Finding nuggets: best books + beyond

… still having fun at Wawasan🙂

Anyway, while finishing my preparation for today’s workshop, I spied a posting by Stephen Downes. Stephen’s Web of 11 May comments on Tony Bates‘ list of the eight (actually nine!) classic e-learning publications. Have a look and see if you agree? One I’d add would be Terry Anderson‘s edited text, Theory and Practice of Online Learning. The contributions are a bit ‘variable’, but Terry’s chapters in particular are great reading.

There’s also a link to Tony’s older list of eight (yes, eight this time) ‘classic’ distance education texts. No particular argument with his choices, though it did cause me to reflect on the books that have influenced me over the years. The first, going back around three decades, was John Baath’s Correspondence education in the light of a number of contemporary teaching models. Published by Liber Hermods in 1976, I found it particularly helpful (even inspiring!) as a newly converted external studies course developer in the late 1970s, and used it in my MEd studies for a major project.

In the 1980s my favourite ODL texts were David Jonassen‘s The Technology of Text (especially Volume 1 in 1982 – Volume 2 emerged in 1985) and Charles Reigeluth‘s 1983 publication, Instructional-Design Theories and Models: An Overview of their Current Status.

And I could go on …

But to get back to Stephen Downes, if you haven’t done so already, have a squiz at his post from last November on The Future of Online Learning: 10 Years On. It’s an update from his 1998 (fairly accurate!) predictions, and is quite long (necessarily!). Yes, there’s sections on bandwidth, processing, storage, software, widgets/webtops, PADs, display technology and so on, but for most of us the nuggets are in the parts dealing with education becoming ‘portable, personal, and global’. Aligned with this notion are discussions of the roles of conferencing, personalized learning environments, ‘content versus conversation’, connectivism and communities. And don’t forget to download a copy (there’s a Word version available) to store away safely so that you can drag it out in 2018 and check the accuracy of his predictions!

Note that you can also see (and hear) a live presentation of Downes’ prognostications on an Elluminate session. Patience is required, but the expected gems are there.

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