Jay Cross
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Summing up yesterday
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Yesterday's marathon workshop on the future of eLearning was fun. We set up a follow-up wiki with links to other material.

Talking about Web/Learning/World 2.0, we watched the EPIC GoogleZon flick. I managed to squeeze in my visual learning image extravaganza and a ride in the Internet Time Machine. And the Ferris Buhler clip that everyone has seen in the States but was new here.

During the day we played by "California rules," e.g. you must participate. Topics included time inflation, the nature of process, The World is Flat, how networks evolve, the learner life-cycle, a new definition of learning, web 2.0, connecting eLearning to senior management's vision, positioning and marketing eLearning for success, web services & the future direction of IT, examples of bad design, the advantage of conscious evolution over design, visual learning, emotion & learning, and meta-learning. Whew. It was a full day.

Afterward, a reporter from IT home, Taiwan's equivalent to CIO magazine, asked me how eLearning has changed over the years. (eLearning is very big here since it is on the short list of vital initiatives backed by the government). I was curious what would pop out of my tired brain. Changes:
  • Learning is becoming wedded to the internet.
  • Today's eLearning is more practical than the original variety (some of which we'd seen in the workshop).
  • eLearning often comes in chunks. Courses are dead. Pop-ups are more practical.
  • eLearning is becoming truly personal in that you choose the chunks you want.
  • eLearning is becoming participatory. You learn with others. They teach you; you teach them.
  • Intentional communities of practice are being established. Canada's CGI has a technical thought leadership program that looks something like the internet except it's behind the firewall. It relies on RSS to distribute information and an inhouse SourceForge to store intellectual property.
And what's the role of blogs in this? I mentioned Plogs (project blogs) as a way for teams to keep up with complex projects, for example an ERP implementation. A big area, just now coming onstream, is blogs for customer education. Look at Bob Scoble's work at Microsoft. Before blogs, Microsoft was "the evil empire," surrounded by virtually impenetrable walls. Now developers talk with partner developers all the time. Trust is building. It's a night and day difference.

Everything's tied to the collapse of hierarchies into peer networks. The World is Flat, and its organizations become flatter every day.

Tomorrow I'm off to the United Arab Emirates.

Taipei 101 from afar Hush puppies

A final souvenir:


Anonymous Dick Sethi said...

Good Summary. I just gave a talk at the Annual Conference of a major organization and I titled it " How To Lead In A Flat World "Everyone agreed that the world is getting flatter but people complained that they have less free time in their lives. Well, most things are mixed blessings! Safe travels! Dick Sethi

9:11 AM  
Anonymous jack said...

Nice Article...enjoyed reading it.

11:00 AM  

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