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Blog Assignment

1) On October 17th:
Re: New Technologies=New Education
Posted on October 10, 2014

Hello Flora,
It is very true, technology has vastly grown and I too remember using the library and books when
doing research or assignments. We now live in an era where the answers to any question can be
found at our fingertips or for those iPhone users we can simply ask Siri
Wow!! How time has flown by and technology drastically enhanced
2) On October 24th :
Re: Esther comment to Steve wheeler blog
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2012/08/who-will-survive.html
Hello Esther,
Thank you for your post!
This is good information but it will help the reader if you are more precise. If you are direct and
succinct then this improves flow and readability.
However, I can agree that business models are important and there is a shift from teachercentered to learner-centered education. Learners must develop critical thinking skills, become
collaborative and should be able to conduct appropriate research. He or she must utilize tools and
decide when sources are reliable.
I took a class earlier this year, for the spring semester called DEPM 622- The business of
distance education and e-learning. In this class we discussed topics such as targeted market
segment, stakeholders, business models, financial plans etc. Business models within the context
of education, deals with the way an organization is operated and institutions today are following
a business model even though some authors will argue against this concept. However, the
success of a business model is inherently interconnected to attributes and differentiates of an
organizations services from that of their competitors in the marketplace. Institutions are looking
at their competitors and customers need, in hope of becoming successful and sustainable.

In what ways can a student centered model impact a business model? Is Telkom a school? What
type of institution is this? What ways is Telkom linked to education- the shift in education from
teacher- centered learning? I did a search and it seems Telkom is a phone/telecommunication
company and how does this company relate to this discussion?
Thank you for sharing!!
Sherma
3) On October 24th :
Re: Blogging for Distance Learners
Hello Esther,
Thank you for sharing!!
Very interesting piece and I enjoyed some of the pros, cons and challenges listed. However,
learning blogs are personalized web pages that students can use in a diary format (Kurtz,
2012). Blogs also portrays a sense of learning and reflection. Can you share some of your own
personal views or take-away from these articles? Other than the article being very informative,
do you find the data to be plausible? Do you agree or disagree based on their findings and your
own personal experiences or experiences of your peers or colleagues?
Regards,
Sherma
Reference:
Kurtz, G. (2012). Learning blogs. Retrieved from
https://learn.umuc.edu/d2l/le/content/33597/viewContent/1095871/View
4) On October 24th :
Re: Higher level crtitical thinking through blogs
Thank you for sharing!!
In reference to your topic, higher level critical thinking through blogs, now that you have
completed this blog assignment, do you believe you experienced critical thinking during this
process? Was there any difference between our discussion board forum and this blogging
assignment?

In my opinion, blogging allows more freedom and flexibility to post topics of ones own interest
but at the same time, topics related to this class. I also believe, the class would have benefited
from this assignment if we started really early in the semester. Now that we are at the very end, I
have observed that everyone learnt from each other. Each person also has their own style and
creative writing. I must admit in the beginning there was a lack of direction and an example
posted in the forum by the instructors would have been great. Then again, closed mouths do not
get fed I should have asked for an example to be posted.
Regards,
Sherma
5) On October 25th:
Re: Personal reflections about weblog last blog
Hello Esther,
I want to first apologize that I didnt get to give you feedback earlier. Keep in mind, I only had
access to your account on Monday or Tuesday this week and it has been a relatively hectic week
for me. I kept clicking on your link prior but I assumed you had not shared your page with the
class. It was not until October 16th I decided to send you an email about this issue; however I am
glad we got the situation resolved.
Nonetheless, this was my first experience blogging also. Does this means we are officially
bloggers!! Ha Blogs can be a very useful learning tool but personally, for me it was a struggle
to keep up between my classes, papers and blogging but it was fun to learn new things on here
though.
Whenever I experience new tools I often communicate with my coworkers who are also taking
online classes and we discuss our experiences. I like to learn about other people experience and
insight and some of the pros and cons, when utilizing new learning and collaborative tools. It is
fascinating and it even helps with my rapport building when I advise my students of the type of
teaching and learning forum for distance and online learners.
Lastly, is there anything you would have liked to be done differently with this assignment?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reflection!!
Sherma
6) On October 25th:

