Monthly Archives: May 2011

The New Learning Architect Part 1

Purple Learning interviews Clive Shepherd

I’ve always enjoyed watching video interviews and I’ve had a hankering for a while to try my hand at them.

My blog has already featured a review of both the Blended Learning Cook Book and The New Learning Architect. When looking for a guinea pig as my first interviewee, I immediately thought of Clive Shepherd especially as I was interested in his inspiration behind his recent work. Clive very kindly agreed to help out.

We arranged a mutually convenient date and travelled down to Brighton to the First Light studio to record the interview. I’ll tell you more of what turned out to be an eventful trip another time but I’m sure you are all keen to hear the first instalment of a 4 part interview with Clive Shepherd. I have added all the question topics in each instalment below.

You’ll be able to view the full interview on YouTube once they’ve all appeared on my blog by the end of the week – just to keep you all in suspense. Click on the links below to view subsequent video interview clips.

Part 1:
The inspiration to write The New Learning Architect
Describing a learning architect
Explaining why order takers are like builders rather than architects
Thoughts about why there may be more builders and architects in organisations
Advice to those nervous of challenging orders

Part 2:
Thoughts on recent research into the human brain and how it’s being taken on board by L&D
More behind the 4 contexts for learning
Thoughts behind taking a top down and bottom up view on these
Hopes on how the model may be used

Part 3:
The 70/20/10 model and The New Learning Architect
Thoughts for those sceptical about the role informal learning plays in individual development
Advice to those wishing to measure informal learning activities

Part 4:
Exploring thoughts behind including the 10 profiles in the book
How these case studies might be helpful to potential learning architects
Final piece of advice

Opening up the walled garden

If you have a little over 1hour and 17 minutes to spare, here is a very interesting debate from late 2009 (but still topical nonetheless) on the whether the VLE (virtual learning environment) is dead and that the PLE (personal learning environment) is the way to go for learning.

Image for YouTube Video The VLE is Dead

Click the link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6KnJPeAWog

I’m going to sit firmly on the fence here. It might get a little uncomfortable at times and I can waver a little but for me certain things come to mind before we force a decision.  Perhaps we’ll be throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

Do we really know what our VLE can do?
Have we taken enough time to investigate the functionality?
Have we exercised enough creativity in what we could do with it and in it?
Did we forget to ‘be there’ providing that human touch or have we just left our students to their own devices with merely a map to guide them through the maze of content.
Are we going to going to remain within our secret walled garden of the VLE or could we, as Dicken and Mary did in the novel ‘The Secret Garden’, unlock the door enjoy the best of both worlds?

Remember that we can easily create doorways out into the social world and PLEs with the use of links. For instance, one activity within the VLE could be to take a conversation beyond the walled garden and out into a social network where students could share resources more easily, upload photos and videos for comment and discussion and return to the VLE to post a conclusion or analysis of their ‘field trip’. Maybe you’d create a Facebook account for the course or a Twitter account using hashtags for grouping the assignment conversations (after establishing whether your audience can access these of course), the limitations are really only your imagination.

Maybe we need to invest a little more time into these creative ideas and encourage the meeting of these worlds rather than an exclusion of one or the other. It’s not always necessary to make a decision between one or another.

Another case for blending methinks.