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Prime Time for Vlogs?

I’ve been following a revisited discussion a listserv about the “tool nature” of technology – i.e. we use technology as a tool to achieve a particular aim. I’ve long advocated that each tool needs to be selected and used based on the intended task. Blogs work to facilitate conversation, wikis for collaboration, podcasts for lectures, and so on. Beyond the notion of a tool, however, rests the concept of affordances – what does this media enable us to do/achieve that is not possible without it? With elearning, I see access, flexibility, and efficiency as the key affordances. Many feel that the richness of face-to-face environments can’t be duplicated online (I agree that it can’t be duplicated – I would suggest that we shouldn’t even try to duplicate it, and instead focus on what the online medium is best able to achieve). The growth of podcasting and video logging extends the sometimes text-based medium of online learning…adding elements that can create a richer, multi-faceted learning experience. This article – Prime Time for Vlogs? – is focused on the marketability of vlogs and provides some insight into growth and production concerns.


  1. Agreed George. And I wish everyone would just calm down about the demise of f2f. Distance education theories, notably that of transactional distance, offer some insight into how we might more easily approach the inevitable. It’s challenging however to help folks turn the corner on affordances principles. There’s a lot missing in higher ed such as adequate understanding how people learn, a deeper understanding of emerging technologies, additive as opposed to expressive applications of those technologies and the mental models that underpin it all.

    Sunday, April 30, 2006 at 7:09 pm | Permalink
  2. Aaron Smith wrote:

    I agree about not trying to duplicate face to face. It’ like trying to make tofu look and taste like a hamburger. They are always going to be two different things. f2f is great for some situations and distance ed technologies are great for others.

    Suzanne, I agree with you too. Getting people to realize advantages is tough.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 1:26 pm | Permalink