E-learning or e-lemmings? Who pipes the tune?
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This paper urges a rather more critical view of e-learning than that taken to date. It is argued that strong forces are converging to redefine education as a commercial rather than public activity, of which e-learning is one element. Inherently different perceptions of the teaching and learning process, based upon a commercial rather than a public model, combined with a certain amount of naïve technological progressivism are challenging the role of higher education. Poor implementations based upon flawed assumptions are also likely to lead to an e-learning bust in much the same way as the dot com phenomenon has collapsed under the weight of its own hype. The case is argued for diverse and informed models of education (including e-learning approaches) that nurture local cultures and values, and produce socialized, adaptable and capable citizens rather than captive globalised consumers, colonized by monoculture online.