The Cost of E-Learning

What is the cost of e-learning? By e-learning, I mean small seminars or one hour talks given by notables in the field, usually on some technology topic.

Last week, I “attended” Michael Stephens OPAL talk on the top technology trends in libraries. The software was advanced, yet easy to use and it was a delightful experience. After each presentation, OPAL archives everything so that those that missed the live cast can go back and view the presentation. They offer topics on a wide range of topics and they are all free.

Today, in my email I received a notice that ACRL is hosting a webcast on top technology trends given by the glorious Roy Tennant, whom I love and adore. Wonderful! Then, I remember ALA and ACRL’s ability to take things that should be free or cheap and place them out of reach of normal librarians. I clicked on the register and information link only to have my fears confirmed.

For this one hour talk on technology, which I am sure will be great, ACRL is charging $50! $50 for something that could easily be free. I know they want to make a profit on everything, but we are discussing software that is free (should you choose wisely) and information I can find elsewhere.

If money is such an issue, charge something reasonable, like $5 or $10. Not $50. That is a third of my monthly grocery bill. For two people.


–Jane, seriously, WTF

One thought on “The Cost of E-Learning

  • April 12, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    I got the e-mail from ACRL as well, and I wondered about that too. I missed Professor Stephens’ OPAL talk, but I have done other OPAL events, and I found them good learning experiences and affordable (hey, you can’t beat free, and for Professor Stephens’ event, I am sure glad they have that archive). As much as I respect Mr. Tennant, I can’t help but wonder how this would be substantially different from the talk Professor Stephens gave for OPAL. Like you mention, a lot of the information are things one can find online with a bit of patience and effort. Also, since much of this information is “out there,” how much of this overlaps or becomes redundant? Just a thought.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

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