The eLearning Future

Position of Orange
Wireless networking
Individual identity
Strategic need

American analysts see the value of the market for eLearning rising from $1 billion in 2000 to $21 billion by the year 2005 (Ramus, 2000). They see the eLearning market as initially supplementing traditional educational organisations: school classrooms, university based seminars and lectures , vocational training courses designed by new delivery organisations. However the view of market analysts is that in the next two years internet-based educational delivery systems will begin to eclipse traditional systems. For the Americans the consequences of this will be reduced travel, increased class size and a demand from students for more immediate needs training.

We at ULTRALAB believe this course delivery model without appropriate facilitation, collaboration and delight will not lead to the necessary increase in learning and engagement that will sustain the new market American analysts envisage. Learning institutions in the UK have long recognised the value of collaborative classroom environments with the teacher as guide and enabler rather than knowledge generator. Internet based eLearning must add value to traditional methods, building on what works well in British classrooms if it is to succeed.

What is true is that eLearnng could make a reality of Lifelong Learning, allowing all ages and abilities to engage and complete courses as they are able to slip time and adapt their learning to fit circumstances, their way of learning and their current situation. In addition the proliferation and exposure to educational resources could allow individuals to expand their horizons in their own time and provide a richer environment for creativity and innovation.

No single source could provide the breadth needed for these kind of multidisciplinary resources and future students will need a multidisciplinary understanding as rapid changes take place in technology and society. This seems to lead to a consideration of learning portals. There are two models of what a successful learning portal should include based on the analysis above:


American Model

student tracking so that enterprises have students enrollment cards

student tracking so that students can revisit courses taken in the light of their new learning

chat rooms where students can discuss with mentors and/or experts immediate issues

chat rooms and a raft of asynchronous discussion tools where students can work with other students, mentors and/or experts immediate issues

evaluation of courses offered

annotation of existing learning sites

assessment to evaluate students performance

portfolio of work

skills management of appropriate courses to allocate students

suggestion skilled facilitation

Position of Orange

All companies who have not yet started, will compete to gain a market share in eLearning within the next two years. This is possible specifically because cut-down versions of eLearning based on a delivery of course modules can involve very low start-up costs. Currently 95% of American firms have plans to deliver online training (Ramus, 2000). However online training is not eLearning and this figure only demonstrates that in the next two years the emphasis to sustain engagement will we believe force these companies to rethink their strategy and move emphasis to eLearning. In this market Orange has strengths which give it an advantage over other companies. These are:

Wireless networking
The demand for eLearning will increase as Lifelong Learning becomes a reality. The ability to access 'anywhere, anytime, anyhow' lends itself to wireless networking. This gives potential learners the real freedom to remove themselves from time and device constraints.

Individual identity
All our
research, in for example LiNM and Schools OnLine, indicated how important individual identity was in establishing effective online learning communities. Having their own identity allowed individuals to have control over their own space by changing the 'look and feel', linking authorship and ownership, enabling personal profiles to be built, allowing annotation to be considered by giving details of 'who has annotated this?' and 'why should I trust them?' . For schools individual identity also allows an audit trail to exist which encourages responsibility. We believed so strongly in the importance of individual identity that this has been built into all other large projects at ULTRALAB (SchoolNet 2000,, CreativeNet and Talking Heads).

Establishing identity through web forms and building an audit trail for every community you learn within, even where they overlap, is neither convenient nor practical. Orange, through its mobile network, has already stored and accessible the identity of its users. This gives Orange a clear start over other companies striving to find a place in eLearning.

Strategic need
There is a a strong need to develop a strategy which associates the corporate name of Orange with beneficial learning, such that the word OLearn, and thus the company, Orange, becomes the organisation in relation to mobile communication that is synonymous with a company that cares about education and learning


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