Jay Cross
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Examples of Workflow Learning and Collaboration
Friday, August 05, 2005

Want a peak at the future? Here's my presentation at George Mason University a couple of months back (34 minutes). I'm the opening act for lots of interesting speakers. A panel session with Ben Watson, Harvey Singh, Duane Degler, Gary Dickelman, and IBM's Michael Littlejohn discusses what comes next. (46 minutes).

Michael Littlejohn discusses the future of learning. (57 minutes). Gary Dickelman and Harvey Singh show examples of workflow learning (58 minutes). Ben Watson, Duane Degler, and I factor collaboration and meaning into the workflow equation (52 minutes).

Godfrey Parkin was in the audience and had this to say on his blog, Parkin's Lot:
I have just spent a couple of days at a small highly-focused symposium titled “Innovations in E-learning.” It was put together by the US Naval Education and Training Command and the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), who have among the best and brightest training minds that the American taxpayer’s money can buy. They are not short of budget, manpower, or technology, and they get to mess with lots of experimental stuff. I decided to participate because the future of learning matters to me, and because a couple of my virtual colleagues were pretty much dominating the presentations in one stream.

For several years now, Training Departments have been transfixed by the evolving internet in the same way that dinosaurs were probably awe-struck by the approaching comet. So what does the future hold? I’m happy to report that learning will thrive, but trainers will have to merge back into operational roles. Oh, and Training Departments are dead, at least as we know them. As are Learning Management Systems and any other relics of centralized distribution of learning. Learning that is informal, collaborative, contextual, real-time, and peer-generated, will be the mode of tomorrow.

I was mainly interested in hearing what folks like Jay Cross, Clark Aldrich, Harvey Singh and Ben Watson had to say about workflow learning, collaboration, and simulations. However, in amongst their sessions was a real eye-opener from a VP at IBM. IBM used to be a blue-suit red-tie operation as monolithic as a bank, but it has been doing a lot of shape-shifting in recent years. These days any organization that is unwilling or unable to do that is unlikely to be around very long.
I recommend reading all of Godfrey's post, including the numerous comments from others.


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