What I've Learned About Online Learning

Today is my last day at OpenSesame, so I’m busy wrapping up projects, cleaning out my email, and of course reflecting. I came to OpenSesame with experience in writing, communications, program management and community-building – but with very little experience with elearning.

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve learned a lot about online education and had a lot of great conversations. As I bring this time to a close, there are three main lessons I’ve learned:  

1. The elearning community is powerful.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that. I’ve been very impressed with the fierce group of collaborators who are passionate about moving both our industry and our learners forward. Both online and in person, the elearning community is generous, creative and welcoming to newcomers.

2. We are just on the tip of the iceberg of online learning.

Of course, people are already doing incredible things with online learning – creating games, courses, MOOCs, collaborative communities, social networks, do-it-yourself tools – but we’re just at the very beginning (and probably not even the end of the beginning) of what the world of online education will look like.

The confluence of these emerging tools and trends will create spaces for people to work and learn together – across geographic, culture and language barriers – unleashing access to information and skills development around the world.

3. Anyone can be a creator.

When I started working here, I perceived online media development as a pursuit for the technology professional – requiring special tools and skills. While certainly that isn’t entirely untrue – I won’t be coding a video game from scratch any day now, for example – I now see this in shades of gray rather than black and white.

People with any level of technology skills can create resources to share with their communities. From Screenr to smartphone cameras, everyone has simple tools at their fingertips – even if they don’t know it yet.  

Keep in touch.

As I wrap up my time at OpenSesame I want to thank all of our blog readers for all the opportunities to learn from you. If you’re interested in learning more about OpenSesame, have any questions about our website or suggestions for the blog, get in touch with Scott Edwards, our marketing & analytics manager at scott.edwards@opensesame.com. You can find me on LinkedIn if you want to keep in touch.

(Image credit: Lennart Tange’s Flickr)