Richard Macmanus gives an overview of e-learning. Though the title is “e-learning2.0” – he does also mention tools like Blackboard – and is fairly dismissive, seeing them as clunky, and offering tools that not all students and teachers want.

While I agree that the traditional VLEs can be clunky, I’m not sure that I’d agree with the argument that not all students and teachers want all the tools. If we look at, say, Facebook – will everyone use all the tools that are available in it? For example, he mentions that Elgg gives the students control over who sees what. It’s something I also think is a strength of Elgg. But, I wonder how many students really make good use of that feature. I know that I don’t. In my main blog, I’ve got everything as public; in part that’s due to the fact that the posts are imported from this blog – which is public.

I also use Elgg to occasionally post things that are just for my students – when I’ll restrict them just to the group. That, though, is more often than not, a reminder about an event or change of session. Do students really make use of the flexibility – or not. If they don’t, then is that any different from having a feature in a traditional VLE that’s not used…

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