Did you know that the city of London uses e-learning platforms and support for all of its schools? The LGfL, or London Grid for Learning, is an e-learning platform used by all students and teaching staff in the city. Here’s another one. Did you know that every university in Switzerland is linked to the Swiss Virtual Campus? That is an e-learning platform that links all of the colleges together. Students can take online classes from any school in the country through SVC.
E-learning platforms and support make education more accessible, more individualized and at the same time more standardized for all of the learners who use it. There are administrative advantages to e-learning platforms, but the learner reaps the most benefit.
More Accessible Education
E-learning platforms and support make learning accessible to students when and where they need it. Children who need extra time to learn something or extra support to learn concepts can go to their Virtual Learning Environment as needed and get extra help and support. The child can practice skills, ask questions, and access learning tools to help him learn better. Parents can also enter the Virtual Learning Environment whenever they want to. This enables them to keep tabs on what their children are learning and to help their children better. With e-learning platforms, learning becomes a family activity.
More Individualized Education
People have different learning styles. E-learning platforms and support take advantage of each individual’s learning style. Tools built into the platform let you learn according to your own style. Tools also provide support for people with learning disabilities, so that information is presented in the way that makes it possible for each individual to learn it.
More Standardized Education
While adapting to individual learning styles and needs, e-learning platforms standardize what is learned. A shared learning grid where all students access the same information smoothes out the kinds of variances that allow children in different parts of the same city to learn at different “levels.”
Using e-learning platforms and support might eliminate many of the problems that prevent disadvantaged children from learning. Improved accessibility, individualized learning, and standardized education could make the dream of “No Child Left Behind” a reality.
Battleground for Collaboration
Robert Guth wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal recently entitled “Microsft Embeds Sleeper in Business Software”. For those in the software industry (and more specifically those with a collaboration background) the article is an extremely familiar rehash of Microsoft’s effort to wage “collaboration” war against IBM, Oracle, Adobe, and others to collect and control massive amounts of “work-related” data being generated by businesses every day.
The article tells the story of Miami Dade County public schools and how they were planning to go with IBM for a next-gen collaboration solution only to realize (at the last minute) that they had already paid for, and deployed, a latent technology called Sharepoint as part of the Windows Server Operating System. In the end, they chose Microsoft because it seemed like the right thing to do based on the fact that WSS was already bundled into their existing infrastructure.
In terms of the Microsoft strategy with Sharepoint, I admit the article is absolutely spot on the money — especially as it relates to the battle for mid-market and enterprise customers (large businesses with IT departments). But what about the millions of small businesses without IT departments??? The simple facts are:
SMBs also have incredibly valuable data.
SMBs want to store this data to get more done.
SMBs want it to be easy to use, inexpensive and delivered as a service.
SMBs want the service from someone that they know and trust (like BT and Telus).
Collaboration for the small businesses masses. That’s what I am talking about. And, that’s what evolved broadband service providers are capable of delivering