Experimenting and experiencing eLearning, more specifically, distance learning via infocom technology, was what I recently went through with a group of teachers and their students.
These primary and secondary level teachers boldly went into this even though most, if not all, of them have not conducted a learning activity virtually. Using mainly Google Education App, they constructed activities that enabled students to work in small groups, interacting with each other and with them.
While they work collaboratively on documents or presentations, they were also chatting away.
What was fascinating was seeing how at ease the mood and with this mode of communication everyone was. Teachers were expressing their glee through stretching out spelling of words and names. Students were giving comments and their personality shone through in what and how they chatted. Of course there were the more formal and properly worded and structured sentences in between. All in all, the casual and meaningful communication aided the task at hand and facilitated the learning.
The fact that it came across as being so natural should not be too much of a surprise. For one, the state of technology has made the user interface very accessible, even for the very young. More importantly, this mode of communication is already a part of every day, whether adults or children. Yet, it remains such a novelty in most classrooms.
There is possibly more that can be explored and we are glad to have started this journey.