Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome to Beelearning

Welcome to the 'Be e-learning' Blog. My name is Brian Adams and I have been involved with distance learning since 1995. I worked for a company called DataBeam which created the T.120 standard which is now widely utlized in Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Web-Conferencing.

At DataBeam I traveled far and wide to implement collaborative meeting and LMS solutions for major Telecoms, Corporations - mainly the early adopters. Products utilized thin client and Java Applets for end-users. One of my first challenges was to help traditional face-to-face educators become comfortable and effective in the brave new electronic frontier.

I collaborated (remotely) with a consultant and developed one of the first online courses to transform instructors from the classroom to the online environment. The course focused on building class rapport, break-out groups, and timed lesson plans. We also examined the various role of available tools to support student acquisition of knowledge, skills and even transformation.

Today, I work for Pharmacy OneSource providing clinical software to pharmacists. All of my consulting and training is done remotely from Middleton, Wisconsin. Gone are the days of standing in airport lines waiting to get through baggage screening with my shoes in hand.

I employ Whiteboard, Application Sharing in combination with homework exercises to help my Pharmacists master our software solutions. I am also a Sailing Instructor at the University of Wisconsin. I enjoy teaching, mentoring, and the personal satisfaction when I see my students succeed.

The last point is why I am taking the MEIT through Cardinal Stritch. There are so many opportunities to reach-out and help others via e-Learning. The Peace Corps has an initiative for what they call, 'Overcoming the Digital Divide'. Until recently computers were very expensive and out of reach for most people in less-developed countries. With the advent of small notebooks - a village with some form of Internet access can be helped.

I was extremely encouraged after our first MEIT class when we learned about Google Docs. Think about it? One no longer needs to have MS-Office or MacWorks to work on spreadsheets, word processing, etc. It's free and people can collaborate remotely. Just turn-on that solar-powered $99 Notebook and you are on equal footing with the industrialized nations. Amazing!

Altruism aside, I am in the MEIT to gain the Master's credential and that it would help me in the short run in my capacity as a corporate trainer. Long term, I would like to work in a public setting - perhaps a school district, community college and someday in a more enlightened capacity.

I look forward to our courses and learning as much as I can!

Brian Adams

PS. I took the picture of this Bumblebee in June of 2009.