It’s been interesting to hear my colleagues around the biblioblogosphere say that they want opportunities to attend virtual conferences or to even be a virtual participant. Some of the reasons cited have been things like travel costs, time away from work, etc.
I filled my car up with gas this morning and saw the gauge hit the $50 mark. It’s been a while (for me who was on leave for 9 months) since I have seen gas prices so high. As I was watching the sale price go up and up and up, I couldn’t help but think we really need to move forward with e-learning.
It’s for those reasons (and more) that I have been a huge advocate for e-learning. In my own organization we have over 550 staff spread across 23 locations. I usually teach 2-3 hour classes and it involves me arriving at least an hour early to set up and a 15-60 minute commute depending on where I hold the class. After the class is over another hour to pack up and commute back to the Main Library. So for each class there is an extra 2-3 hours of time spent on setup and traveling. During a normal month that could total to more than 24 hours. This doesn’t even factor in the commute time and mileage for the participants.
Hopefully this situation is about to change. We are in the process of signing a contract to use WebJunction‘s synchronous learning platform LiveSpace. Tom Cole has been working on this project for his Technology Scholars program and I am excited that he has the momentum going on this project. He’s demonstrated the product for a few of our staff members and they have all been receptive and equally excited about using this as a platform for staff and public training, programs, and meetings.