Before I complete the last tranche of open source applications for my series on Open Source E-Learning Development Tools, I thought I’d beat the pack and publish my list of the twenty e-learning blogs I found most useful, was inspired by, taught me something, and just plain enjoyed reading in 2009.
Before I reveal the list, I’d like to answer the Learning Circuit Blog Big Question for December 2009, which is “What did you learn about learning in 2009?”
It’s been a quite good year for e-learning-related blogs – not a vintage year in my view, but some interesting new voices emerged in the e-learning ecosystem (and one really irritating one – not included on the list below, I might add). Very few “old-timer” bloggers in this domain seem to have lost the habit, and none of the blogs I like to read succumbed to blogrot, which speaks to the vitality and life in learning and development-related disciplines.
That said, people have only so much time to give and the rise in use of the shiny bauble that is microblogging seems to have taken up time bloggers previously would have dedicated to blogging proper. As a result I’ve had lots of interesting (nearly) real-time conversations and seen lots of links to resources bounce around the twitosphere (if I may coin a word), but in 2009 there is less diversity of opinion, innovation, new ideas, and reflective in-depth commentary on learning-related matters than I encountered in 2008.
Some people would call it a consensus and a natural outcome of a maturing profession. But as I see it, a certain homogeneity in thought seems to have arisen in e-learning in 2009. A dearth of critical analysis in parts of the L&D world has led to a resurgence of support for unsound, invalid approaches to learning.
Take for example, the notion of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles.
Ah, VAK! Just when I thought we had eradicated you like the the smallpox of learning that you are, you scientifically dubious, pedagogically damaging piece of nonsense. You may as well assert that people learn by magic as through ‘approaches’ like learning styles.
It the re-emergence of such suspect pedagogies (and other equally bad ideas) related to microblogging? There’s no evidence to say that there is, but the technology certainly make it easy to promulgate all manner of ideas, no matter how flaky they are. We are all familiar with the power of internet memes, so there may be something in this. One hundred and forty characters does not allow you to explore the ramifications of a topic in the way that a longer-form blog or other type of article does, so in as much as it’s a convenient and effective back channel, microblogging has limitations.
As for cloud computing? Well, get a computer: attach it to a network. Instant cloud.
I’m just glad I haven’t heard “cloud learning” as a buzzword over the last 12 months, a state of affair I hope will pertain in 2010, too.
A newly-emerged technology with much more potential, it seems to me, is Google Wave-type technology. I think that this has the potential to replace current off-the-shelf-type content -serving LMSs with something much more learner-oriented (from a Constructivist perspective) in its capability to facilitate a/synchronous communication and collaboration. Given Google’s promise that they intend to release the platform as open source once it’s completed beta testing and piloting, I can foresee it integrating quite happily with systems like Moodle. It should add an extra layer of sophistication to e-learning environments. Perhaps it will even give microblogging a context for learning, rather than merely enabling information-sharing and social networking. Of course, strategies to manage and control permissions, resource access, learners’ private details, learners’ progress, gradebooks, testing and so on will need to be developed, as well as approaches to sequencing, storing and tracking sharable learning objects, specific learning resources and, of course, metadata. But these are only challenges to be overcome, and not obstacles to be defeated by.
Anyway, commentary complete: it now gives me much pleasure to recommend the honor roll of the class of 2009 to you.
I encourage you to explore some or all of these useful resources.
|BDLD||Donald Clark #1||Don consults on the learning and performance industry, doing train-the-trainer classes, and designing elearning and training processes and platforms.|
|Blogger in Middle-Earth||Ken Allan||Tena koutou katoa! Ken is a distance educator in Science at The Correspondence School, Wellington, New Zealand.|
|Brain Rules||John Medina||12 Principles for Surviving at Work, Home, and School|
|Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies||Jane Hart||Knowledge, Skills and Tools for the Learning 2.0 Age|
|Clive on Learning||Clive Shepherd||Clive Shepherd has spent the past 25 years working with computers trying to make learning things happen electronically. He’s still trying to figure it out.|
|Connecting 2 the World||Virginia Yonkers||Connecting ideas, cultures, and disciplines|
|Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development||Brent Schlenker||Corporate Learning Blogger, Strategist, Consultant exploring the crossroads of Technology and Learning.|
|Don’t waste Your Time||David Hopkins||Works in the Business School at Bournemouth University as a Learning Technologist.|
|Elearning Technology||Tony Karrer||Tony Karrer’s blog on Elearning trends|
|elearningpost||Maish R Nichani||elearningpost provides news and views into the process and practice of e- learning.|
|Elearnspace||George Siemens||Explores elearning, knowledge management, networks, technology, and community.|
|Karyn’s erratic learning journey||Karyn Romeis||After 20 years in the field of L&D in a range of roles and capacities, Karyn now operates an independent L&D consultancy called Learning Anorak Ltd.|
|OLDaily||Stephen Downes||Covers the world of online learning, and as a daily there is an expectation that it will be fresh, that it will contain the news of the day.|
|Plan B||Donald Clark #2||What is Plan B? Not Plan A!|
|Rapid Elearning||Tom Kuhlmann||Practical, real-world tips for e-learning success|
|rElearn||Eamon Costello||reuse repurpose rElearn|
|The Bamboo Project||Michele Martin||Career Development, Technology and Learning Strategies for Personal and Professional Growth|
|Weblogg-ed||Will Richardson||Insights into blogs, wikis and podcasts for learning|
|Workplace Learning Today||Brandon Hall Research||Daily summary of news and articles about all aspects of employee training|
…and my top-of-the-class, Number One e-learning blog is…
December 14 2009 03:11 pm | e-learning
11 Responses to “Top 20 E-Learning Blogs for 2009 + Some Reflections on 2009”