I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.
It is no news anymore that technology is an ultimate learning tool. But, just as a chisel needs a skilled carpenter to build elaborate woodwork, the new technologies need learners to know how to use them. This blog is a place where we can learn about that together and autonomously. It is for teachers and it is for learners as well, for aren’t we all a little bit of both?
Who is Jelena Marjanovic?
I am an English teacher, eLearning developer, instructional designer and currently a PhD student as well. I might be something more (or less), depending on when you are reading this and what ‘new’ education-related professions have sprung up by that time. What I mean to say is that these fancy words merely represent the types of work that I strongly believe any passionate educationist has always done and should always do: continuous research, material development, course design and implementation of innovative teaching tools and methods, to name just a few out of many. If you are an educationist like me, be you called a teacher, developer, designer, consultant, researcher, or something else, you are probably doing a little bit of each of these things simultaneously, while using or at least trying to use the technology that is available to you. If you are a learner (which again to an extent we all are), then know that you can be your own best teacher and that technology can greatly facilitate your learning process. I envision my blog as a modest contribution to both educationists and learners, as my intention is to share in it everything I know about learning and technology. For free!
What topics and materials can you find in my blog?
In short, anything that belongs to the eLearning world or technology-enhanced education in general. I report on eLearning trends. I write about the new and less new theories of knowledge and learning in plain words, trying to bring everyone closer to understanding how we learn and how this can be applied to technology-enhanced learning. I give guidelines on how to learn autonomously with technology. I report on the new insights I gain from various conferences and courses I take as a part of my own education.
My goal is not to lecture anyone. Rather, I see this eLearning blog as a space of interaction where a community of learners and educationists sharing their inputs can be created. As you might notice from my articles, I believe connection and communication through online social networks are some of the greatest opportunities for learning given to us by the modern age technology. That is why I encourage everyone to comment, participate in discussions, or contact me with any feedback or questions. What are some of the benefits of being part of this blog’s community? Well, apart from the learning bit, connecting to people with similar interests is definitely a plus. This means here you might find a language swap partner, a study buddy, a potential business associate or even a new client.
What is technology?
On the mention of eLearning and technology-enhanced education, some people might imagine something like a classroom equipped with high tech gadgets and very complex technology. However, the fact that our technology has progressed to the extent that Virtual Reality is becoming Real Life does not mean that its simpler forms have become obsolete. On the contrary, you can see from this article that sometimes the best technology available is far from the best solution for your needs. For example, the good old Windows Media Player and Internet connection can be all the technology used in an effective podcast-listening micro-learning activity. Similarly, Word Online alone will suffice for keeping a learning journal or writing a blog, which is another widely-recommended micro-learning activity. Having said that, here are some examples of technology that can be used in education:
- Computer-mediated collaborative tools
- Games (yes, gamification is a thing in education nowadays)
- Chatting platforms
- Social networks
- Virtual reality headset
- Google glasses
- Mobile apps
However, much more important than technology itself is what you do with it, and in that sense all the cutting-edge educational gadgets or high-tech elaborate online course will bring you nowhere unless they are based good quality pedagogy or they are used strategically. This blog’s mission is exactly that – to answer the big question of HOW to use technology for effective learning.
In the end, if I could give you only two pieces of advice, they would be: own your learning and enjoy your learning.