Although I am the initiator of the E-Teachers Conference I would like to share my personal point of view of the evening mixed up with some comments I got in chats and via email.
Let me start with a general overview.
I opened the ETCon with my provocative theme “Lesson Slides and Virtual Classrooms. Do we really need them?”. The presentation had three parts: thoughts about slides, thoughts about webmeetings and thoughts about users.
Basically I explained that both slides and webmeetings are not “education natives” meaning they were developed for the corporate world for a whole different use. I also mentioned the problems involved using lesson slides like boredom and information overload and with webmeetings like weak internet connections and overstrained users.
In the part about the users I mentioned the different kind of user types today, the digital natives, settlers and immigrants and that most of the potential customers today belong to one of the last two groups.
My conclusion was that on Monday I did not really need a virtual classroom to teach but that I see potential for the future when the majority of potential users won’t have infrastructural problems to use them anymore.
I guess, if you are in that industry you saw the impacts coming nearer every day. So what could they do? Some chose the way to publish audio books which is quite a strong market in Germany these days. Others are publishing on the Kindle there is even a project where you will be able to design a custom printed newspaper just for you.
But what about the huge market of education material publishers? Well, it seems as if they found out a great way to save themselves: content syndication.
Just finished a talk with Bernhard Niesner, Co-Founder of busuu.com about the E-Teachers Conference. He told me that he did not know about it because I did not mention it in my blog. Funny, I did not even realize that I have not yet blogged about it.
Fuze meeting is an online web tool that lets you host meetings (and of course lessons, need be) so what, you say, well the interesting part about it, is that you can host them via your mobile device, thus being BlackBerry or iPhone wow!!! Having said that it is early days yet (a few teething problems) but this could be a big break through for the future.
Sometimes I get suprised by somebody I thought he could not suprise me anymore. After the “Hot Teacher” Affaire followed by the “Toilet Man” Fiasco I thought Myngle would have learned how not to do marketing.