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October 20, 2009


As a distance student myself I really see the need for greater social interaction between learners. This may be diluted through the buzzwords and "Learning 2.0" hype but the truth is: eLearning must become more social to remain relevant.

Hire Marks

I'm right out there on that limb with you, dangling "social learning" over the yapping jaws of corporate buzzword hyenas. Trendy language neither clarifies nor adds to our understanding of how people learn, how they learn within a particular organization's culture, or how we can best fit learning tools (software, situations, and social-based interactions) into the culture to facilitate learning for the learners.

I have long disliked and not used the terms "Learning 2.0" or "E-Learning 2.0" or whatnot for another reason. Per Clark's point, we are fighting an uphill battle to get traditional L&D professionals to move some of their activities away from their comfort zones towards social media / Web 2.0 platforms. Some of them have a hard enough time learning what the concept "Web 2.0" means as a description of a set of technologies. When we then build other abstractions on top of that one -- like with "Learning 2.0" -- which is what we are doing to the extent what we mean by that name is "using Web 2.0 technologies to better enable informal learning, etc."... well, the resulting concept is going to be even more vague and fuzzy for them than Web 2.0 itself is. So that is why I've always avoided using such second-hand "2.0" terms. I stick with "Web 2.0" and then use it in longer descriptions as appropriate, rather than building new ones on top of it like Learning 2.0. A more verbose approach to be sure, but clearer for the people I'm conversing with.

I guess the question is, to me, whether we use Learning 2.0 to point out that Learning 1.0 was page turner and that we need more social interaction, or bucket that under Instruction 2.0 and as you say, recognize that the way we learn hasn't changed. Though new affordances (e.g. twitter) may have some impact.

Frankly, I'm happy to use any guise to try and overthrow the 'training' mentality, so I'm happy to talk Learning 2.0 and use it as a lever to get orgs to start supporting informal/social learning and getting their collaboration/innovation going.

I agree generally - 2.0 is abused everywhere - and I'm guilty of going with it rather than trying to fight it. I get asked to explain it all the time and people don't take it well when I say it's not the right question.

With college students, however, I do come across learners that are leaps and bounds ahead of their peers due to their comfort with various technologies that fall into the 2.0 (catch all) bucket. Students with an active network - via blogs, delicious, twitter, what have you - sometimes seem to be on another planet. They are not tethered to their professors. They don't tolerate lack of engagement.

I don't think their neuroscience is different. Talking to them about learning vs. talking to a typical freshmen (who still thinks of learning as a big lecture hall and "what is the bare minimum effort I can get away with") is the difference between day and night.

I agree with you, Mark. The flip use of learning bugs me a bit as well.

I think most would chalk it up to an acceptable juxtaposition of meaning that is a 'close enough' reference.

I agree that we need some new models and patterns, a refreshed perspective and focus, but I'm not sure bending (abusing) the language is the right way to do it:)

Unfortunately I don't have a good enough suggestion to fight with the influence of the current L2.0 reference.

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Quoth she/he...

  • "The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the society they live in. As a result, either the revolutionaries are put down, or some of those institutions are transmogrified, replaced, or simply destroyed. We are plainly witnessing a restructuring of the music and newspaper businesses, but their suffering isn’t unique, it’s prophetic." --Clay Shirky

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