Powerpoint Summary of Learning in 3D

Tonight Karl and I will be chatting with Randy Hinrich’s class at University of Washington. I prepared a summary overview of the book in PPT to get the conversation going.

Knowing Ran’s students, we will no doubt be getting into the nitty gritty on a lot of these charts but I thought I would share for others who have yet had the opportunity to browse the book.



CLO Magazine “In Conclusion” Article

The good folks at CLO magazine were kind enough to ask me to put together an “In Conclusion” piece for this month’s magazine in advance of their “The Networked Organization: Leading Learning in a New Economy” conference next month.

You can view all the articles in this issue for free by clicking here.

Here is the text from my article

Avoiding Extinction.

On April 22, 1993, Mosaic Web browser, the system widely believed to have popularized the Internet, was introduced to the world. Sixteen years later, we’re still surfing this ever-expanding digital domain — and so frequently and naturally that it’s practically ingrained into the very fabric of our lives. In fact, much like the oxygen we breathe every day, we tend only to notice the profound impact of the Internet on our daily existence when it disappears.

Want proof? The next time Internet connectivity is down at your office, look around at your co-workers. Most likely, you will see groups of people aimlessly wandering the halls, as if they’ve forgotten their roles in the organization and how they add value. If you detach people from this virtual network, productivity heads south quickly.

The Web has permeated what we do to such an extent that we have become oblivious to the profound impact it has had on how we connect, communicate, coordinate, collaborate and take collective action. Information no longer moves in one direction — i.e., from the top of the enterprise to the bottom, or from teacher to student. Instead, information travels from place to place based on individuals’ desire to make more effective decisions or develop keener insights about a particular situation, or because they are motivated to learn about a certain topic or how to complete a given task.

Like it or not, the invisibly pervasive Web has ushered in the era of the autonomous learner: an era where information accessed within the work context often trumps instruction that is consumed separately from it. An era where a teachable moment that surfaces in the work context is more likely to be immediately addressed via a Google search, Facebook message or Twitter post than an LMS lookup for a course. In the era of the autonomous learner, content may still be king, but context has clearly become the kingdom.

Given this framing, we can begin to understand the Web’s own evolution as an expanding ecosystem that facilitates collective action, learning and growth. During the past 16 years, it has essentially become a ubiquitous and instantaneous collaborative learning platform where subject-matter networks anywhere on the planet can be tapped into for their insight, expertise or opinion. As the Web continues to expand into the third dimension, with the likes of avatar-mediated virtual environments, the confluence of interactivity and immersion will allow these subject-matter networks to operate in a more intuitive and engaging way.

In business today, insights drive innovation, and innovation drives profitable growth. Within the digital network, information is the currency, individuals are the transport mechanism, interaction is the transfer mechanism, and insight is the value-added outcome. These insights are generated from serendipitous knowledge accidents — that magic moment wherein expertise collides with opportunity and entirely new industries are born. The ability to leverage the Web and the emerging immersive virtual environment to instantly coalesce capability around an increasingly unpredictable set of market opportunities is the pre-eminent challenge facing the 21st-century enterprise.

Just as businesses have had to change their strategies and infrastructures to remain competitive in increasingly dynamic markets, learning functions also must adapt to meet the dynamic needs of the enterprises they serve. Consequently, the primary challenge for the 21st-century learning function is to redefine its value proposition from rapidly filling employees’ heads with knowledge via classroom-based learning to applying internal expertise to the problem or opportunity at hand in real time via the network.

Not embarking on this transformation could well result in the learning function becoming captive to its own limiting paradigms and marginalizing its value to the enterprise to the point of its own extinction.

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Keynote

Last Saturday, Karl and I had the privilege of keynoting the VWBPE conference.

Over 5000 avatars attended the conference in Second Life and treet.tv has done a wonderful job of editing the presentations. I highly recommend checking these talks out.

Karl has a very interesting blog called “I Have Seen the Future of Conferences….and it is 3D!” that talks about his experience at VWBPE last week.

Here is the video of Karl and I in action:

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Click HERE to check out the other cool talks from the VWBPE conference.

Book Interview on Opensource.com

My good friends at Red Hat have launched a great site called opensource.com.

It’s purpose is to be a catalyst for a community that is exploring how open source principles and practices can be leveraged in business, education, government, law and life. It is a really cool site. If you are into open source, wisdom of crowds, crowd sourcing, social production or the like you should check it out.

Rebecca Fernandez interviewed me about Learning in 3D for the site. You can check out the interview here.

LearnTrends 2009: My Presentation on Immernet Singularity

My good pal Jay Cross asked me to do a provocative session on the Future of Learning and the pending Immernet Singularity.

