hold your horses, tom

17 12 2006

my newest blog buddy has been tom haskins.  we met via a dialogue regarding november’s the big question on learning circuits blog.   since then we’ve been commenting back and forth on each other’s blogs and had a bit of backchannel conversation as well by email.  a prime example of the network effect impacting learning.  i find tom’s ideas to be intelligent, stimulating and challenging.  i love that!

his posts in response to lcb’s december big question(s) are no exception.  in two posts, version 3 in 2007 and challenges posed by my forecast he predicts that web 3.0 will emerge in 2007 and the next logical step from what we call web 2.0.  briefly, he sees a vision of content being learner/user centric in not only it’s focus but also in its creation and aggregation.  this will be accomplished in an environment free of the confines of software, websites, hardware, and mobile boundaries.

(before i get into the substance, let me be one of the first to say, that we will not be able to refer to this vision as web 3.0.  as tom predicts, the web, software, hardware, and mobile devices will be blurred together to the point that me might not even view it as the web anymore.  i’m not sure what to call it, but web 3.0 doesn’t work.)

while i pretty much agree with tom’s vision of the future, i do have reservations about the timing.  with the ieee 802.11n standard for wireless broadband not expected to be finalized until 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2007, it is unlikely that the vendors of the mobile devices will be able to gain much traction before the end of the year.  add to this that someone, instructional designers or others, will have to step up and create the paradigms and best practices that will inform the next revolution in learning and we’ll more likely see beta testing and leading edge adoption of tom’s vision nearer to the end of 2008 at best.   i also believe that microsoft vista will have a great impact on "what we end up doing" versus "what we could be doing" in the near future.

finally, while tom raises some very soul searching questions that every learning professional would benefit by answering for themselves, there are other factors which impact the type of change that tom is suggesting.   ulises mejias speaks of his in his short but stimulating article "a nomad’s guide to learning and social software" which appeared on the knowledge tree in 2005.  he says:

these complex tensions include, among other things, issues of access and knowledge diffusion: what factors determine who has access to the technology, and what mechanisms are in place to facilitate or obstruct the diffusion of knowledge from technologized to non-technologized realms of social life.

these non-learning factors will have a major impact on the advancement and adoption of the next paradigm in learning.  as has been the case with web 2.0, learning professionals will not only have to learn and prepare to help learners succeed with the new paradigm. but at the same time we will need to be the cheerleaders and champions of the new approach to our companies, institutions, and the public in general.

surely the beginning efforts of tom’s web 3.0 will appear before this time next year, but it will be a while before we reach the tipping point for these changes. 

so once again, tom.  we agree in the end, but disagree on some of the details.  but isn’t that what this is all about?

Blogged with Flock



5 responses

18 12 2006
Tom Haskins

Thanks for the kudos and the refinements to my forecast. I agree with every way you suggest to “hold my horses”. When I was formulating my forecast, the big question I had in mind was “what changes are forthcoming?”, rather than “when will they appear?” As you said, the changes in mobile computing, new software, etc will come late in 2007 at the earliest. In the week since I wrote the forecast, I’ve become more aware of the magnitude of debugging and software (AI, SaaS, etc) development work to move from 2.0 to 3.0 — that will take more than a year also. My most recent exploration of the obstacles to adoption of Web 2.0 tools in eLearning also changes the pace of my forecast to a much slower roll out.

I agree that Web 3.0 is an inadequate label for how ubiquitous and unobtrusive the access will become. We currently associate the web with logging in, moving around within its confines and using tools to interface with it. We need a new word to encompass the freedom on the horizon. Our culture of journalists and bloggers has no problem inventing new words as the occasion arises. Our big challenge in eLearning will be the psychological hurdles I portrayed, not the pace of the change or the technological innovations required.

19 12 2006
Jim Belshaw

Dave, I just wanted to wish you and yours a happy Christmas and a great new year. I know that this has been a difficult year, I had problems too,but I really believe that 2007 will be better. I look forward to our continuing dialogue.

20 12 2006
dave lee

jim: thank you and the same to you and yours. i’m sorry you’ve had such a rough year too. but as i said in my reflection post, and you’ve also reflected, monetary and material things may have been on the downturn, but it seems we were both fortunate enough to find the lessons to be learned from our experiences. i’m thankful to have met you this year and look forward to collaborating with you in the new year. happy holidays! – dave

20 12 2006
dave lee

those psychological issues you raise, in my mind, will be crucial to whether or not the vision you portrayed will happen sooner or later. you and i can see how compelling the future is, but unless we succeed in passing along the vision and produce results that are compelling, the transition will take much longer than we anticipate.

but we can worry about that after the first of the year. for now, i hope you and those you hold dear have a save and happy holidays.


21 12 2006
Tom Haskins

You’re so right dave. We may even collaborate next year on bringing that vision into results that sell themselves. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well.

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