E-literate – What We Are Learning About Online Learning

Learn About your Ladder to Success as an English Teacher Ethel Speight shares the changing role of the English teacher as an e-literate teacher.

E-literate - What We Are Learning About Online Learning

Four years ago I wrote:

US Government Task Force on E-Reading finds that most Americans are e-readers. We think that at least one-third of all Americans will own electronic readers by 2020.

Since then even more e-literature has been developed and published. Yet there are still myths such as:

• e-books are the enemy of the printed word.

In fact it’s not just about e-books. The topics of this piece will explore the way that personal development guides can link to e-literacy on both the corporate and personal side. Whether you are an employee or owner and need to support new employees, mentor a younger employee, or respond to a difficult client, you can learn from an e-literature that expands the definition of e-literacy from being limited to print books and to IT solutions.

E-learning on the Net

One of the ways that e-learning is designed is to “learn online” when you are on a “soft” schedule such as vacation, sick or on a weekend. This can create a serious problem for employees with family. Employees who are not available for an hour of training may find themselves at a disadvantage because they will have to repeat their work and rest and prepare in new ways.

In practice, you can’t force employees into learning e-reading. Therefore you have to find ways to enable learning when they are available and be mindful of time (e.g. time-shifts, office availability). In the corporate setting, you can encourage members of your team to use their own devices, smartphones, tablets, and laptops to read on their own when they are not at work.

Several approaches can help you do this. Once you are familiar with how your team members use their own devices, you can build those into training strategies. For example, you can let your employees download training materials at home and at work.

There are several strategies to keep employees from feeling like e-literate is a chore.

One strategy is to supply clothing. When I started, I designed a T-shirt (in several sizes) to match the company computer in case the company didn’t have any business casual clothing. I think companies have cut back on the number of styles they provide. I don’t think it is necessary to provide one-size-fits-all, but one that is e-centric can help build greater comprehension.

You can encourage e-literate employees to download the e-Literate application for mobile devices from the Mac App Store or the Apple App Store. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It provides information on e-reading for older e-readers as well as one-year, three-year, and five-year e-book review.

There are many other strategies. You can have your employees read for your benefit or for a review committee or board. You can support them through SMS and monthly e-mail reminders of what to expect in their e-reading course (for example, Apple CEO Tim Cook does it). You can also provide listening courses, which could be as simple as a Skype call or downloading of listening aids.

I find that the external support of assigned co-workers or board members are powerful factors that make e-literate success possible. You need to identify people who think in e-literate ways. Their support is the biggest reason for e-literacy.

E-learning with the Manager

Often a manager decides that all of his/her employees need a certain level of training. That training does not necessarily include e-literature. The motivation for training is always a challenge. If a manager adds a course to his/her training schedule they can find it to be valuable.

For example, a manager hired a recently hired employee who has a great grasp of his e-reading. For six weeks the manager reviews all work with the new employee and ensures that he is aware of current information and what to expect. He can also schedule weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions for the employee. In addition, the manager provides ongoing education about e-reading from a senior instructor with deep e-reading knowledge.

A Co-Leader is Essential

In general, managers are more effective when they are fully involved in a project. In addition, managers are often the most educated individuals in the organization and have a unique understanding of the tool, knowledge, and thinking that e-learning requires.

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