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Highlights from the Second Day of the ICELW Conference

By Cait Etherington
June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017 – Yesterday, Dr. David Guralnick of Kaleidoscope Learning opened the 2017 International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace (ICELW) at Columbia University. As in past years, this year’s conference has brought together innovative eLearning experts from around the globe.

Notably, in addition to academic researchers from across fields, ICELW brings together corporate trainers, managers, and directors, consultants and solutions providers in the e-learning industry, human resources directors, and chief learning officers from across industries. The presence of such a wide range of practitioners offers a unique opportunity for educators, trainers and designers to compare best practices in the eLearning field and imagine ways to continue exploring eLearning’s potential now and in the future.

Keynote by Donald T. Taylor

Donald T. TaylorDay 2 opened with a keynote by well-known British eLearning expert, Donald T. Taylor. Taylor is a veteran in the eLearning field with a strong track record of leadership in both the training and software industries. Since 2010, he has chaired the Learning and Performance Institute. Notably, he also edits Inside Learning Technologies Magazine. Taylor’s keynote focused on what has and has not changed in the eLearning field over the past twenty-five years. While acknowledging some of the notable obstacles the field continues to face, including lack of funding, entrenched habits, and calcified learning and development departments, his view was optimistic. Taylor speculates that moving forward, educators and trainers alike will spend less time producing content and increasingly become facilitators of engaged learning experiences.

Panel Highlights on the Second Day of the 2017 ICELW Conference

Following Taylor’s keynote, participants broke out into parallel sessions covering topics as diverse as blood transfusion education, coaching apps, legal education, the education of migrants, and the future of augmented reality.

The morning program included a provocatively titled talk, “Bloody Good!”, exploring eLearning in the medical sector by David Peterson (BloodSafe eLearning Australia), a talk on SIEducation by Kai Erenli (UAS bfi Vienna, Austria), a talk on coaching apps by Hal Christensen (QuickCompetence, New York, USA), and a talk on competency management by Irina Kondratova and colleagues (National Research Council Canada, Fredericton, Canada). Other highlights included a presentation on global audiences by Cecilia Iros (SumaLatam, Argentina), one on designing digital musical instruments by Fatima Weber Rosas and colleagues (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Allegre, Brazil), and one on using eLearning to reach out to migrants by Nicola Paravati (International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, Rome, Italy).

Following lunch, five additional sessions took place, including the following: Carmen James’ “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” (General Assembly, New York, USA), Tzung-Jin Lin and colleague’s “Taiwanese In-Service Pharmacists’ Attitudes toward Online Professional Development and their Internet Self-efficacy” (National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan), Darren Gray’s “Applying Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Ensure eLearning Video Outcomes” (Sticky Training Media, Melbourne, Australia), Steven Shaklan’s “Providing Meaningful Live-Virtual Interactions that Scale,” (ExecOnline, New York, New York, USA), and Keyonda Smith’s “Institutional Culture and Faculty Perceptions of Online Learning in Healthcare Higher Education,” (Maryland University of Integrative Health, Laurel, Maryland, USA). Other afternoon highlights included Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami’s “Bridging Digital Divides in Workplace Training by Offering Workers Personalized Micro-learning over any Mobile Phone” (Cell-Ed, Palo Alto, California, USA), Anna Hemsworth and colleagues’ “Once Upon a Time in eLearning: Engage Learners, Demonstrate Relevance & Increase Retention” (Eisai Inc., Woodcliffe Lake, New Jersey, USA), and Gang Chen and colleagues’ “A Blended Learning Model Combining MOOCs, Face-to-Face Teaching, and Practice in Professional Training” (Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, P.R. China).

The day ended with a conference dinner and attendees anticipation of the final day’s proceedings, which will include the announcement of the winners of ICELW’s 2017 International E-Learning Awards.

One Comment

  1. I am a former summit learning teacher in Holyoke, MA. I can tell you, unequivocally, that the entire platform stinks. It is not even a curriculum, it is a hodgepodge resources lifted from Khan Academy, youtube, Engage NY, IXL lessons, scanned textbook pages, and other unrelated sources. These materials are often not aligned to common core standards, they are often of poor quality, they include numerous broken links. Students are expected to independently take notes as they work, but no consideration has been given to the lexile levels of readings so the material is often completely inaccessible to students. The math curriculum is devoid of any meaningful direct instruction. Many students disengage within a couple of weeks and spend most of their time browsing the internet or gaming instead of learning. As they fall behind, they see their home screen turn more and more red, causing greater frustration and discouragement. Students become so screen addicted that they rebel any time a teacher attempts to give them direct instruction. Worse yet, the necessity of teacher training in the platform’s usage necessitates the hiring of several consultants and coaches, many of whom explicitly state that their primary objective is to prove the platform viable so that it may grow to more school districts. Ultimately, school administrators are pressured to increase scores of online tests (many of which students attempt literally dozens of times over), so they pressure teachers to take tests with their students to ensure a passing grade. Essentially, schools are falsifying data to ensure Summit’s growth. Given that Summit pitches its product as a turnaround model for struggling urban schools, its practices are essentially exploitative.

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