Comments: E-learning 2.0, whatever that is

I like to think of Learning 2.0 as having a bigger meaning than what you have described here. In a post I was writing this morning about our new mission ("Teaching people how to learn") I said, "In this world where knowledge is a commodity and the flow of new information is much bigger than any one person could possibly manage, being a good learner has become a critical skill. When we talk about Learning 2.0, what we are really talking about is how to be the best learner you can possibly be. And the best learners are not isolated scholars. We are often the best collaborators. Being really good at learning is often about tapping into the collective wisdom of the right group of peers. And being a good peer is about informing the group with your own intangible, personal intelligence." Re-learning how to learn is a critical new skill for people, organizations, and enterprises. I don't see what's wrong with organizing how we talk about this under the banner, Learning 2.0. Do you have a better suggestion?

Posted by Kathleen Gilry at December 21, 2005 7:46 PM

Kathleen, Many thanks for your response, and your interesting and valuable comments. I am completely with you in almost all the statements in your quoted passage (I have reservations about referring to knowledge as a commodity, but that may be a minor point). Where we differ is in the terminology used to 'brand' these ideas.

I think about the people who founded the Royal Society 345 years ago, and I imagine they were motivated by the same notions you have expressed here. So what's with the '2.0'? Why the need to present every solution as a wholly new 'paradigm shift' when the solutions that we agree clients need are actually long-established wisdom, supported by modern tools where effective?

I make no claims to be a marketing or promotions expert, and perhaps corporate customers are indeed attracted to what I referred to above as the 'obsession with novelty'. But if they are, I wonder if providers of learning solutions might unwisely create hostages to fortune by always pandering to this obsession. As the e-learning world has already discovered once, yesterday's 'shiny and revolutionary' ideas quickly become tomorrow's awkward embarrassment, to be disowned or swept under the carpet.

To avoid that, I feel it might be better to stress the proven pedigree of our ideas about learning, coupled with a sober, pragmatic assessment of how new technologies can help. I'm all for organising, but I'm not sure that we need the banners.

Posted by David Jennings at December 22, 2005 8:02 PM
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