If someone asks me what’s the best learning management system, my initial response is – Google. Donald Clark describes the top five global brands (Google, Apple, YouTube, Wikipedia, Starbucks) from the perspective of learning, with this comment:
Could it be that powerful, everyday “e-learning” has crept up on the world, separate from all the academic and institutional noise, and in a consumerist fashion?
All of these brands enable informal learning, grassroots knowledge management or collaboration on a local or global scale.
With Google you can find most information that you need. YouTube is a quick and easy way to get “learning objects” to the world. Apple gives the essential tools for knowledge workers, and in a nice package. Wikipedia has shown that the wisdom of crowds is just as good as the wisdom of elites. Starbucks gives free-agents and road warriors a place to meet and work. These top brands provide the equivalent of the interstate highway system for the creative age.
Enabling DIY (do-it-yourself) on the Web appears to be a good business model. Even on the fringes, such as wi-fi from a café. This is the power of informal learning, if organisations decide to enable it. It has to be DIY, user-driven and uncontrolled. People will figure out what’s best for them, as they have for millennia.
If you’re in the learning business, don’t try to build another LMS or portal. Instead, figure out ways that enable DIY. Believe it or not, learners can, and will, do the rest. They already are.