Over the past year, we have seen a variety of very innovative approaches in terms of mashing up different forms of media. That I think would be one of the major evolutions in 2008. By media mash-ups, I mean the combination of one form of media with another e.g. picture with voice. In media, I also include complex content types such as maybe a presentation or a video clip or even an MCQ (multiple choice question).
There is tremendous value and innovation in these mash-ups. VoiceThread for example started a conversation around pictures and documents with voice and text mashing up with those types of documents. And that is where the value is – conversations.
In a learning environment, dialogue is extremely important as it serves to engage both teacher and learner in the learning process and creates avenues for continuous improvements. The conversation, if informed by diverse sources, serves to engage further, as it starts including many other opinions than were previously allowed for in the design.
One of the notable mash-ups I have seen recently is Grockit. Grockit takes a learning content object (they have a multiple choice question “game” right now, but of course the concept is extensible to many other forms) and allows learners to answer it or discuss it using a collaborative forum. This is especially useful because it allows a certain gaming element – for example, all participants go back and forth over which option is the right one in an MCQ, and then when they decide to submit their individual answers, the system tells them who was right and why.
Grockit is an example of great innovative thinking. Why? Because they took a content type that most of us encounter every day and made it come alive using application of 2.0 web technologies, social learning networks and learning designs.
So what could be other examples of such innovation? How about adding conversation to learning objectives to enable learner participation and articulation of their learning path? How about looking at taking the next video you embed in an induction program and starting a conversation in there? The possibilities are enormous!
Do write in if you have an idea 🙂