Future of the LMS – towards a more open and personalised learning environment

Slides and audio from my presentation at the Tertiary ICT 2011 conference in Wellington.

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Keeping learning going in Christchurch

I spent some time this weekend thinking about ‘how to keep learning going’ in Christchurch – as an educator I would like to do my bit and contribute where I can even though I’m in Auckland and not able to get there.  There will be thousands of kids unable to go to school for the next few weeks, and many of their parents unable to go to work. The earthquake has radically and tragically ‘de-schooled’ Christchurch. Now – as with the facilitation of emergency services (RiseUp Christchurch, Rangiora Earthquake Express ) by social media – we could do the same for ‘keeping learning going’ – creating ‘learning webs’ where learners could be connected with teachers (from all over NZ if not the world). I don’t know the extent of damage to internet connections though but I’m sure there will be ‘hubs’ and ‘zones’ where groups could cluster around a connected computer and continue their learning – linked in with functioning schools …

One way to do this would be to create a Moodle instance where the entire NZ curriculum could be listed as Moodle courses – i.e Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, etc up to NCEA level 1, level 2, level 3 (with the specific subject specialities).  Any teacher in NZ could enrol on the site and provide teaching on the classes they are already doing.  Christchurch students could enrol into their current year of study and be linked with a teacher.  Classes could be streamed live from any school in NZ and/or recorded.  Parents, teachers and other students (from both schools and uni) could also enrol and provide help with homework.

It would take a bit of coordination – perhaps led by the Ministry of Education? – a uni (I could put my hand up here) / company or Moodle partner could host the site for free, and experienced educators / Moodle admins could help maintain and administer the site.  Telecom, Vodafone and other CHCH ISPs could come to the party and provide free access for that site for kids in areas where schools are closed.  Homes with a good connection could then be a ‘hub’ or zone where learners could gather to access their ‘classes’ – a kind of blended homeschool idea…

Will float this idea around some of my networks – I’m sure that it or variations thereof are already in the air so maybe it could happen ….  I see that some schools in the CHCH district are due to re-open either tomorrow or next week but many more will be out of action for longer.

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