I often use Web-Conference (Facetime or Skype) to call my family in the UK. The concept of using Web-Conference wasn’t new to me, but I had never used it for school or work purposes. The first PIDP 3100 connection with my partner was through Skype, this was for my partner and I, to introduce ourselves. I found this easy to do, and it felt it was more personable than an introduction through email. We chatted about our experiences in adult education, and the reasons why we are exploring the PIDP program. My partner is a University Educator, and I am a Medical Sales Professional. Even though we are both from different areas of work, why we are in this program is what connected us, which seemed that we both knew that there is more to adult education than what we considered the traditional norm. We ended our introduction to Web-Conference with an action plan for the next , to connect and educate each other on our findings from our trends and roles articles.

   As I got closer to the date for the next Web-Conference with my partner to share my findings on the two articles I chose, I was thinking of ideas to make my Web-Conference call more creative. I had an “aha” moment, my partner is motivated to learn about adult education regardless of the creative ideas I have, the learner wants to learn. “The most important thing about education is appetite.- Winston Churchill  “

     My partner and I connected on our second Web-Conference call. I did prepare, but I felt that I really wouldn’t know if I was truly was prepared until after the Web-Conference. I had nothing to compare to, as this was my first teaching on-line experience. The good thing about being in this circumstance was that it was a learning activity, the not so good feeling was that I felt prepared but yet I was not so sure of  how, or what I present would be adequate on a Web-Conference learning. This taught me that adults are mature people learning, most mature people like to feel in control of themselves,  and that learning can feel like an “out of the comfort zone” feeling for some mature learners.

    The emerging trends article that my partner Tanya chose was on technology, I too picked an article based on technology, off course our finding were similar. She chose to discuss five emerging trends online in V.L.E. – virtual learning environment. I learned that podcasts are used in V.L.E., this gives the learner more flexibility to learn at their own pace wherever they chose to. On a podcast the learner can chat live, watch videos and join web sessions. Other trends Tanya discussed were M.O.O.C., social media platform, smart phones and cloud base learning. She gave me an example of how in her class some students choose to download their books, or their learning materials online at no cost instead of buying a book. Tanya’s article that she picked on educator roles was about e-learning educator roles. I learned about the similarities of the e-learner educator compared to a classroom educator, both have to guide the student by coaching, giving feedback, and creating a positive learning environment. Some differences are that the student is monitored more online and it is documented when they are online learning, content is broken down into smaller segments because online students can feel lost with too much information. The educator is active in both environments, but a little less in V.L.E., the educator participates in discussions online, but only occasionally. I learned that within trends or teaching roles that there are sub trends and teaching roles, this made me realize that teaching is complex and individualized. Both our trends articles were on technology, we talked about similar technologies  that are emerging in education.

    Processing my thoughts on how I educated my partner on my articles; I learned, regardless of who the learner is on Web-Conferencing, with limited tools or visuals to present, terminology used needs to be precise. Timing is also important, how long will the educator talk for and will there be time allotted for the learner to ask questions, I realized many factors can occur in the Web-Conferencing process. Working in medical sales, most of my teaching is face-to-face, but with globalization and the increase of e-learning technology, it is now possible to present Web-conference in-services and education sessions for clients that prefer e-learning or  for clients that are in remote areas.

    To close; there are modes of methods to teach and learn, and that Web-Conferencing is one of many; the teacher can have many roles as an adult educator and with that many options for mode of delivery.


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