January 12, 2006

2.x

George Siemens has had it with the term '2.0' and the hype and ballyhoo that implies that learning has changed somehow:

Current talk and hype about learning 2.0 blurs the line between what has changed and what has not. We don't have a new version of learning (i.e the act of learning itself). We do, however, have a new climate in which different approaches need to be taken to foster learning. Our old systems don't work today. But the problem isn't that we need to rethink the act of learning (30 years doesn't result in much "evolution of the human brain")...


Learning is all around - TV, newspapers, internet, conversations, etc. We can't get away from learning. Yet we toil away in front of our computers, designing for this narrow space called "learning". I think the learning specialist of tomorrow (as early as five years) will hold many positions not traditional to our field... Those who understand the new space of constant learning will play a key role in helping organizations and people achieve their potential... We simply think too small. We think we are trimming the hedges, when we have the potential to alter the entire landscape to alter the very make up of the soil in which the hedges grow.

You can hear him via Odeo [8 minutes of conversational eloquence]. A few outtakes:

Learning today has more dimensions than what learning previously had... not confined to structured, static processes...
The most critical knowledge challenge for most people today is the ability to stay current...
Learning has fundamentally shifted on many levels from static learning to ...complex, chaotic learning...
We now need current knowledge rather than static knowledge, so what happens then is that we need different tools in certain cases...
There is no learning of a next generation.
Learning is what learning has always been. What has changed is our need for learning, and some of the tools that we have access to in the learning process...

In the comments to George's post, Jeremy Hiebert nails it well:
One important part of this shift is in people actively taking more responsibility for their learning -- figuring out what they need to learn to achieve a goal (maybe to get things done in jobs where they're empowered to solve problems rather than just being part of the assembly line), choosing when and how to learn, and seeking out the connections they require (resources, people, content, etc). Most of these decisions have traditionally been the responsibility of instructors, curriculum directors and instructional designers shaping courses and programs.

These days, it's the proliferation of tools for personal active learning that interests me. The suite of blog and wiki and audio and video tools facilitates a great enrichment of communication to audiences, outside the confines of traditional teaching-learning spaces, and in the hands of people with something to say. The ambivalence and even hostility of established institutions (schools, colleges, academic disciplines) to self-directed learning is hardly surprising, but those dinosaurs have always been slow to embrace innovation. They do what they've always done (credentialing and branding, enculturation to the dominant mode) but they're just not all that interesting anymore.

Posted by oook at January 12, 2006 09:34 AM
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