Great conversation with Hugh McLeod looking at the difference between enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and social media (SM). According to Hamish, with SM, “All interpretation of the message is done by the human receiver”, whereas “In ERP by contrast we have a whole load more stuff to do, as all interpretation is done by the software, or more accurately by rules written in software by a designer who is not in situ to intervene in any ambiguous situations. ”
Learning management systems (LMS) are the ERP’s of the education and training world. They try to take into account all of the factors necessary to control the experience, whether it be the “right” content or the most “appropriate” evaluation. Automating teaching and learning in order to be like ERP’s is the holy grail in some edtech business circles.
Learning is not a business process. Learning is the interpretation of messages by a human receiver, whether these messages be information or experiences. That means that a dumb network, like SM, with human interpreters at the ends, makes for better learning than a smart network, with its limited (by design) number of constraints.
The best LMS is the Web, because it allows any message to be received by anyone, without adding a pre-defined learning wrapper. In a world of ever expanding information and knowledge, the key to “managing” learning is helping individuals to develop their own message interpretation processes and skills.