Learning in the Microcosmos

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Martin Lindner's presentation on standards for microcontent-based working & learning in new digital media environments

Martin Lindner's presentation on standards for microcontent-based working & learning in new digital media environments

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  • 1. Learning in the Microcosmos Martin Lindner Research Studios Austria Studio Microlearning & Microinformation Environments Innsbruck/Salzburg www.microlearning.org Standards for Microcontent-based Working & Learning in New Digital Media Environments Stuttgart, Open Forum, September 5, 2008
  • 2. “ There is a world of difference between the modern home environment of integrated electric information and the classroom.” (In 2008, the gap is bigger than ever.) Marshall McLuhan (1967):
  • 3. “ e-Learning is dead!”
  • 4. “ Did you hear? e-Learning is Dead. That's right... dead. Shot down in the prime of its life. Six feet under. Kaput.“ Jay Cross (2003)
  • 5. Jay Cross had coined the term „e-learning“ in 1998, fascinated by the possible impact of the Internet on human-centered learning. He got frustrated when the term was misused in the following years, When it became just a new buzzword label for „Computer-based Online Training“ & the transfer of courses & classrooms into virtual „Learning Management Systems“.
  • 6. „ The Ideal Classroom“ (presented as such in the Web)…
  • 7. … the matching ‚Ideal Office‘ …
  • 8. … and a model for „eLearning 1.0“ US Airforce
  • 9.  
  • 10. Adapted from Edward Tufte‘s famous graphic about MS Powerpoint Macro-organizational Learning
  • 11. Emergence: The connected lives of ants, brains, cities, and software
  • 12. „ Google Learning“
  • 13. ?
  • 14. New Learner
  • 15. OPENNESS OPEN SPACE Micro-Information Workers: Point of Presence, Continuous Partial & Peripheral Attention (After getting connected, mainstream workplaces do not feel that much different from this geek cockpit.)
  • 16. E-Learning 2.0: Early vision of a „Personal Learning Environment (PLE)“ Scott Wilson (UK), 2005
  • 17. Jay Cross now prefers to speak of „Informal Learning“. (But the concept has close connections to Stephen Downes‘ „e-Learning 2.0“-meme.) 2007
  • 18. In Web-driven digital media environments, people are in fact already practicing (informal) microlearning. Willingly or not. How can we design for this situation?
  • 19. A Global Digital Climate Change
  • 20. David Weinberger, 2002 Small Pieces Loosely Joined “ [The Web is ] a collection of ideas, none longer than can fit on a single screen. … small nuggets pointing to more small nuggets.”
  • 21. “ We've discovered in the last few years that navigating the web in meme-sized chunks is the natural idiom of the Internet …“ Anil Dash, 2002 Introducing the Microcontent Client
  • 22. “ Microcontent is information published in short form, with its length dictated by the constraint of a single main topic and by the physical and technical limitations of the software and devices that we use to view digital content today. “ Anil Dash, 2002 Introducing the Microcontent Client
  • 23. This causes new dynamics within the „Semiosphere“ „ Semiosphere“: a term coined by Jurij M. Lotman, referring to „Biosphere“.
  • 24. Circulation of microinformation is heating up.
  • 25. This will fundamentally affect our future lives! (This is somehow more than just a metaphoric illustration – since the 1980s, Al Gore has actually been both a prophet of Global Warming and an evangelist of the Internet .)
  • 26. Glaciers are melting.
  • 27. Glaciers are melting.
  • 28. Deserts are growing.
  • 29. Deserts are growing.
  • 30. Creatures are driven from their habitat.
  • 31. MICROSOFT OFFICE FILES & DOCUMENTS FIXED-LINE TELEPHONY DESKTOP APPLICATIONS Microsoft Office
  • 32. MICROCONTENT discovered in 2001 GOOGLE & THE WEB SHREDDERING MACROCONTENT WLAN, LAPTOPS & MOBILE DEVICES. MOBILE PHONES. SHORT CALLS EXPLOSION OF THE E-MAIL INBOX MS Office devastated
  • 33. MICROCONTENT discovered in 2001 The Microcontent Office
  • 34. A System of Microcontent Circulation drops trickles & flow pools clouds
  • 35. “ Media is no longer something we do, but something we become part of.” (It is not tools anymore …)
  • 36. People working and living with digital micromedia are swimming, rather than navigating, in a sea of microcontent and streams of microtasks. This also changes the way Information Workers learn.
  • 37. Microcontent. The stuff the Web is made of.
  • 38. “ We've discovered in the last few years that navigating the web in meme-sized chunks is the natural idiom of the Internet.“ Anil Dash, 2002 Introducing the Microcontent Client
  • 39. … memes : self-replicating units of cultural information
  • 40. Microcontent is a virus
  • 41. self-contained the smallest units of meaning and attention that can stand for itself elementary individually addressable to be easily re-used and re-mixed appropriate media format appropriately formatted to work as building block in different cultural patterns and individual mindsets Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Human processed information
  • 42. self-contained the smallest units of meaning and attention that can stand for itself elementary individually addressable to be easily re-used and re-mixed appropriate media format appropriately formatted to work as building block in different cultural patterns and individual mindsets Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Human processed information appropriate media format appropriately formatted to work as building block in different cultural patterns and individual mindsets STANDARD
  • 43. self-contained [some relation to object-oriented programming] elementary individually addressable to be easily re-used and re-mixed appropriate data format appropriately formatted for integration in different applications and services Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Computer processed information
  • 44. self-contained [some relation to object-oriented programming] elementary individually addressable to be easily re-used and re-mixed appropriate data format Dash‘s microcontent definition (paraphrase): Computer processed information appropriate data format appropriately formatted for integration in different applications and services STANDARD
  • 45. The evolution of microcontent is a complex feedback phenomenon – it can not be reduced neither to software nor to humans (Microcontent is about circulation, not just transmission. Standards have to be built for enabling feedback and emergence.)
  • 46. The Micro-Web is about emergent patterns of user-generated and user-enriched content
  • 47. appropriate media format for human attention appropriately formatted to work as building block in different cultural patterns and individual mindsets appropriate data format for computers appropriately formatted for integration in different applications and services Emergent standards: microformats, RSS/Atom, tagging APIs… Emergent standards: blog posts, microblogging templates, delicious items …
  • 48. But for now e-Learning primarily is formatted neither for humans nor for the Web, but for macro-organizations & -institutions. appropriate format for organizations Formatted to stabilize macro -organizational frameworks: - macro-organizational training (formal, top-down) - macro-organizational calculation of costs - macro-organizational management control
  • 49. If we want to design standards for “Next-Generation eLearning”, we have to understand & bear in mind the nature of microcontent-based information work.
  • 50. In micromedia environments, knowledge takes on the form of clouds. (Microcontent being something like small drops of vapor.) “ Personal Info Cloud ” Thomas Van der Wal, 2005 www.vanderwal.net
  • 51. „… all kinds of information chunks in our digital life take on the form of digital lifestreams … … leaving behind a stream-shaped cyberbody, like an aircraft's contrail , as we go” David Gelernter, The Second Coming – A Manifesto (2000)
  • 52. Learning in microcontent-based environments should feel like this drops flow pools clouds
  • 53.  
  • 54. OPENNESS [email_address] Thank You