October 25, 2014

LinkedIn as a community of practice for online learning?

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LinkedIn is beginning to develop as an interesting area for discussions on online learning. I’ve been ‘lurking’ in the discussions below, and I’m sure there are other topics that I’ve missed as well. It’s very easy to start a topic and we will see more and more every day.

It would be nice if the discussions were threaded, so your comment on a comment would directly follow that comment.

There are some very interesting and high-level discussions (I like the discussion particularly about the Khan Academy ‘business model’), and others where not surprisingly, people have no idea what they are talking about.

My only concern is that it looks like this will be used as a ‘cheap’ way of marketing and ‘stealing’ ideas for commercial purposes; or you can look at it another way and say this is a great way for small entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their services by learning from others. One other benefit is that it could put consultants such as me out of business – why hire a consultant when you can get free advice on LinkedIn? (Yes, there is an answer to that question – look for the Sir Walter Scott reference in one of the discussions.)

What do you think of the LinkedIn discussions of online learning?

Here are the discussions I’m following at the moment:

I want to establish a distance learning centre for my organisation. What does it entail?

Started by Dr. Ngwanma Dandam

 
Should online learning be casual or formal?

Started by Chuck Nealis

 

 

 

Planning to establish a virtual college. Thinking about a powerful LMS and also some thaughts about the needs for this activity

Started by Mudawi Elmusharaf

 

 
Can online learning resources like Khan Academy and TedEd survive and expand without injections of cash from donors?

Started by James Harris

 
What non-flash authoring tools are you using? We currently use Articulate, but need a new solution for our iPad and iPhone users.

Started by Sarah Huvard

 

 

 

How do you deliver certificates for online students?

Started by Roman Doubush, Founder at CertificatesWall.com

 

 

 


Any insights into online learning marketplaces?

Started by Arijit Dutta, Entrepreneur

 

 
What are some tried-n-true ways you have found that engage students in your online courses?

Started by John Thompson, President/owner, Global Learning Institute, Inc
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Comments

  1. Your article on LinkedIn, Tony, is an ironic coincidence. I was recently wondering how to initiate a discussion on your blog about how to find other great online blogs or resources because after almost a year of participating in various LI discussions, I find them overall to be quite shallow.

    LinkedIn is a great resource for those who are really new to online education and elearning, and are searching for tips
    and how to info. I can see that it is or may be useful for disseminating practical information and building the field of practicce.

    But the levels of discussion are not very deep and there is little discussion about issues underlying one decision or another.

    I belong to about 8 or 10 different groups. Perhaps I made the wrong choices and there is deeper discussion and debate elsewhere on LI.

    So I ask Tony and other readers of this blog: Any suggestions on the best LinkedIn groups? Or other blogs where issues are being explored that you can recommend?

    I think that Tony’s blog is really stellar as a place to learn and hope that there are a few more like this.

    Cheers,
    Linda

    • Thanks, Linda.

      I agree with you that in most cases, the level of discussion isn’t very deep in the LinkedIn forums on educational technology, online learning and e-learning thst I’ve seen to date This is hardly surprising though, given there is no structure or ‘scaffolding’ for the discussions, no definition or exposition of issues for discussion, and in most cases, little moderation. Add to that contributors are often new to the game or are using the forums as a means of soft-selling products or services.

      This raises questions for me about the value of ‘connectivism’ – just linking people together doesn’t necessarily lead to a great deal of learning (although it may be useful for marketing).

      Nevertheless I think there is value in the concept of LinkedIn discussions. It’s a chance for new people in the field to test the waters, looks for support and share ideas.

      It’s really the responsibility of more experienced players, such as yourself, to create perhaps more serious and in-depth topics and forums, with perhaps some basic ground rules that we often use for in-class discussions in more formal settings. Then people can choose which is the most useful forum for their particular needs. I’m sure that if topics are well chosen and properly moderated, the level of discussion would improve and there would be takers.

      The problem of course is finding the time to become such a moderator, because as you know, to do the job properly is very time demanding. However, no pain, no gain, unfortunately!

      But perhaps we should be having this discussion in LinkedIn, rather than here!

  2. Thanks, Tony. I agree with your comments. The need for deeper discussion/examination of elearning issues, themes, and theory that underlie the suggestion-box character of LinkedIn forums is strong (imho) but there is as yet no strong movement in that direction on LI.

    I believe that we need the more general introductory ‘how-to’, as well as the deeper ‘so what’ discussions.

    Where could/should such a discussion take place?

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  1. [...] Via Scoop.it – The eLearning SiteLinkedIn is beginning to develop as an interesting area for discussions on online learning. I’ve been ‘lurking’ in the discussions below, and I’m sure there are other topics that I’ve missed as well. It’s very easy to start a topic …Via http://www.tonybates.ca [...]

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