Monday, March 9, 2009

Death, Destruction and the Internet

I was watching the news yesterday evening and there was a clip about the things happening in Sudan at the moment. Really tragic images 

that stop you in your tracks and make you rethink your current enthusiasms and their relevance.

After all, what could 'e-learning' possible mean for the person in this image? Where does e-learning fit on Maslow's heirarchy of needs?

Then it struck me that of course the Internet has no relevance at all for this person, BUT, it does have incredible power to make this kind of thing relevant for the learners that I'm responsible for. The internet is all about connection, and although things like third world poverty seem a million miles away from my classroom context, I can show my students that the world is smaller than they think, that the world is a village, and that we need to be responsible citizens of that village.

On my MEd course recently we've been discussing the importance of our learners not just finding and presenting information on the Internet, but also going that extra, essential step of generating new knowledge, being creative with what they find there. However, it can't stop there. Surely this new knowledge is useless unless that in turn is followed by action.

 Confronted with images like this, we need to discuss with our learners, "What can we DO?".

1 comment:

  1. Hi Craig,
    Thanks for sucking me in with your webb-ed feet (very appropriate and witty title) blog.

    Agree that the web does indeed make the world smaller - as in more accessible to those with computers - but, on the other hand, it opens up access to billions of pages of information, which can make one feel rather overwhelmed and intimidated. Add to that the fact that a large percentage of those billions of pages are self-edited, verified and biased, and this smaller world could arguably be more fraught with danger. The old saying, 'Ignorance is bliss', might need to be changed to, 'E-gnorance is bliss'.

    Having said that, I do believe that educators are in a very powerful position of 'seed planting' in the minds of future generations and this exposure, when handled well, is great for the seeds of empathy, respect, self-awareness and the reality of our world.

    Right, I will be side-tracked no more!

    Great Blog.


    p.s. you have officially taken my blog virginity!