Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here's the key nugget from my July keynote presentation: as learners and the web evolve, how do our strategies and tactics evolve with them? The LMS is dead, long live the LMS.

Here's an image of how the web may (or may not) evolve. From Web 1.0 to 4.0 and a more artificial intelligent agent.

My thoughts: our current approach to the Internet is akin to monks trying to track all printed material after the invention of the movable type printing press: first, overwhelming, then, impossible. Likewise, even the creators of the Internet think there is so much out there, even the best search engines like Google barely capture a fraction of it all. We feel overwhelmed by information; it is impossible to predict where learners will go and what they will learn.


Let's work WITH the web and our students as they evolve, not against the change. Like monks trying to put our arms around a river of printed information, our efforts to "control" or manage Internet-based learning experiences is futile. They are ubiquitous, unplanned, informal, and virtually on every device. Perhaps we should begin by planning to track our learners' experiences, as opposed to pre-planning their every online experience or locking them into small, contained, and predictable Internet experiences.

In 1933, a mechanic simplified the complexity of the London Tube map. The same schema is still used to this day because it simplifies a very complex system. We need a revolution in learning; we need a way of mapping online learning that helps learners map their online experiences, not by planning their every move, but by creating a more "simplexic*" and less "sage on a stage" way of placing learners at the center of the learning experience.

* see "Symplexity"


  1. Hmmm, I've been thinking of Web 3.0 as the point of agent arrival, and Web 4.0 as a more immersive experience.

    It's been about a year since I thought about this stuff, but I seem to remember Berners-Lee wrote something along the lines that an agent would be the killer app for the semantic web.

    I think web 4.0 will be something along these lines

    a 3D virtual world/metaverse mapped onto our real world with i/o devices that look oddly familiar, like glasses, earbuds, hats, jewelry, etc.

  2. I agree. I think UIs will be take various seemingly simple manifestations (an object like a key fob, jewelry, a tactile screen, etc) that overlays the total complexity of where the learner has been/can go. But we still have to debrief and facilitate the learning...