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eLearning specialist Paul Beaudoin,“The Internet offers exciting possibilities!

25.03.2014

International eLearning specialist Paul Beaudoin: “The Internet offers exciting and unprecedentedly rich possibilities!”

Starting April 7, Tallinn University will offer the “Foundations in Building Quality eLearning Courses” taught by the dynamic workshop leader, international keynote speaker and an advocate for online education Dr. Paul Beaudoin.

Dr. Beaudoin has designed this new course for Tallinn University that aiming to promote, encourage and train Estonian educators in using Web 2.0 tools to enhance their classroom curriculum. The course is supported by the Primus program and is open for the academic staff of all fields in the university.

Endless learning possibilities

Encouraged by the TLU E-learning centre Tallinn University Department of Music lecturer Gerhard Lock recently talked with Dr. Beaudoin about his plans for this course and we were curious to discover about his idea of eLearning and what fascinates him about it. “Have you ever used Google, Wikipedia, Facebook or YouTube?” Beaudoin asks. “If so, you have already experienced what learning on the Web is like. Today we have an abundance of information instantly available, 24/7 right at our fingertips – and most of it is free! With this information comes the ability for anyone to learn anything, anytime, anywhere from anyone – this is unprecedented in human history. You can access the latest scientific research often before it is published, or watch a live opera performance from across the world in the comfort of your own home,” says Beaudoin.  “These new and plentiful ways of accessing information makes it a very exciting time to be an educator.  One of my goals as an online education specialist is to help teachers find ways to use this technology to enhance their classroom curriculum.”

Dr. Beaudoin realizes how Web 2.0 tools are useful for any grade level and any subject. “With Internet access you can research digital collections that were unavailable even five years ago right from your desk. You can watch historical documentaries that were often available only to a well-informed specialist. You can watch the deep space Hubble exploration or the deep sea expeditions of the National Oceanographic Institute as it is happening in real time. When you engage students intellectually, emotionally and socially, you encourage deeper meaning and richer experiences your learners.”

“Flipped classroom” as an example

And online learning is the fastest growing trend in education. “Teachers are being asked to flip their classrooms, giving students lessons on video and devoting class time to discussions and other activities. Some schools are opening their doors to hundreds of thousands of students in free Massive Open Online Courses (called MOOCs). Even without the traditional classroom structure, courses are being offered by anyone who considers themselves an expert – from growing organic gardens and cooking Indian food to the Philosophy of Medical Ethics.

99% of Estonia has access to the Internet, and that uniquely positions Tallinn University to develop a powerful educational outreach. With a quality online course, an Estonian citizen, anywhere in the country, can take a course that improves their quality of life. And isn’t improving the quality of one’s life the principle reason for becoming educated?”

In describing this exciting eLearning course, Beaudoin says that “the structure of the course will be modeled on what a quality online course is. The course starts online, where participants will begin to build a community of learners in addition to learning some of the basic principles of online learning. Then in late April, we will meet in person for two days at Tallinn University. The course ends with two more weeks on the Internet where participants will post their projects and write a final reflection of their learning process.”

“It is my goal,” says Beaudoin, “that the participants will create projects they can immediately use in their own classrooms. The learning itself is quite practical with immediate and useful applications.” Dr. Beaudoin is looking forward to working with any educator, at any grade level or subject, who is interested and ready to explore online education. “It will be exciting, challenging and very rewarding.”

Dr. Paul Beaudoin – award winning eLearning specialist

Dr. Beaudoin is an award winning Online-Learning specialist, who is internationally well received and successful. As an online education specialist, his writings have been published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Online Classroom and the HCT Educational Technology book series. He is the recipient of the prestigious Blackboard Exemplary Course award and the Massachusetts Colleges Online Course of Distinction award. Dr. Beaudoin is currently on the faculty of Fitchburg State University and Rhode Island College. Besides teaching in the US he has given courses and workshops also in the Middle East as well as several times at Tallinn University Institute of Fine Arts and the Department of Music.

Dr. Beaudoin is no stranger to Estonia. Since 2009 he has participated in the TLU Department of Music’s Changing Face of Music Education and Teacher Training conferences CFMAE. In 2012 and 2013 his keynote lectures “What if” on interdisciplinary relations in the arts and “The Puzzle Box” on the roll of a todays teacher received a standing ovation.

The interview was first published
at the web magazine Luubi All 

Register for the course HERE


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For more information please contact Krista Tiit at krista.tiit....at....tlu.ee or Dr. Beaudoin at paulbeaudoin01....at....gmail.com

The talk was conducted by lecturer Gerhard Lock and Prof. Tiina Selke of TLU Department of Music (www.tlu.ee/muusika).