The Current State of Non-Affairs

A big welcome to those who made the time to read these ramblings. I guess you’d have to say I’ve grown a bit tired of blogs – so narcissistic – yet so vital to establishing and maintaining the ‘image.’ Maybe that’s what makes it more aggravating: I don’t really want to do this yet here I am punching away at the keyboard ready to spew my internal dialogue. Try to help out – bear with me – times are tough out there.

For many years as a public school educator and after entering corporate America I’ve been fascinated by how people learn especially without a teacher, mentor, guide, guru, bodhisattva, etc., to guide them. When I enountered elearning it was so nascent – primitive – I could understand why so little resonated with learners. Though early attempts, like Hypercard (see I told you I’ve been around) in the hands of an expert or a kid could produce some mighty intriguing results it seemed more a novelty and it failed to catch on en masse. (No wide bandwidth distribution is partly to blame).

Jet ahead to 2008 and we are about to enter what I call Phase 3 of online instruction, highly interactive, game-based scenarios with multiple strands of self-paced experiences. Mobile learning, pushed at us – is a Blackberry-esque scold the digital equivalent of Miss Jones, your fourth grade teacher with the mole and a hair spiking through the middle – and will be following users around like an electronic 24/7 guru. Non-stop learning.

And I wonder, is this a good thing? In a culture of celebrity, of meanness, rich vs poor, red vs blue, I’m edging back towards simplicity. If you subscribe to the adage that one great teacher is certainly better than any electronic anything and that once you plug something into the wall the rate of failure is a potential 100%. (Luddite!) — and that books don’t crash, you might be backsliding like me.

I provoke. Talk amongst yourselves. Tell me I made the right choice building highly interactive courseware, architecting learning design, engineering courseware to tie into an LMS, and that SumTotal (by example) is important to know about and sell. Oh yeah, and tell me where the jobs went in the learning industry? But that’s another story. In the meantime, where are you at in the learning biz and what do you believe in?

Thanks for now.


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