Blended Learning through Research: One personal journey

When I’m in the market for a new electronic product, I usually take three approached to gain background information and to compare and contrast features and benefits:

  1. Online research
  2. In-store research
  3. Personal discussions with friends and colleagues

I’m currently in the market for a new digital camera to replace the HP 812 (4 mega pixel) digital camera I purchased around six years ago.  The HP has been a reliable workhorse for taking the occasional shots on holidays and other occasions.  However, as I now seek to expand my skills and venture into the possibilities of all-weather photography, I’ve started research on the latest compact models within a $400 budget. 

For this personal journey, I started by visiting my local Microcenter store and was impressed with the features and price of a number of Sony and Olympus models.  Subsequently, I started my online research with Olympus to gain further insights into the versatility of the all-weather Stylus 720 SW which delivers great shots at depths of up to 10 feet in the ocean, pool, river, etc.  I spoke with my spouse who suggested I find online review for this camera in order to gain another perspective.  The Imaging Resource site was just what I needed as it provided a balanced analysis of the positive and negative aspects of this camera and links to online stores that are selling the camera for less that either Olympus or Microcenter.  Based on the above information, I probably will not even bother doing online research on the Sony digital cameras. 

The blended learning experience to date has definitely been both fun and productive as I now believe I’m a better informed consumer.  I’ve not only learned more about the most important camera features to meet my needs but also I’ve gleamed a number of technical points which will help me become a better photographer.  I’m looking forward to becoming an avid photo journalist.  Now onto the next step of purchasing the camera online-another valuable learning experience.


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