Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

30 December 2008

Predictions for 2009

Clark @ 11:57 AM

Over at eLearn Magazine, Lisa Neal Gualtieri gets elearning predictions for 2009, and they’re reliably interesting. Here’re mine:

The ordinary: Mobile will emerge, not as a major upheaval, but quietly infiltrating our learning experiences. We’ll see more use of games (er, Immersive Learning Simulations) as a powerful learning opportunity, and tools to make it easier to develop. Social networking will become the ‘go to’ option to drive performance improvements.

The extraordinary: Semantics will arise; we’ll start realizing the power of consistent tagging, and start being able to meta-process content to do smart things on our behalf.  And we’ll start seeing cloud-hosting as a new vehicle for learning services.

I’ve been over-optimistic in the past, for example continuing to believe mobile will make it’s appearance (and it is, but not in the big leap I hoped).  It’s quietly appearing, but interest isn’t matching the potential I’ve described in various places.  I’m not sure if that’s due to a lack of awareness of the potential, or perceptions of the barriers: too many platforms, insufficient tools.

I continue to see interest in games, and naturally I’m excited.  There is still a sadly-persistent view that it’s about making it ‘fun’ (e.g. tarted up drill and kill), while the real issue is attaching the features that drive games (challenge, contextualization, focus on important decisions) and lead to better learning.  Still, the awareness is growing, and that’s a good thing.

And I’ve been riffing quite a lot recently about social networking (e.g. here), as my own awareness of the potential has grown (better late than never :).  The whole issues of enabling organizational learning is powerful.  And I’ve also previously opined about elearning 3.0, the semantic web, so I’ll point you there rather than reiterating.

So there you have it, my optimistic predictions. I welcome your thoughts.


  1. I am really hoping m-learning will finally emerge in 2009. I thought it would in 2008, but “oh well.”

    If it does it certainly will be a quiet appearance. In my optimism, I hope Apple and Blackberry finally pick up Flash Lite players, with others following their lead, opening the dorr for a universal m-learning platform. If not Flash, some other RIA. Of course I am biased towards Flash.

    Thanks for your predictions.

    Have a great New Year!

    Comment by Jeff Goldman — 30 December 2008 @ 1:28 PM

  2. Clark, I appreciate your thoughts on games — that it’s not about making it ‘fun’ but attaching features that lead to better learning. I’m holding on to that!

    Comment by Cammy Bean — 31 December 2008 @ 6:43 AM

  3. Here’s my prediction for Lisa:

    Wrenching changes in business and society accompanying the global transition from the industrial age to the network economy will kill off much of training and education as we have known it. In its place will arise a more natural approach to learning through collaboration and sharing. There are great times ahead, an era of fulfilling, bounteous learning unprecedented in human history. However, the journey to this promised land will be brutal and unforgiving for people and organizations who resist change and lobby for “back to the basics.”

    Comment by Jay Cross — 31 December 2008 @ 9:09 PM

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  5. Hey Clark, Great post! Very insightful. I noticed a term that I’d never heard before–
    “doud-hosting”. When I Googled it, I didn’t find anything, nor anything in Wikipedia. What
    does that term mean?

    Comment by Claudia — 26 January 2009 @ 5:46 AM

  6. Claudia, it’s ‘cloud hosting‘, (font problem?). That is, instead of having content stored on a local or even identifiable server, it’s out somewhere, distributed across servers, and it doesn’t matter, it’s an internet-hosted service not a locally closed one. My ISP tells me he may move my hosting ‘to the cloud’ or to a service that just adds virtual server space on demand. Think of Google Docs: you don’t know where it *really* is (some server farm of Google’s), it’s just in your account space.

    Comment by Clark — 26 January 2009 @ 8:51 AM

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