Back from DevLearn, one of the first conferences I and edCetra Training ever attended way back when. I remember being in a booth on a small exhibitor floor with maybe 15 other vendors. That conference, that first conference was my favorite until this year. This year had energy, had some interesting sessions and I had a great time meeting and hanging with some very smart people.
One of the more interesting things about this conference for me personally is I finally see more people trying to break free from the shackles of an academically oriented corporate training paradigm, to one more focused on ‘performance’. I’m seeing conversations about ‘curation’, XML, DITA and learners taking control. These are all things edCetra Training has been involved with since 2002 having pioneered a very different approach to design and development from other companies like us.
We have never bought into rapid development tools, or into the idea of combining instructional design skills with development skills. Great if you got it, but NOT what an instructional designer brings to the table in terms of value. Our company has been playing with, researching and promoting XML as a base for developing eLearning simply because it is a smarter, more efficient way to deploy content and one that is consistent with the evolution of web technology.
The one opportunity we saw with how we were developing content which we have been plugging away at, has been the notion of delivering personalized information to learners in real time, through dynamic processing of XML. I don’t know how many times I heard it at DevLearn, but the idea of delivering personalized learning experiences, is no longer secret. It is the holy grail these days, and is something that will never happen as long as people keep investing in technology and not content. In other words, if your going to invest your money, invest it in technology that facilitates the management of content separate from delivery as opposed to technology that delivers content.
Yesterday’s news by Adobe dropping its development on its mobile flash plugin has all kinds of people talking. Most of these people haven’t learned the lesson I’m trying to teach now. Ths is a quote by Upside Learning’s blog:
“Is this the beginning of a mass-migration of content, authoring environments and other tools to the HTML5 standard? Only time will tell, and we’ll be watching closely.”
Here’s the point: If your one of those that are going to migrate all your stuff over to HTML5, what are you going to do once HTML5 is replaced? When are you going to learn that HTML5 is not the technology you want to use for authoring content! It may be how you want to deliver it, but those two things aren’t necessarily attached to one another.
Its nice to see conversations about personalized learning experiences. Now all we gotta do is get people educated on how you can do that.