As with most cognitive excursions that involve Jay, we had a BLAST!. I mean where else could you come up with the concept of an “Empathic Electronic Exoskeleton” that swaddles our planet in less than an hour 😉

A good number of you have asked for charts….here you go.

If you like the charts, you will no doubt enjoy the presentation and discussion. You can view the hour long back and forth here. Enjoy!

Masie Keynote Video: My 23 minutes of Fame

Elliott Masie was kind enough to invite me to do a keynote interview with him at his Learning 2008 conference. Here is the video his team posted a few days ago.

It was a blast doing this. Elliott and I truly riffed…as you will see when he stops me and asks me to repeat something he thought was insightful and I reply that I have already forgot and we will have to check it out on the tape ; )

Here is our 23 minute jam on Technology Adoption and Hype:

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You can see other great keynote interviews with the likes of Kevin Kelly, Steven M.R. Covey, Amy Sutherland and Wayne Hodgins just to name a few, by clicking here.

Thanks to Elliott for taking a chance on me and to all of the Learning 2008 attendees who were kind enough to attend my session. BTW if you want a complete set of charts from my session they are available via Slideshare by clicking below.

Researching the Effectiveness of Virtual Worlds

I attended a very good session at the Masie Conference where folks from HP, Intel, Accenture, to name just a few, discussed the issues around applying virtual worlds in the corporate context.

One of the big issues that seems to be coming out is that corporate decision makers want EVIDENCE that Immersive Learning Experiences are more efficient and effective than traditional learning approaches.

However, one of the issues we consistently run up against is that in order to measure “apples to apples” on the efficiency outcome variable (i.e. can you learn and retain as much in the virtual world as you can via instructor led training or web based training). The underlying issue here is that in limiting ourselves to comparing apples to apples when it comes to knowledge retention we limit the very thing that makes the virtual world so special: Serendipitous, peer-based, discovery based experential learning. Put more curtly, it is why when we take stakeholders into a virtual world they immediately ask “where are the classrooms, I don’t see anyone learning in here?” Rogers classic on the Diffusion of Innovations has taught us that Familiarity is a necessary rite of passage on the road to fundamental disruptive innovation, but I sure hope that the era of digital avatars in digital classrooms watching digital documents will be a very short lived meme.

This evening, after many hours of wrestling with this challenge, things became clear. We need to separate the WHAT (Declarative Knowledge) from the How (Procedural Knowledge). Most ILT and traditional learning is about topic not task. It is about what not how. The virtual world is all about HOW and learning WHILE doing. Most traditional pedagogical approaches are focused on learning BEFORE doing. Thus it is not appropriate to compare ILT to Virtual Worlds because they actually are based in fundamentally different instructional paradigms. ILT is about content while Immersive Learning Experiences are about context. ILT is about Topic while ILE is about Task while ILT is about What, ILE is about HOW. ILT is about Knowing while ILE is about Doing,

If history does not repeat, it certainly rhymes. This should sound familiar to many of us. (Hint: Think Blended Learning). A blend that brings the value of immersive learning to provide an experience where the “WHAT” can be synthesized, understood within the context of task and internalized in an authentic way.

The ILE adds to the ILT as the bridge that finally straddles the Knowlng-Doing Gap that Pfeiffer and Sutton highlited in their excellent book a few years ago.

Finally, as we work on the evaluation it would be remiss of me not to mention some of the very cool work that my friends and colleagues Mitzi Montoya (NCSU) and Anne Massey (Indiana) are doing to develop an instrument that captures Perceived Virtual Presence. I will be using their PVP instrumentation in my evaluations from here on out as those of us in the academic world try to create an overarching evaluation rubric to look at perception, efficiency and effectiveness of Virtual Worlds. You can read about their very cool and innovative research here.

Blogging Kevin Kelly and Others at Masie

Scattershot notes from Second City
One of the techniques I use to have students experience dialogue is to have two students build a sentence one word at a time going back and forth. That way they need to pay attention to what the other person is saying and build upon it thus establishing what David Baum would call flow.

Second City communications just did a very cool skit called Dr. Know It All, three people lined up answer audience questions one word at a time. I will be sure to incorporate this into my repertoire.

Scattershot notes from Kevin Kelly.

“TV and Phone got married and had a love child called the internet and it is improving our choices and ability to communicate.”

If we can be whoever we want to be then who do we want to be?

Wikipedia was impossible in theory but possible in practice. We can do things with the collective that we could not imagine doing before. We know we can’t do everything that way but we don’t yet know what we can’t do. Can we build an airplane that way?

Historically, knowledge came from an authority. The way we learn things is changing. We have a process called the scientific method to help us make sense of things. I think the scientific method will change particularly on how we agree on what is true. Wikipedia says “consistent opinion is true.”

