My forthcoming trip to Brunel University in west London is for a conference about E-learning 2.0 . I’ll be there to talk about know-how non-profit but I’m looking forward to discussing a whole range of issues. The conference organisers have already used a social networking tool called Ning to encourage people to get discussions going in advance of the conference itself, and some of this has extended to a discussion of different approaches to pedagogy.
Blended learning is a fairly widely used term, and I made some comments on the social networking site that I’d like to share here with a wider audience.
My thoughts are that blending channels – e-learning and face-to-face – is becoming so commonplace that it’ll soon be regarded as barely worthy of mention: students expect web support through VLEs, etc, for face-to-face courses, and of course it’s well established that e-learning courss can be supplemented by an element of face-to-face. However blending formal and informal pedagogies is important I think will become more so.
You’re right [responding to the conference organiser] that e-learning offers new pedagogic opportunities, but I’d also suggest that the pedagogic benefits and practical benefits are becoming more closely combined than in the past. For instance is the ability to get access to a social network like this from home on Friday evening a purely practical benefit? Or is it pedagogic because it opens up new opportunities for my own learning?