RE: TRANSITION AND DEVELOPMENT OF DISTANCE


EDUCATION
Hello Esther,
Thank you for your feedback on my blog!!
To my understanding the blog is a sort of reflection, critical thinking, diary or journal of topics
and ideas related to the class. I have touched basis on my personal perspectives on the class,
information found in developing countries and the growth and importance of DE.
I have agreed DE is changing and analyzed that, with UWI having open campus online
environment, isnt it necessary for an online orientation program? Moodle, as their LMS
(technology) may be a new learning forum for some students, isnt support necessary? Why
should support be a priority for new students? I have discussed UWI realizing the importance of
learner support by implementing an orientation program. NOUN, despite their challenges, the
institution is transitioning and developing DE.
According to Moore & Carter-Hick, (2014) the purpose of a critical friend is to form a
professional learning community to improve engagement, learning, reading and discussions
dilemmas. How could we have improved engagement? Do you believe asking open ended
questions instead of delivering a personal opinion on whats right or wrong? How could we have
encouraged engagement and learning from one another? Do you have any questions regarding
UWI or NOUN you would like to know about?
Regards,
Reference:
Moore, J.A., & Carter- Hicks, J. (2014) Lets Talk! Facilitating a Faculty Learning Community
Learning Using Critical Friend Group Approach. International Journal For The Scholarship Of
Teaching & Learning, ,8(2), 1-17
7) On October 25th:

RE: TRANSITION AND DEVELOPMENT OF DISTANCE


EDUCATION
Hello Cheryl,
Thank you for your engaging questions and feedback!!
The struggle has been real with keeping up with this blog assignment!!! However it has been a
great experience. What I realize is that many institutions are working on better assisting students

by providing support for their online programs just as UMUC. So despite where in the world you
are, institutions are valuing education. Although programs for teaching and learning are not
perfect, what is important is the consideration and assessment of course delivery.
Since UWI and NOUN are both developing and third world countries there are issues with web
access and connectivity. For example, UWI has technical requirements and lists specific
hardware, software and skill sets students must develop to be successful (UWI, 2014). UWI
provides a blended learning forum, so that way students have the access of computers either at
home or at school.
According to the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE), tuition is free for
undergraduate students who may be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and those who pursue
approved programs but are required to repay for the tuition if students dont commit to the
GATEs obligations and requirements (UWI, 2014b). The GATE program can be compared to the
existing teaching programs in the US that provides free tuitions to students but students are
required to work for the state in which they graduated for a specific period of time. Lastly, UWI
is funded by the government based on the number of student who enrolls each year (UWI,
2014b).
NOUN and its ODL institution provide learning where it is accessible and affordable and is
funded by the state (NOUN, 2014a). The institutions program delivery ranges with several
collaborative methods such as printed instruction, audio, video tapes, TV and radio broadcast,
electronic communication and VSAT wireless communication systems (NOUN, 2014b). The
institution does offer additional resources for teacher/instructor interaction, study centers, library
services, that are valuable to the student and serves as a form of learner support (NOUN, 2014b).
Regards,
Reference:
University of the West Indies. (2014a). Prepared to Study Online. Retrieved from
http://www.open.uwi.edu/graduate/preparing-study-online
University of the West Indies. (2014b). Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses. Retrieved
from: http://www.open.uwi.edu/undergraduate/gate
National Open University of Nigeria. (2014a). Welcome to NOUN! Vice Chancellors Office.
Retrieved from http://www.nou.edu.ng/public_html/pub.html
National Open University of Nigeria. (2014b). About NOUN. Retrieved from
http://www.nou.edu.ng/About%20NOUN/contents/history.html

RE: SOCIAL MEDIA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!


8) On October 25th:
Hello Esther,
Honestly, I believe some social media tools are great, others not so much. Does it add value to
learning and teaching? YesDepending on the age groups, various tools are needed for
interaction and engagement regardless of developed or developing countries. Everywhere in the
world people use FB or have access to it.
Are there times as part of grading purposes we are forced to participate in new tools? Yes, but
that doesnt mean it cannot be enjoyable. With instructions, purposes, objectives and rubrics in
each course we are required to meet a minimum requirements. Without these we will not be
graded so with that said, interaction may be forced to meet these guidelines for grading purposes
but at the same time, learning is experienced.
Sherma