Sunday 10 May 2009


Communication technologies are generally categorized as asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous activities use technologies such as blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. The idea here is that participants may engage in the exchange of ideas or information without the dependency of other participants involvement at the same time. Electronic mail (Email) is also asynchronous in that mail can be sent or received without having both the participants’ involvement at the same time.

Synchronous activities involve the exchange of ideas and information with one or more participants during the same period of time. A face to face discussion is an example of synchronous communications. Synchronous activities occur with all participants joining in at once, as with an online chat session or a virtual classroom or meeting.

Virtual classrooms and meetings can often use a mix of communication technologies.
I thought this was relevant to post because lately I've been playing around with creating javascript and the only way I could learn to do this was either pay for a computing class that would take specific times of my free time or to learn online through people posting advice to blogs, websites and basically my own trial and error at the same time.

Without the blogs I would still be staring at a screen of digits that made no sense. I'm now quite proud of the little iPhone apps I made and think that some sort of conversation should start around e-learning in particular. Because we've spoke about using it for presentation, using as a record or recollection and other things as well but through just leaving comments on this blog and reading it regularly I’ve learned quite a lot.


Shan said...

nice post, interesting stuff.

Soren Hawes said...

I think Amber makes a really interesting point here. Traditionally I.T. skills were seen to be things that you learned from experts on formal courses, but it seems now that there are lots of ways that you can acquire these skills. Last year I set about learning how to use Final Cut to make films in the Deaf Support Centre. I was lucky to have invaluable help and support from Tom DW, but I also used a book with tasks on a DVD, subscribed to demos on YouTube, used the help menus in the programme and did a fair amount of pencil chewing and head scratching. In other words I did benefit from access to expertise, but I also cracked a fair amount of it on my own, and, in lots of ways, the difficulties and errors have given a better understanding of how it works. It's quite common to hear staff talk about the need to go on a course, which is great because there is a recognition that gaining new skills is important, but maybe we should be thinking how drop in sessions, support blogs, message board queries could allow people (staff and students) to master new things that used to seem completely daunting.

This leads on to a couple of things that I think could have a profound impact on Tallis. First, we need to think about the impact that people like Tom DW have had on a number of staff and students and how that model of support could be extended to other parts of the school. Second, that we need to think how the staff and students get a chance to pass on and share these skills with each other as they acquire them.


Jon said...

I echo Mr Hawes' praise of Tom DW who has had a massive impact on the skills and ambitions of several members of staff and students. I've taught myself pretty much all the software I use and this suits my own particular way of learning. I'm not against formal InSeT or lessons (I'm a teacher after all) but there is no shortage of information out there now for anyone with enough curiosity to want to learn something. I think what we need is a community of learners who can help each other, provide moral support and advice when it's needed. It's hard to teach someone anything unless they are willing to learn. The trick is creating a climate in which most people are willing and enabled to get on with it.

Me said...

It's interesting you mention Tom DW because i just said about his creations such as the Tallis mini sites, Tallis Tv etc in a comment on webbly. He makes a positive different in many areas especially in media when we need help. I always wonder what creation he's working on whilst sitting in media, i find myself wondering in and out the office just to see what work he's doing (sounds weird) weather its doing weird scripting stuff or making something using adobe after effects. i would love to know how to do that.