It’s been too long since I’ve posted, but among other things I’d been preparing for the UK eLearning Mission that happened yesterday. A team of selected eLearning experts are over here on a government sponsored visit to suss out what’s new and exciting. I had the honor of co-chairing the session with Dr. Jim Terkeurst from the University of Abertay, so I used my time to lob a couple of frameworks (will blog them soon) into the air to set the stage.
The reps from the UK, and an assorted lot of US folks, (about 20 folks all up) each presented a bit on their organization and a ‘controversial statement’, in groups of six, interspersed with panel discussions about 4 specific topics (new learning, new technologies, economics, and effective elearning) chaired by inspiring folks like Michael Carter, Gordon Bull, Nile Hatch, and Joe Miller. Top reps of unknown companies like the BBC, Cisco, Microsoft, Reuters, and IBM mixed it up with smaller organizations doing cool stuff such as DDL, 3MRT, BrightWave, and Red7. This was definitely heady company!
I expect to post more reflections, but here are the threads that recurred and emerged (colored by my own filters):
- Move to more motivation and engagement, seen as a strong shift to games (yes!)
- A shift from learning as event to learning as process
- Also shown as a shift to a broader view of elearning (performance support/workflow)
- A shift to ‘context-aware’ learning (knowing who/where/what to uniquely support)
- The importance of reflection, and learning to learn
- The collaborative/connective nature of learning
I have to say it was a delightful chance for me to step away from the ‘head down’ mode I’ve been in since I returned from overseas and hear some challenging discussion. It was also reassuring to hear folks talking about the same directions I’ve been feeling are ways we need to go.
There will be a summary report, but i’m not sure how far it will be available. However, a couple of pointers worthy of note include Stephen Heppel’s NotSchool program that’s trying to re-engage disaffected youth (I met Stephen in Perth, very clever guy), and several of the things that are happening in SecondLife.
All hosted by SRI and with a reception sponsored by Oracle afterwards, it left a feeling that elearning is definitely an area with enormous potential and excitement, and of course some very challenging issues. Many thanks as well to the UK government for arranging this whole visit.