A hammer is just a hammer, until you put it into the hands of a skilled carpenter, and house paint was, well, house paint, until Pablo Picasso applied it to canvas. The later revelation came from a physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory by the name of Volker Rose, who led a study on the type of paint Picasso used to create masterpieces. Which brings me to educational content—a big leap? Not really.
Someone(s) invented and manufactured the paint– designing the color palette and ensuring a smooth texture. That paint, as well as the brushes Picasso used to apply it to the surface, had to complement the artist’s vision and provide the quality necessary to maintain the integrity of his work over an extended period of time… to provide today’s museum goers and collector’s, as well as decades past and in the future, with the best visual experience possible. And, my carpenter friends might argue that a hammer is not, in fact, just a hammer–which brings me to online continuing education.
The genius in online education may be in the curriculum and the course content (it certainly sets the premier CE providers apart from the discount sites), but in order for this potential to be realized, the technology and services behind it must complement the educator’s vision (and resources), and help ensure that the students/participants have the best possible experience throughout the process – shopping for courses, registering, participating, completing evaluations, receiving credit, etc.
All tools are not alike when it comes to enabling online education, so pay close attention to the tools behind the genius, when it comes to your educational content.