elearning session at CCL shows significance of informal learning

Stephen Downes is blogging the Canadian Council on Learning’s Conference on Adult Learning in Canada. Stephen’s report on the presentation (see my last post) on e-learning shows, among other findings, the significance of informal learning:

Griff Richards: on four functional areas:
– e-learning as an extension of military education
– e-learning as distance education
– e-learning as classroom education
– e-learning as informal education

Terry Anderson: report misses an emphasis on informal learning.

The notion of the message being more impotant than the carrier: I asked some students, is it worth the extra money? Some said it was, and the logic was, a power issue. They had the same resources the professor did. And because they could take time to research something, they would go into the class knowing more that what the prof does. It completely changes the playing field. And when I look at online informal learning, I see, they’re offering advice, practical advice, that they cannot get. And again, it’s about power. So the question is, is it just the thing we used to do? Has this been developed and explored?

Comment: Following up on Melissa’s comment: I think perhaps we need a response that takes it out of the formal education sector. When we respond from the formal sector, we are still looking at teaching and not learning. And perhaps adult learners who might have an affinity for technology might have an interest in knowledge and sharing, not so much credits. Not teaching, but the informal use of learning for new knowledge.

Comment: paper on barriers. 59 percent of people are participating in informal learning. Do you really know who those users are who are using e-learning?

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