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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Defending 2.0

I saw an interesting post by Mark Oehlert "Learning 2.0" and why that name suddenly is torquing me off...  Mark's main complaint and one that I've seen voiced before is that people are not really learning differently:

I really don't believe that humans are learning differently - meaning, I think we are constituting memories, adapting behavior, practicing new skills - those activities that typically make up learning from the human standpoint - in much the same way as we have for hundreds if not thousands of years. I'm talking about our internal processes.

This is pretty much what was discussed in New Way of Learning and the general answer was that it's doubtful that there's really a new way of learning, but there certainly are many related metacognitive tools and methods that have changed and that we need to adapt.

Still, I believe the crux of Mark's concern and where the disagreement comes …

So there is no "Learning 2.0" from the learners' view - there could well be "Instruction 2.0" or "Teaching 2.0" but think about what is really different there - those last two (and you could throw in Government 2.0, Education 2.0) address organizations and not learners and this gets to my second bothersome point about "Learning 2.0."

Let's put the burden on us and not on the learner.

That's exactly it.  We aren't really talking about the learning itself, but rather the way in which we support learning within an organization.  What is the role of the Learning Professional?  And I would claim that there's a fairly substantial change when you go from eLearning 1.0 to eLearning 2.0 solutions.

The reason you can't call it "Instruction 2.0" or "Teaching 2.0" is that the very point of eLearning 2.0 is that it's learner driven.  We are no longer in charge.  We take a supportive role.  We create an environment.  We foster.  We coach.

To do this, it requires a considerably different mindset.  It makes sense for us to discuss this as 2.0 just to indicate that there's this substantial shift.

Certainly this has been debated quite a bit (see Is eLearning 2.0 Meaningful? - You Vote and 2.0 and Interesting Times).  But I think the discussion is over.  We've come to accept that we'll use the 2.0 moniker.

Mark – how about if we agree that if your Oregon State Beavers go down to defeat this weekend, we'll just agree that it's okay to use the terms Learning 2.0 and eLearning 2.0?


Gary Wise said...

Good morning, Tony!

I'm moved to respond, degree of torquedness notwithstanding...

I wonder sometimes if we become so enamored with what we do/should/could "name" something that we wind up "admiring the problem(s)" instead of moving them forward.

This is purely opinion on my part, but I frankly do not care what we call it as long as I can sustain human performance in the workplace with innovated ways to satisfy learning moments of need.

If anything has changed, it is the "context of learning" to a more robust learning environment that has evolved beyond the linear pedagogy of our forefathers (or foremothers). That's not to say that Training 1.0 is's just bigger than that methodology and those delivery techniques.

If we call something X 2.0 then we're going to have to differentiate what is part of X 3.0and that requires another bucket. I'm tired of being in an endless bucket brigade of labels and terminology. It's "learning" and it must change to match the learning moments of need of the knowledge worker in whatever work context they may find themselves in need.

If anything it is Learner 2.0, your point the burden cannot be on the is upon us to meet the learner's needs regardless of whatever X.0 version of thinking we're in.

And that would about be my $.02


Mark Tayar said...

I hadn't heard of Learning 2.0 before but I really like your definition. If we are indeed moving to a stage where teachers and online educators are merely facilitators, we need a huge change to the systems and principles of the status quo.

eLearning Design

Scott Hewitt said...

Interesting comments by Gary. As an industry we need to innovative, create, deliver and inspire learners. However I'm still coming across people who don't understand or even know about e-learning or learning technology let alone web or learning 2.0.

I delivered a session on 40 apps for learning to an audience of learning professionals and many of them hadn't even realised the range of tools out there...and they work in the industry!

Tony Karrer said...

Gary - I agree with you in terms of not really caring what we call it. But ...

To Scott's point - I think the lack of awareness of what's out there and where it applies is why things like labels are important. Someone who is sitting there comfortable that they know about eLearning, but who isn't aware of web 2.0 and its application to learning, may not get it. And Scott, I've had similar experiences, although its becoming less common.