Saturday, June 08, 2002
Galileo.org has some very interesting "self-organizing" work underway. The Galileo Network Projects page lists current projects. The Alberta 2005 By Kids for Kids project represents an example of what can happen when participants meet online to socialize, "self-organize" and generally construct learning. As with all learning, the journey is always more important than the destination.
Having the student drive the process of meeting Learning Objectives seems to me to be an effective way to ensure that learning needs will be met. Providing a means for faculty, staff, students and learners to "connect" online to determine how best to meet their educational needs will help to ensure that skill and knowledge gaps are bridged -- by and for the members of the community itself. Powerful stuff.
As an online student, I know there's nothing quite like getting the "straight goods" from a classmate. I know I'm less concerned about asking a "stupid" question of a peer than the prof. Besides, the peer has first-hand experience of the online environment and may recognize my situation and contextualize the information provided. "Yeah, I know that's a drag, happened to me too, here's what I did ...."