for the past month or so, jay cross and i have been fighting our way through the flurry of web 2.0 and mash-ups and the critical acclaim for them by the pundits who are convinced the tipping point to world-wide collaboration has come to pull together a set of learning experiences designed to help more mainstream learning professionals understand these new technologies and how they might best be used in the real world.
jay landed on the idea of calling what we are working on an unworkshop. it made sense as soon as i saw it in his email. we had to break from the typical "immerse them in the razzle-dazzle of the new stuff and they shall be converted" technique that has failed so often in the past. but it's difficult. it tests ones very temper as jay and i can both relate to.
alan levine just responded to a comment by me on his blog, cogdogblog, with the following list of errors made when innovators try to cross moore's chasm to bring innovations to the early adopters in the mass of the market:
- assume the technology itself is exciting enough to bring them over the barrier
- try and persuade them with a fire hose of stuff, when a smaller concentrated dose is better (I wrote of this recently (http://cogdogblog.com/2006/02/15/narrowing-on-social-software/)
- despite the volume of information on differences between innovators and main stream technology users, we use the approaches that appeal to the innovators.
- approach the task via a workshop mentality- it ends up being a short intensive burst of learning that has little stick. We do not do as much scaffolding, follow-up, creating mentorships, etc to make it more as on going learning.
of course, now that we're less than a week from the launch of the pilot of our unworkshop, jay and i are scrambling to get everything ready. my role is to act as a coach to the participants before during and after the "instruction." while we can take some