Srinivas Reddy’s Weblog

My Tech Rants

E-learning

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In’Knowledge economy’ ability to continuously update knowledge is the only competitive advantage. In this context ‘E-learning’ is the fundamental building block for all individuals/organizations.  I would like to share my thoughts on this and would be glad to hear your views/comments. It’s rightly said it’s not about ‘working harder’ but about ‘working smarter’. Technology today provides us tools to leverage global knowledge in real time to enable on demand learning.  It’s important to design processes that enable such embedded learning in an efficient way.

We find ourselves currently in the midst of transition from a physical world to increasingly digital/virtual world.  This transition is impacting all aspects of human activity including learning. To understand the transition to E-learning it’s useful to think in terms of different stage of life (i.e. cradle to grave model) and different learning entities involved in each stage of life.

In a traditional/classical society below are the key entities involved in the learning ecosystem

-Schools/Universities

-Private training institutes

-Media houses (newspapers/magazines/books/radio/television/movies/theatre/..)

-Professional organizations (IEEE, ACM…)

-Events (seminars/workshops/trade fairs/..)

-Research institutes (in public and private domain)

-Government (policy decisions, information/activities of different ministries…)

-Corporate training (induction programs/ mentors/on the job training/…)

-Social networks (family/friends/colleagues/community members/…)

-Personal service providers (healthcare, finance, legal, retail, housing…)

While the list above is in no way complete or comprehensive it gives a rough overview of the different ‘physical’ entities we interact with. Different levels of knowledge/learning exchange takes place in the interactions. In the ‘new world’ we see these entities increasingly providing ‘digital interfaces’ for knowledge/learning interactions to take place. Be it in the form of Virtual classrooms, e-books, web/pod casts e-government, online communities, social networking sites, e-services, streaming audio/videos, web logs…

We increasingly see conventional learning being enhanced and in some cases replaced by e-learning. Without getting into details of what is or not is e-learning it’s useful to see that just as in the physical world boundaries between information/learning and entertainment are not always apparent.  Just as ‘smart companies’ will leverage all ‘digital interfaces’ to market/optimize their products/services, individuals need to do the same. Today there are more ‘learning resources’ available than any time in human history.  Need for right processes to manage information glut is important.  While different tools like Learning Content Management systems and others are available in the market the most important tool is personal discipline and ability to adapt to changes in ecosystem.  Indian developers need to smartly leverage these resources to create/exploit global opportunities which are today available locally.  Just as this posting ‘shares knowledge digitally’ if all learning entities  above provide universal access digitally to their knowledge repositories then ‘E-learning’ will have a whole new meaning.  While we see steps in the right direction happening in India with the knowledge commission setup, right to information act,…(http://www.knowledgecommission.org/ )  there is a lot to be done and Indian software developers have a huge role to play in not only creating personal knowledge repositories but in creating universal knowledge repositories and helping people to use them.

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Written by srinivasreddy

October 18, 2006 at 7:23 pm

Posted in Technology

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