Heike Philp recently made this comment in response to Media & Messages:
What I am sorely missing right now are ‘learning products’. To me a product has product specifications (specs) just as much as a computer has a list of specs or software has a list of features.
The fascination of Pecha Kucha for me is, that this simple idea could be patented and that it is a ‘product’, it has specs, the specs are ‘20 slides auto advancing 20 sec’.
In the light of lots of IM software out there, a Tweet is a ‘product’ because it has 140 characters.
So, where right now in the vast ocean of fuzzy connectivism and informal learning experiences are the products?
We are always talking about tools. Is this because these seem to be “the products” out there right now?
I use my personal knowledge mastery (PKM) process for some of my own sense-making, involving several internally (sort, categorize, make explicit, retrieve) and externally (connect, exchange, contribute) focused activities:
Here’s a first look at some of the learning “products” that can be created:
Sort & Categorize: lists; taxonomies; topic maps; mind maps
Make Explicit: constrained note-taking; written observations; graphical representations; audio recordings; video recordings
Retrieve: problem-solving; pattern-sensing
Each of these can be made more explicit; such as creating specific lists for a project. The resulting products can all be aggregated as part of a personal learning environment.
Individuals can also Connect – Exchange – Contribute with others through their learning “products”. For example:
- Bookmarks (and any comments or tags) become a way of connecting to other lists & topics when they are put on the Web and made social.
- Moving from reading and viewing content to making comments is a way of exchanging information, instead of just consuming it.
- Developing new ideas and posting these on the Web as blog posts, slide shows, or recordings contributes to the ongoing conversation that may become part of a field of interest or even a discipline.
Looking at this from the perspective of a learning professional, I would suggest combining the use of tools with an understanding of the higher processes shown in the diagram above. That means that you don’t really have to decide upon particular tools and can leave that to individual preferences. For instance, if you want to use blogs for teaching, you can specify the “learning products” you are looking for, but it does not matter what blog platforms are used. I can see a large number and wide variety of learning products that can be developed around these PKM processes.