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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Designing for learning Web2.0 technologies and tools

At the KM4Dev workshop in Brighton I did a breakout session with Nancy about my reflections/feedback on the workshop about Communities of Practice and Web2.0 technologies that I presented earlier this year. I am currently in the process of writing a report about the workshop, so the idea of this session was that it might help me reflect and articulate some ideas.

To my suprise I discovered that how few people involved in learning and knowledge management are familiar with social software and Web2.0 stuff. That was an important insight for me because I tend to overestimate how much sense these tools and technologies make to other people.

Some of the questions that arose for me after the session and individual conversations (especially with Nancy White) in designing a workshop for learning new (Web2.0) technologies were:

* Imagination: how do you trigger the imagination needed to make the tools meangful? Using them requires a leap of imagination and a transformation in thinking, it's not just a technical competence. How do you design for triggering imagination?

* Making it meaningful: What are the other triggers for making the technology meaningful for each person? It is not just perceived need. What's more, the need or the gap can’t be seen beforehand (i.e. there is no point is asking people: what is it that you need?)

* Risk-taking: you need to be able to take risks and to get it wrong. You need to be able to talk about not knowing. How do you help people get over a lifetime of being taught to do the right thing and being taught to show what you know rather than what you don't know?

* Different entry points: there is no one way of getting into Web2.0 tools, it depends on an individual's needs, objectives, skills, imagination etc. How do you design for different entry points for different people?

* Minimum elegant structure: What is the minimum elegant structure in order to create a space where participants can create their identity and environment?

* Recipes v. complexity: How do you find the balance between people's need for recipes and formulas for "how to do it" with the complexities, overlaps and contingencies of new technologies?

* Web2.0 Gestalt: understanding Web2.0 is more than the sum of knowing how to use individual tools. How can you zoom in and out of individual tools and the bigger picture without making it feel overwhelming?

* Accounting for time: you need uninterrupted time to be able to use the technologies and then you need ongoing maintenance. But people's busy lives don't allow for that. How do you account for time?

* Solitary v. joint enterprise: The act of sitting at the computer is a solitary one. How do you transform that act into a social one where you feel part of a shared enterprise of doing, getting it wrong, talking and learning?

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Blogger Eduardo Gaspar said...

I've seen in the Portuguese Executive Digest (July 2006) an big article about Web 2.0 . Is on page 38 to 42 :o)

7/24/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger bev trayner said...

Thanks Eduardo!

7/26/2006 12:41:00 AM  

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