November 8, 2007

Conference Themes of Defrag Applied to Learning


Sean Ammirati does a nice job summarizing 5 themes that surfaced during the Defrag Conference held in Denver. The themes are

  1. The Attention Economy
  2. Next-Level Discovery
  3. Social Graph
  4. User Centric Identity
  5. Enterprise Customers
I've talked about attention before, but I continue to think it is an important topic for anyone working with education and training to consider. The idea of structured attention is interesting in that it refers to attention around physical things like books, music, and movies because they are popular and "easier for the computer to process".

A lot of education today is could also be thought about as structured attention, learning events like a semester long course or class, a webinar, or an online lesson. This is why the learning management systems managers courses and content and not learning. Learning, like attention, is not really something you can "manage" it is something you support, encourage, and reward.

Next-Level discovery is about filtering support (I am working on a post to address this in detail) for the "fire hose" of information that is being aimed at you through your email, aggregator, and social network. There are huge implications for learning here, probably "learner control" and "instructional design" being at the forefront.

The social graph is about the relationships that "loosely couple" the social network. Does your online social network map to your "real life" social network? Would a hierarchy within your social network improve communication? There are a lot of interesting things that will happen, particularly when relationships can be better mapped causing the trust of the connection to skyrocket. Then things will really start to get interesting.

Identity will always be a critical issue because it is really about trust. It's a no-brainer that trust supports learning.

Finally, the fifth theme, Enterprise Customers Arrive is an important theme because it is going to let a lot of you who want to implement these tools, will now have the support of management and the IT department, that will create a marketplace for new approaches and ideas. It will also allow a lot of people to overcome the idea that Facebook is for the kids. I personally don't get that attitude, but I know it is real.

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  1. Re: social graph

    You may enjoy this social graph of an actual on-line community. Notice there is more than the typical social graph... explanation in the text.

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