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Answers to tough questions about eLearning

I was emailed recently (by John S Oliver) with the following: "I have heard of star on the stage into guide on the side. What are the other phrases? What are the ways to communicate in a sentence the impact of edutech?"...and so I thought about it a few days, and then did some research around it. I couldn't find any equivalent 'sayings' - so if you know any, please share :-p - but I did find some thought provoking posts and responses from Clive Shepherd. Clive addresses some of the questions that either he gets asked frequently, or that underlie some of the reactions from the people with whom he is working. Even if you don't 100% agree with the points he makes, he addresses some of the really hard issues and perceived barriers that I've also encountered, offering a balanced, considered conversation.

Questions he addresses include:

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Comment by John S. Oliver on August 20, 2012 at 21:03

Here are companies that are filling the gaps and getting real world results.

Given their track record I do not understand how so many can doubt this works.

These are not tiny companies appealing to a few people.

Plus multinational corporations could never deliver products without online education of their workers.

My brother works for a cloud computing company and develops the internal training.

They could never gather in all the learners in the same room at the same time for every lesson.

Those who need to learn are hyper busy and scattered all over the globe.

This is just more writing on the wall about the coming attractions. 


Comment by John S. Oliver on August 20, 2012 at 20:53

Hazel, THANKS for this post and THANKS for these links. The blog posts they go to are insightful.

There is a generational factor. Those who are entering college grew up as Digital Natives. They are in institutions that 100 or more years old and unwilling to change much.

The cost of an undergraduate degree is super high and the value is not nearly as high in this job marketplace.

There are more alternative kinds of online education on the Web each year for college students and life long learners.

I refer to 


Khan Academy

Christian Courses



Stanford's onlnie courses for free 

MIT Open Courseware

and there more.

Plus small children are being issued ipads by parents and schools.

The resistance to reading ebooks on reading devices is dissolving more each year, just notice the sales.

These factors scream to me that in 10 to 20 years there will have been many major paradigm shifts. 

Yet the attitudes and actions of many in the field of education are not keeping pace.

This is what creates a massive opportunity for innovative companies.

I recall when the post office refused to adjust to the needs of consumers.

They thought they knew it all about package delivery.

Then along came UPS, Fed Ex and others.

My mother was an elementary school teacher.

I have hundreds of links on Pinterest about education by wonderful school teachers.

I do not want to be a doom and gloom prophet.

But it seems like I am watching a train wreck in slow motion.

There are many force vectors at play. 

Sooner than later there will be huge changes.

Those who plan, prepare and adjust will catch the wave of this trend.

Others will be swept away in the under tow.

What breaks my heart is that sweet and gentle school teachers will get the short end of the stick.

That is because the leaders a few levels above their pay grade refused to get out of the comfort zone.

Life is rough, so what.

Where is the heart felt love for students expressed in bold action steps? 

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