What is ‘e’?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/5830483185

Sorry to disappoint anybody who thought this was going to be a post about rave culture, MDMA, pills or capsules. Instead, the ‘e’ referred to here is in elearning or in the case of the people involved in this website, #eNoobs. However, I am beginning to wonder if we need to revisit what we think ‘e’ means in an educational context.  Despite choosing to hyphenate the word elearning, Google tells me that the definition is:

learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet.

Very general, really. So, the next question in my mind is, how do you define electronic media? Google says:

Broadcast or storage media that take advantage of electronic technology.

Therefore, I reckon it would be fair to say that elearning can be defined as learning conducted by broadcast or storage media that take advantage of electronic technology. Yet, this is where the agreed notion of what ‘e’ means starts to struggle in my view, or to put this another way – Is that definition what we really think of when we use the term elearning? Surely, elearning and indeed the ‘e’ are much more than that. The sphere of digital media and the ways in which education can and, at times, does utilise what is available are way beyond what this definition is suggesting. Alternatively, if one was to stick with that definition, the role of elearning coordinator or indeed, any of the similar #eNoob roles, then most people in those roles need to reconsider what their job actually involves.

I think the definition has been superseded by developments within education and how technology can be used. It is also ignorant of the pedagogies and practice that are interwoven in contemporary, digitally led education. So, I am calling for a new definition of elearning and of ‘e’. Any takers?

 

image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/5830483185

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