Growing, changing, learning, creating

The conversation around informal learning has been heating up a bit lately, with Stephen Downes’ critique of Jay Cross’ mixer analogy, as well as Bill Brantley’s attack on the entire book.

Personally, I’ve really appreciated the insight that Tom Haskins has brought to the conversation. Tom picked up on my connecting informal learning with critical theory and then proceeded to develop the free range chicken metaphor. Tom followed this post with an examination of how informal learning on the Web eliminates the middle man, and therefore puts a lot of jobs in jeopardy (my last post is an example of how difficult it can be to continue the course-based e-learning business model).

Learning from learners and learning without content delivery – offers “no further income” for centralized production enterprises. It’s a similar problem that file sharing gives CD manufacturers, blogging gives print journalism and digital video gives movie houses. Perhaps a better term than early adopters would be ‘early defectors” or free agents, cultural creatives, long-tailers or Web 2.0 entrepreneurs.

Perhaps this is why the conversation is heating up. It’s dangerous to question other people’s modus vivendi.

Tom Haskins is a relatively new voice in the cross-connected blogs that I have consistently followed over several years, but he has been thought-provoking and respectful at the same time. Definitely worth a read at Growing, changing, learning, creating, if you haven’t been there yet.

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