Virtual reality has been with us for years. It is the ultimate learning simulation. My first VR experience with in the Columbia University VR lab, where I was able to put on glasses like the one in this photo and “fix” a car engine. I’ve never been as excited by any learning technology since, but it seemed to stay in that “someday it will be mainstream” zone for a long time. There are a few apps on phones that take advantage of VR technology – apps that display where subway stations are through a smartphone lens, for example. But nothing has ever come close to the experience of “fixing” that engine, though I’m sure gamers who’ve used Oculus Rift have experienced the total immersion that occurs. What does that mean for learning? Donald Clark gives us his thoughts, and they are all spot on.
“….we have an avalanche of research and evidence from flight and military sims that show how powerful simulations can be. You’d be surprised, indeed you wouldn’t step on a plane, if your pilot hadn’t gone through many hours of flight sims. The learning effect with VR promises to be even better.”
Organizations with strong informal learning capabilities (Bersin) are 300% more likely to excel at global talent development than organizations without those competencies. It’s no wonder. We learn best in context, and using ADDIE or a formal learning course usually does not embed learning in work. Having short learnings available at point of need, or as performance support, is a way of filling in the gaps of experience. This can improve not only individual performance, but team and organizational performance as well. Article by Charles Jennings.
“A common finding that has emerged from study after study over the past few years is that learning which is embedded in work seems to be more effective than learning away from work. If people learn as part of the workflow then this learning is more likely to impact performance in a positive way.”
Augmented reality has been with us for years. There have been apps, games, and university research programs but it hasn’t been a mainstream reality until recently. Anyone who tries it can understand its applications in education. Google Glass is the most immersive way to experience it right now, but it seems like we might finally be getting closer to mainstream utilization. “Every year seems to bring us new technologies that once fit more neatly into science fiction stories than reality. Augmented reality sounds pretty futuristic, but with the help of mobile technology, it’s made its way into everyday life for some of the population.” From Getting Smart.
Teach Thought shares another great list that can be adapted to K12, Higher Ed, or any kind of workplace environment where collaboration and learning happen. Here’s their list of 30 of the best apps for collaborative projects. “Project-based learning is a matter of identifying needs and opportunities (using an app like flipboard), gathering potential resources (using an app like pinterest), collecting notes and artifacts (with an app like Evernote), concept-mapping potential scale or angles for the project (using an app like simplemind), assigning roles (with an appp like Trello), scheduling deadlines (with apps like Google Calendar), and sharing it all (with apps like OneDrive or Google Drive).”
This is a graphic representation of the new Pew Report “Six Structures of Conversation Networks.” These are Twitter conversation maps, as shared by Brent Schlenker. “I’ve often wondered how much learning really occurs via twitter conversations and can the learning be measured. Twitter is fabulous for supporting your loosely joined networks. And many in the eLearning community list Twitter as one of their favorite “Learning Tools”. But can we really say its Twitter that’s truly responsible for the learning, or is it the ongoing conversations and connections to content that matter more?”
After the title of this article, this paragraph will sound like a pullquote. “A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for the distribution of a change occurring anywhere, must see to it that its members are educated to personal initiative and adaptability.” It’s not – it’s a pullquote. JOHN DEWEY (1916) Fantastic toolkit for how to roll out a mobile learning initiative.
This is the reason we need to invest more in learning as we get older. This graph shows the results of a study from NBER, An Age Distribution for Scientific Genius. It certainly makes more sense that inventors and nobel prize winners would be even older, as they gain more and more experience. The reason for the trickle after age 50 seems to be lack of relevancy, because of lack of recent education, but as we have access to more information and dynamic ways to learn, I wonder how this graph will change in the decades ahead? “So why the late 30s? The most obvious factor is education: Scientists spend ages 5 through 18 in school, and then ages 18 through 30ish getting their academic degrees. Then a few years of learning on the job, and presto! You dig up an uncertainty principle. Meanwhile, scientific breakthroughs tend to be less common in old age because we invest less in learning as we get older, and our skills gradually become less relevant.”
We are approaching the golden age of learning technology.Seriously. Think about. In the same way that film in the 1930s through the 1950s was considered the golden age of Hollywood, and the 1950s and 1960s the golden age of television, teaching and learning with technology will likely hit its stride in the next decade and a half, and almost certainly produce something stunning.
Article by Terry Heick – he’s right. It is happening now.
Self-directed learning was used to describe how adults learn for many years (it was part of Malcolm Knowles’ definition of andragogy.) With access to everything, everywhere – and people of any age being able to easily pursue interests – it is used with broader strokes. “Self-directed learning is a necessary component of education and yet there is little emphasis on this in both public and private schools. Here and there one will hear about a pilot program that addresses the power of autodidactic learning but it is infrequently assimilated as a pedagogical alternative to traditional education. Our teachers are stuck within the confines of a system that no longer serves our children.”