We had our first Virtual Learning Network clusters video conference of 2007 today. It is good to be part of a wider network of people around the country who are working towards the same goal of providing more 'choice & opportunity' (thankyou Murray Brown) for our students through eLearning. Though enrolments are down in the TaraNet cluster (26 compared to 40 last year) this is not a national trend. VLN enrolment stats at the moment are:
Current Total Courses:135
Current Total Classes:158
Current Total Enrolments:785
Total anticipated enrolments when all are registered on the VLN is expected to hit 1100. That is 1100 students (give or take, as some take more than one class) who have been given more choice in their learning pathways. Having said that, eLearning is no silver bullet solution, where there are opportunities there are also threats. We discussed how eLearning can be threatening to teachers traditional ideas of education and their roles. How so many things have to change in schools to support our elearning students and teachers and the resources that are required to do this. We talked about timetabling, technical support issues around the VC bridge, teacher professional development, the development of the whole online learning environment (learning management systems) beyond the one VC session a week. We also talked about scalability and the need to get all these things right now before the VLN grows to even larger numbers. What a challenge - but i thrive on challenge.