I was really interested to read a post by Tony Karrer entitled "eLearning Technology: Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008". One of Tony's predictions was that "niche online discussions" were the way to go. Tony says:
I'm starting to think that the way to go is to have frequent, more targeted online, virtual discussions on particular topics. The format of the virtual conference that George and I put together wasn't quite right - still a lecture - threaded discussions weren't quite active enough and the questions weren't focused. We need a targeted discussion. For example, I just had someone ask about using Facebook in a corporate context as part of on-boarding. I'll likely schedule a call with this person to discuss what they are trying to do. Why not have several people involved in the discussion? Why not record it? Is the barrier the lack of free access to the tools? The overhead of pulling it together? My guess is that it doesn't take much more to get it to happen with a small group than getting it to happen with two or three people. And the barriers are getting lower all the time. I'm thinking this is going to start happening - A LOT.
I am really interested in this concept and would like to see how it works for disseminating ideas, building networks and encouraging collaboration between midwives. But the question would be whether midwives would access the recordings and where it would be best to store them that would catch midwives' attention. Would midwives be truly interested in this concept, after all there appears to be a conflict of opinion about the effectiveness of podcast - wouldn't the same issues apply here?
In this day and age where everything you do must have either a monetary or academic value, how easy is it to get people to volunteer time to participate in doing some thing this? How different is it from recording an Elluminate session?
I think for midwives and health professionals, it will be a matter of experimenting to see what suits them best and what captures their imagination - what they see as having value that is not going to 'cost' them much.
What do you think about Tony's idea and how do you think it could be used for learning and professional development?
Image: 'Studio 9896' ottmarliebert.com