Ananda's Distance Education Initiative
February 15, 2009
A group of us at Ananda Village are exploring technologies involved in giving the Ananda Sangha, Expanding Light Retreat and Crystal Clarity Publishers an ability to offer online courses for distance learning.
As the economic downturn continues and people’s travel budgets are decreasing, we are looking into ways of bringing Yogananda’s teachings closer to people, so that truth-seeking students can attend classes inexpensively in the comfort of their own homes and at the time of their choosing. This also simplifies the logistics of hosting people, providing accommodations, meals, etc. However, the distance education model has its own challenges.
To begin with, there are a number of different models for providing distance education. Real-time versus on-demand (similar to broadcast TV vs video-on-demand), video vs audio-only, scheduled classes vs self-paced learning, etc. As we look at various combinations of these models, we are evaluating the technologies that will enable us to make this initiative a reality.
One of the techologies we are looking at is an open-source software called Moodle. Moodle looks very promising for our needs as an on-line course development and delivery tool.
As we embark on this new chapter of Ananda’s outreach, we sincerely ask for your prayers, as well as for your support. If you are a person (or know of someone) who has experience in this type of teaching and especially experience with Moodle, and who would like to serve Ananda’s work in this manner, we’d love to hear from you. We need all the help we can get to get this project launched in the shortest time possible.