Hello Liz - I'm one of those people who find it is really relevant to consider carefully which aspects of learning can be enhanced by specific online technologies.
have been reflecting on whether we think the same or something
different when talking about working within acontext such as a Virtual
learning Environment than when we're just systematically managing
The developers of the tools should really know the realistic needs and concerns that teachers and learners may have when moving part of our everyday work online. I find there may be a difference in the approach when we're talking about LMS (apparently current in the North American context) - as we in Europe more often seem to talk about VLEs.
Learning Management system - systematic management of learning, sonds to me like a structured container of ready made information to fill into the heads of learners (I know - I'm not being fair!)
VLE - the Virtual Learning environment, this brings more images to me about the learner as an individual who need a space for thinking, for experimenting and for collaboration - as in a kitchen or wood workshop. When the hands on, face to face experience is absent, then how can we somehow simulate what happens between people as social beings?
When I consider the constructivist approach
that Moodle developers and end users are trying to promote and practise
creatively from experiments and knowledge sharing about how to use
the tools that exist, or ask for more details in development, I find it
pretty much different from just "putting" your (perhaps already
existing) course material and a given structured procedure online. I
feel strongly that Moodle provides a potential environment for those
who are able to change their ideas according to what is possible; not
that this is always what is actually happening. But there exists the
opportunity to allow "students" to create and edit material, for
example, as part of the interactivtiy.
After all, it does take
quite a while before your fumbling laboratory experiments are ready to
become published and reproduced by others.
What do others think about this?