Effects of eLearning 2.0 May 14, 2007Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: eLearning, Tools
I’ve spoken about eLearning 2.0 before, and I still believe it offers awesome possibilities for improving how people learn and ultimately perform.
But I started thinking about the use of eLearning 2.0 tools: wikis, blogs, social bookmarking, rss feeds, etc. What do these tools have in common? What do they require? They require that you have at least some knowledge of technology, and in some cases they require that you have knowledge that you would like to contribute. I have no doubt that learners with white-collar jobs will take advantage of these tools and the opportunities they offer. These types of workers typically have better access to technology and they deal more with digital information. But I wonder – will blue-collar workers will be left out of the eLearning 2.0 movement?
eLearning (1.0) is currently being used to train people for blue-collar jobs. An example of this would be a session (maybe in a computer lab) where workers take an eLearning course to gain product knowledge and learn troubleshooting skills for the product. I believe this is a great use of eLearning, especially if it were coupled with a hands-on lesson where learners get to work with the product and troubleshoot problems on their own. So, how would eLearning 2.0 fit into this picture? How would learners, who may or may not have technical skills, use eLearning 2.0 tools and contribute information in a setting like this? I’m not saying eLearning 2.0 can’t or won’t work, but I am interested in brainstorming more on eLearning 2.0 to think through situations like this. Maybe this isn’t a great example, either. Maybe the workers later have access to a wiki where they share information or "gotchas" they’ve encountered with the product? Is that likely to happen?
All of a sudden, it appears white-collar workers may have a greater advantage; they could benefit more from these new tools and further increase their knowledge, skills, and potential. Will eLearning 2.0 cause a (further) knowledge gap between white-collar and blue-collar occupations?
I’m not trying to be a grinch about eLearning 2.0 – I promise! I am excited about it. I just think we’ll need to keep several things in mind about our audience when deciding how and where we use it.