Welcome to Learning 3.0

(Please HELP! I’ve been looking for a GREAT representative image that captures Learning 3.0 and becomes iconic for the next wave of learning experiences … I’m hoping that you can help me find one. Thanks)

I usually ignore the labels…

Lately I’m beginning to see that they serve  a purpose. They delineate the evolutionary stages of our profession. They also coincide with the evolution of technology that to date has brought us to Social Media and Social Networking.

Let me take a crack at defining the ones I’ve heard so far.

Learning 1.0: The emphasis was on the blending of the Industrial Economy learning methods (Kirkpatrick, Gagne et al.) that were essentially non-scientific observations with  the newly emerging computer tools such as elearning on disc. We were still the Gatekeepers of Knowledge (or at least we thought we were). Programs were developed from theories and intuition and “training” was basically a craft. Students were students, the classroom was the default environment, and you were a meaning taker (sponge) as Ruth Clark so aptly called it.

We were beginning to be enamored with technology for learning and attended conference called “TechLearn”. We could finally put the teacher in the box.

Learning 2.0: The emphasis was on the tools and technology that had rapidly evolved and could now deliver learning programs to more people anytime and anywhere. We still acted like the Gatekeepers, and we learned a lot about the new (and newer) technology and tools (Authorware software programs, LMS, Virtual Instruction, et al.) to put the teacher (us) in the box. We delivered training on CD’s, over slow computers, creatively and artfully blended technology and people.  We were still in the bookish mindset, creating what were referred to as “page turners” on screen.

Programs were still based on a best guess, supported by assessments, pre-existing theories and/or committee agreements about what the people needed to learn. Period.

Learning 3.0: The latest evolution that places the emphasis back on people and takes us out of the role of Gatekeeper. Blame it on the newest technology that puts the learner in the driver’s seat. Now ‘the people’ decided what they need to learn and, guess what, if we cannot come up with it then they will go wherever they need to learn what they want to know and know how to do. If we stay in the Learning 1.0 or 2.0 mode we’re toast, we have become irrelevant.

Our job is to take the role of Enabler, Mentor, Tutor etc. We can no longer manage knowledge. All we can hope to do is manage the environment in which knowledge can be “…created, discovered, captured, shared, distilled, validated, transferred, adopted, adapted and applied.” [Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell, “Learning to Fly” January 2005, Capstone]. Scientific research into how the brain works and how we really learn, has replaced sociological and psychological observation that generated the theories about learning.

Learning 3.0 is another BIG change. And it comes too soon, way too soon for many in our industry. They have made a name for themselves during the previous phases. Can they change and evolve?

Meaning takers now become meaning makers. Collaboration is the essential key to learning. Learning and Social Media and Social Networking are all mashing up. Having a group working together to learn with and from one another is the quest. And it is a quest.

We need to drop all the stuff we learned during the previous phases. We need to adopt new roles as Mentors and Guide and even Entertainers and Storytellers.

All the stuff about informal and blended and everything else that’s “teacher-centric” or “content-centric” needs to be abandoned. It all needs to be focused as “Learner-centric”. And that means Wiki, Web Portals, Connecting people in the class … and anything else that does the following:

  • Builds that learning experience upon the solid foundation of science and the most current scientific research about the ways the brain learns, remembers, forgets, adopts and adapts. We need to learn to enable rather than disable the learning process with which we are all endowed from birth
  • Creates and delivers a compelling way of transferring the knowledge, transforming it into a learning experience
  • Be emotional, entertaining, full of stories, anecdotes, and anything else that touches the hearts and minds of the people experiencing the program. Put an end to death by PowerPoint
  • Takes full advantage of all the technology tools&toys we have now and will have in the future and uses them really well. This means well trained Virtual Instructors / Mentors / Guides who really know what their about.
  • Connects the people before, during and after that learning experience so they can learn from one another and continue to learn from one another

Okay, so you heard it here first. What do you think about Learning 3.0?

One comment

  1. Rania · June 30, 2010

    Interesting post!


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