on YouTube and then asking people to come back here to discuss the content. I think it would have been better to either guide the conversation on YouTube or embed the video here. But having said that, you don't appear to have lost too many people along the way.

    How do the rest of you who took part in this conversation feel about how things went?

  41. Hi Meena,

    It was very interesting to see such a good number of people participating and sharing their personal views regarding Blogging. I myself have just started using a blog this year and I personally like it in terms of using it as an online journal which could be used to reflect on things in the future. Very good tool for elearning courses for learners to use as part of their learning experience.

    I have read pros and cons regarding the blogging, would be looking forward to reading your evaluation on the whole event.

    Good luck


  42. Vow, iam really impressed with the active discussion with regards to Blog as a tool, so meena you have achieved quite a good amount of response and feedback.
    With regards to question someone raised "Meena, do you have any research evidence about how blogs are used in education eg how/why/where students engage with blogs - is it an effective elarning tool?"
    I would like to share my personal experience in year 2004 when i was teaching in Ngee Ann Poly (Singapore)we had a task force within the school to take up alternative media and approach for education. During that time FB was not that famous but blogs were quite a in thing, During those period we started use blog as a tool to facilitate the learning for some of the modules. To our surprise those kids which many lecturers thought were dumb could really write a lot when we ask any open questions in the blog topic and encouraged peer feedback system. We also used quite extensively for them to reflect upon a topic or on lecture. To everyone's surprise some the kids were very engaged and could really put their minds on work via this media while engaging them in traditional academics way was quite a challenge.
    Since 2006 i have moved away from academics into professional world from what i hear is those guys are using all kinds of social networking sites as tools for learning.
    So meena you are in a right track


  43. @Krishan,Satish & Sarah thanks for your feedback.

    P.S:Time for me to reflect on the event and the achieved outcomes.All above comments have changed my thinking and will be summarising the overall event in the next blog.