Friday, June 24, 2005

Really Using the Web for Learning

I dug up two non-education articles today, both focusing on the bigger picture of what's working on the web from a business perspective. Both have direct implications for an educational future where people have choice in how (and where, and who with) they learn.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Relinquish Control offers a snappy take on how designers (web, instructional, whatever) should be looking for opportunites to connect users to what they want, no matter where it is, and not be focusing on constraining them:
"Relinquishing control is a scary prospect because it diminishes certainty. With control comes predictable outcomes that you can bank on. But in this increasingly complex, messy, and option-filled world, we must acknowledge that our customers hold the reins. Attempts to control their experience will lead to abandonment for the less onerous alternative. What we can do is provide the best tools and content that they can fit into their lives, and their ways."
The second article (thanks, Dave) looks at the fall of Excite in the face of Google's dominance -- Lessons from Silicon Valley. I liked this quote, especially while thinking about the contrast between an industrial approach to schooling (process the greatest number of people) and the future of learner-driven, networked learning:
"The 20th Century mass production world was about dozens of markets of millions of people. The 21st Century is all about millions of markets of dozens of people."

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