How to cut through collective ignorance: Wisdom of the Crowd versus the Stupidity of Mob is a delicate balance.

Doing less things as an individual through increasing tools of socialism, but it is not socialist because it is not about making everyone the same. Increasing power of group PLUS increased individual uniqueness and freedom. Cool thing is you can increase both.

Imagine companies with open salaries and open books. Expense Reports: You can do whatever you want but every employee has the ability to review your expenses.

Not about transparency from a governance POV, but this is transparency from a social point of view. So you get to see what is appropriate and it distributes training into the very fabric of the firm.

Science progresses us faster through tools rather than theory. Invention and dissemination of tools is what drives economy.

You clue takes Innocentive model to the masses and is run on Ning.

Kevin is optimistic that we can change on the environment. Response to ills and problems caused by technology should be better technology. We can make cars that get 1000 miles a gallon. So he is optimistic about being at piece in environment.

Designer have an approach to the world and to life that is different. “Build to Think…the first thing they really do is build a very quick prototype and iterate through the process over time. Try and do things as a way of thinking. That way do becomes think.”

Failure is the most important part of learning. What you want to have are lots of little failures to keep them constant and small rather than catastrophic at end. Bring them forward and manage them as you go along.

We tend to be too cerebral in design. We need to actually do it with our hands and our heart not just our head.

How would you redesign the learning function in organization? Learning and teaching are symmetrical. You become one or the other. Get people to become better at communicating what and how they have learned themselves is key. Make everyone a teacher and you have a learning organization.

Learning is like an addiction. He spends a lot of time thinking about his learning process. He tries to appraise the process and iterates on it.

Poptimistic: came from Hollywood. Happy cheerful free-color version of the world. People are basically good, color is free, lets make people happy.

What does technology want? Dawkins did this with the “Selfish Gene.” Helpful to ask technology what it wants. It wants increased diversity, general to specific (same arc as evolution), to become more efficient, increase in complexity. Similar trajectory to live. Technology is the seventh kingdom of live. Very similar in evolution. Technology extinction is never part of the equation.

Book: The Singularity is Near – He disagrees with it but that is why it is provocative.

Place on Earth to study more: China. Not just about cheap copying.

Election Process: Voting is a small part of democracy.

Next Generation Hope: That they will treat us well. Different kind of old. Baby boomers will create a new kind of old.

Movie to Impact World Theme: Optimism leads to better behavior. In the end you have to have hope that things will be better you behave differently.

Wired: Push…end of browser. Got that totally wrong.

His next book: How should I feel about technology? Is there some way to evaluate whether it is good for us or not.

Wow…final chart. The Global Economy is like a human being. Look at financial crisis and think of it as one missed financial heartbeat across the globe:

Doh…I got the number of employees wrong at Wikipedia

Yesterday I had a lot of fun at my breakout session. I got on a riff comparing Wikipedia to Britannica on a number of fronts. Three years ago when I was at one of IBM’s GIO 2.0 meetings I had the pleasure of meeting Jean Baptiste Souffron, who was the attorney at Wikipedia. At that time,he told me it was just “Him and Jimmy” as official employees.

So as I riffed yesterday I talked about how Wikipedia only had two employees which I assumed would be a lot less that Britannica. Later that day Elliott was interviewing Sue and she mentioned that the ranks of Wikipedia have swelled to a MASSIVE 22 full time employees. Still not bad considering that they run the fourth most used site on the web.

The larger point here is that social media principles are rapidly diffusing into the enterprise space and new models of organization where orchestration and coordination of talent and passion around endeavor is trumping command and control of employees around projects they are not energized about is starting to pervade.

None of us is as smart as all of us and we need to start thinking of human capital as a network of talented and capable people who can be tuned to an issue or opportunity at the moment of inspiration or need.

Over and out from Orlando as I ready to hear from one of my true heroes, Kevin Kelly.

Keynote at Masie Conference

This morning I had the pleasure of doing a keynote session with Elliott Masie. True to form we agreed to just riff…and that we did.. I think it went quite well and I had a lot of folks come up after the session to say they got something out of it.

Elliott is pulling out all the stops this year. There is an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that David Metcalf and his crew are running called Dream Corp. Also, Ann DeMarle’s students at Champlain college are building a game in real time during the conference to deal with the issues of teleworking.

Finally, being the king of last minute, I just signed into the social networking site that the Masie folks have provided and found it to be very user friendly. Here is a screenshot of the social network view. I am the blue dot closest to the middle:

I am very much looking forward to soaking it all in and leaving with more questions than I came…that way I know I have learned something ; )

Over and out for now from Orlando.