Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vision 2014 – An Interview with Ann Jackson

Our seventh interview in the series is with an another eLearning industry expert, Ann Jackson. Below is an excerpt of the interview:

What are some of the key eLearning trends you are looking forward to in 2014?

I believe there will be more online textbooks and activities and less pencil and paper and hard copies of textbooks. There will also be more schools providing or requiring students to have their own devices for online learning.

What are some of the changes you would like to see in eLearning industry?

I would like to see more individualize adaptive learning to be made available to students. I would also like to see more engaging online courses that are not cookie-cutter mass productions.

You just mentioned about individualized adaptive learning. Can you please explain in detail what exactly do you refer to when you talk about it? What are the implications of it for content creators?

Individualized adaptive learning is vital for all students to be given equal opportunity to the content being presented. If students cannot read at the level at which the content in science, social studies, etc. is being presented, they cannot be successful regardless of their abilities in that subject. Conversely, if students are at a much higher learning ability than at which the content is being presented, they can become bored and disengage. I think it is vital for content developers to provide a broad range of content that meets the needs of individual students at all levels of ability so that students can have their own entry point and progress according to their ability and learning style.

Social elearning has been talked couple of years now. How important is the social element going to be for eLearning in 2014?

As we move more towards online and individualized instruction, it will be vital to provide ways using which students can interact on their concerns related to the content and activities. Social eLearning can provide interesting and engaging ways for these interactions to occur.

BYOD –Do you see this culture catching up in 2014?

I do, however, it is vital that students who cannot afford or do not have access to their own devices be provided with these so that they have equal opportunities in learning.

What are some challenges that you foresee the eLearning industry facing in 2014?

One huge challenge that I see is providing students and instructors with up-to-date, working devices using which they can interact with the content. If students are provided with such devices by the schools or institutions themselves, the expense will be great for school districts, and it will account to not only the initial purchase amount of the device, but the expense for keeping it up-to-date or the expense on lost and broken devices. If students are required to purchase devices on their own, then families might run into the same kind of difficulties with huge expenditures for the device, updates, and maybe lost or broken devices. This will specially hold true for low income families with multiple children.

Another key challenge will be continually providing new and engaging activities for students on these devices. No longer will publishers be able to print a textbook and have it in circulation for seven years. Students are going to demand current, correct information that is relevant and engaging.

About Ann Jackson

Ann has been involved in curriculum development K-post secondary for over 15 yrs. She has a vast knowledge base of technology, both its functionality and its use in the classroom. She has also developed and implemented training for adults on a wide variety of educational topics including: effectively using computers in the classroom, curriculum development, effective pedagogy, engaging students, varied assessments, learning modalities, and integrated thematic instruction.

More interviews will follow soon. Stay tuned to our future blogs to hear from the leaders themselves!
Click here to read the interview with Bob Little, Clark Quinn, Greg Gardner, Jay Cross, Paul Clothier and
Robert Gadd

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