Elementary / Primary / Junior, For-Profit, High school / Secondary 2, Required - Written by on Friday, October 7, 2011 14:07 - 0 Comments

Why the New Education Tech Glossary Earns A for Effort and F for Execution


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"Wait, what's an Internet again?" Image via Wikipedia

In a swirling digital morass of memes and new words around online education, it’s hard to speak the same language sometimes. There’s a new glossary in town from the folks at iNACOL to help define everything from “Accreditation” to “Wiki,” and yes, “Internet” is in there. But the creators lost an opportunity to truly grasp the definition of online learning.

We think this is a very good idea, hampered by a “Brick and Mortar” execution:

Instead of a pamphlet or pdf to be filed-away, this could have been an opportunity to provide “Instructional Media” for everyone involved. The good thing about “Electronic Learning” is the ability to provide create a “Content Repository.” But iNACOL, it’s not too late.  And sure, there may not have been the stamp of a “Highly Qualified Teacher” on it as a finished product, but isn’t that just the point of providing “Online Learning Resources?”

A “Wiki” approach would provide the community of “Instructional Designers” a living document to promote “Engagement.” The wiki-glossary mashup of “Virtual Class” meets “Chatroom” would be an apt “Learning Object.” Everyone in the community could potentially contribute to the “Distributed Learning” environment.

Three years of work assembling this glossary, and “Gamification” didn’t even make the cut. A “Technology Facilitator” in the group of compilers should have suggested “Asynchronous Learning” (add “Crowd Sourcing”), to help accomplish this project on the “Internet” with more “Digital Literacy.”

We see the inclusion of “For-profit company” and “Non-profit organization,” but no space for “Startup” with the plethora of new companies in the K-12 space?

Not to engage in “Cyberbullying,” but shouldn’t iNACOL be spelled iNAKOL? Still, extra credit because the glossary is free. Almost, but not quite “Open Source” (also missing).

All-in-all, we applaud the standardization and necessity to define the words around “Online Learning”; just don’t call it “Cyber Education,” the editors say that’s so 1990′s.


A more forgiving summary by THEjournal.com:

iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, has launched a publication called the Online Learning Definitions Project, a compendium of ed tech terms related to online and blended learning.

iNACOL described the publication as the first of its kind that’s attempted to provide a consistent, comprehensive set of definitions “related to online and blended learning in order to develop policy, practice, and an understanding of and within the field.”

 Which words would you add to the online learning glossary? Let us know in the comments.

Full iNACOL Glossary

via Ed Tech Glossary Clarifies E-Learning Terms — THE Journal.

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