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Jan 16, 2006


Hi Geetha,

There is a strong connection there. A marathon is a test of ability for athletes. Disabilities come into picture when you see ability at its highest. As far as e-learning is concerned, it is still the stage of walkathon. And think of e-learning for people with disabilities, we are yet to stand up and walk.

SM Nafay Kumail
Co-author of "e-Learning: An Expression of the Knowledge Economy"

Hi Geetha, a little late this, but I was just thinking over the connection and as I was walking through the mall the other day, it came to me.
A mall is an urban subculture, that allows an individual to be alone, and yet not alone. In the distances that city life creates, as opposed to the togetherness of village/small-town life that we all were in some way or the other a part of, places like mall, and until more recently primarily the local trains and buses, fulfill a need to be part of a community, share imperfections, cheer each other on, and achieve a final goal without feeling inadequate by not being the first or best to reach it.
The marathon, and e-learning subsequently, are similar in that they allow individuals to extend their personal efforts in a group environment by sharing imperfections amongst the group and working towards a common goal. the inability to reach the goal at times is frustrated, but encouragement of the trainer and of others similarly struggling, takes the pressure to perform off.
I think a key lesson to be derived from what you have said is that while most e-learning does build in encouragement from the trainer, it completely overlooks the importance of team co-ordination between learners. Perhaps that is an area that could also be built in. Two or more learners on a programme could probably be pitted against each other in a light 'race to the finish'.
As you may have guessed by now, yes, I miss you guys!

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