The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities
There are advantages and disadvantages to being a novice to eLearning and Blogging. One of the advantages is that everything is new to me. I have an opportunity to read tons of different blogs from different perspectives on different topics, whereas, someone who has become comfortable in the blogging world may have stopped searching for the next great blog. Of course, the major disadvantage is that there are such a multitude of blogs out there it would be impossible to read all of them. In the last week I subscribed to 65 different blogs, bookmarked many other websites and still feel like there is “more” to find.
However, the point of this application was threefold: (1) to introduce blogging as an interactive learning tool to exchange information within the online professional community of instructional designers; (2) to set up and design a personal blog, begin actual exploration of the online instructional design community and begin utilizing RSS feeders such as Google Reader; and, (3) to create a blog entry identifying three different blogs, newsletters and/or websites that would be valuable resources throughout my journey into the world of instructional design.
It was extremely difficult to limit myself to just a few great blogs, but to be as objective as possible I read blogs from many sites for the week and at the end of the week I included the top websites I had starred as favorites, liked or shared. I chose sites reflecting three different categories to balance the informational input: (1) resources, (2) education and reflection; and, (3) news and research.
Top Three Favorite Sites
The number one favorite is “eLearning Technology” found at http://elearningtech.blogspot.com and authored by Tony Karrer. The blog offers a plethora of eLearning information and links to articles. For instance, the most recent titles included, “Top 35 Articles on eLearning Strategy” (Karrer, 2010, p. 1), “Teaching Online Courses – 60 great resources” (Karrer, 2010, p. 1) and “Open Source eLearning Tools” (Karrer, 2010, p. 1). In addition, Mr. Karrer also posts relevant humorous cartoons, jokes and information on instructional design in the corporate world as well. Clearly, this is a blog full of resources and information of value to an instructional designer.
The second runner up is “Teachers for Tomorrow” found at http://www.teachersfortomorrow.net and authored by two middle school educators, Garth Holman and Michael Pennington. This is a website created by educational professionals devoted to professional development through collaboration of ideas, and sharing of personal experiences and reflections of professional practice within education. On the website it states, “our goal is to use our experiences with technology and curriculum to help other teachers create the classroom of tomorrow, for the learners of tomorrow” (Holman & Pennington, 2010, p. 2) The website lives up to the creators’ vision providing an open forum for discussions about technology, schools, education, students, motivation, and learning. This site is a valuable in the sense it provides perspective on many issues relevant to instructional design and technology. For instance, two intriguing posts listed are: “Who Owns the Learning? More Importantly, why should we care?” (Holman & Pennington, 2010, p. 1), and, “Be the Change You Want to See in the World” (Holman & Pennington, 2010, p. 1).
The third site of choice is “Online Learning News and Research” authored by Ray Schroeder, the Director for Online Learning Research and Service at the University of Illinois. This site is located at http://people.uis.edu/rschr1/onlinelearning. The blog’s purpose is to “provide a scholarly chronicle of the development of the technology, pedagogy and practice of online learning at all levels of education in the U.S. and elsewhere” (Schroeder, 2010, p. 2). This blog is a great resource for keeping abreast of the latest research within both the education and technology fields.
A few runner-ups
The eLearning Coach – http://theelearningcoach.com/ hosted by Connie Malamed. This site makes my list because of the most current blog entitled “12 Unique Blogs Written by Professors” (Malamed, 2010, p. 1) in addition to multiple posts on cognition, elearning, media, and even book reviews of popular instructional design books.
Rapid E-Learning Blog – http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/ hosted by Tom Kuhlmann and provides “tips and tricks to help you become a rapid elearning pro” (Kuhlmann, n.d., p. 1).
Learning-Theories.com – http://www.learning-theories.com/. This website provides an index of learning theories and models. This site will be valuable during the duration of this class as it deals directly with learning theories and models.
Holman, G., & Pennington, M. (2010, October 30, 2010). Who Owns the Learning? More Importantly, Why Should we Care? [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.teachersfortomorrow.net/index.html
Holman, G., & Pennington, M. (2010, n.d.). n/a [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.teachersfortomorrow.net/vision.html
Karrer, T. (2010, Monday, November 1, 2010). Top 35 Articles on eLearning Strategy [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/
Karrer, T. (2010, Monday, October 13, 2010). Open Source eLearning Tools [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/
Karrer, T. (2010, Monday, October 25, 2010). Teaching Online Courses – 60 great resources [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/
Kuhlmann, T. (n.d., n.d.). About [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/
Malamed, C. (2010, n.d.). These 12 Unique Blogs are Written by Professors [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/12-blogs-by-professors/#respond
Schroeder, R. (2010, n.d.). About [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://people.uis.edu/rschr1/onlinelearning/?page_id=2