eLearning 2.0 ruminations

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the eLearning Guild’s online seminar on eLearning 2.0. My background and experience are firmly in the ‘training tutorials’ aspect of e-learning and my knowledge and experience of 2.0, however you characterise it is limited. Some of the issues I hope will be clearer afterwards:

  • I’m a frequent user of forums on the web; but I’ve never seen an intranet forum take off, particularly in any learning context
  • 90% of my learning now is from reading blogs.  Very few people in my company blog, most who do smack of corporate feelgood messages and the few who don’t are well, well hidden. I know why, as I’m sure that if I were to blog, my manager or my manager’s manager would soon be called to account.
  • I understand and appreciate the point and usefulness of the wiki; but I’ve never persuaded a group of people to abandon multiple copied drafts attached to emails in favour of a wiki. Nor have I seen anyone else do so.
  • I’m stunned by the explosion of ‘how to’ video sites on the web. This is user-generated learning content indeed. In the corporate environment, however, the idea of allowing anyone to create even text documents and call it learning has met with sharply indrawn breath and pursed lips, followed by the Word of Power: ‘compliance’.  The threat that is raised is ‘If someone puts up something they’ve written, on the internal learning website, and it contains something that isn’t compliant with one bit of regulation or another, is the company not responsible for hosting non-compliant training for staff?’  Or words to that effect. Surely we’re not the first organisation to have faced this question? I’d like to hear how others have answered it.
  • Generally when I talk to trainers and managers around the company about this sort of stuff, I’m met with incomprehension. Email seems to be as far as they can see, web pages are part of black alchemy, and my ability to create a multiple choice question on a web page makes me advanced being from planet Z. (Good for my ego but not for innovation in the company!) The exceptions tend to be people in IT, or people who are labelled techhies anyway. Is this the same all over?  Do our American cousins take blogs, wikis and user-generated content in their stride? Or is it only the young?
  • People I talk to have heard of Facebook and MySpace – their children may use them, or Bebo. I’m hardly an advocate as I’ve never found anything remotely useful about them myself, or formed any relationship through them that didn’t exist before. This isn’t a criticism of these sites, just a statement of my lack of appreciation of them.

I’ll return to these after the seminar and report on how my opinions or feelings may have changed.

3 thoughts on “eLearning 2.0 ruminations

  1. Norman. Provocative stuff and very thought-provoking. I’ve just joined Jane Hart’s Workplace Learning 2.0 network and I reckon you should join and copy this posting into their forum. I’d like to see what others have to say in response.

  2. I completely identify with what you are saying but I am finding that slowly over time (very very slowly), attitudes are changing – you just have to keep plugging away. Having said that, I STILL cannot get people to use a wiki or google docs to work on collaborative documents – drives me nuts! 🙂

  3. Hi Norman
    I completely relate to your experience. I’ve had similar experience and faced similar problems at trying to promote learning 2.0 at my workplace. I blogged about why workplace learning is largely learning 1.0 sometime back. More recently I tried to create a small tool to check your Web 2.0 Quotient. Have got varied feedback and it is still work in progress.

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