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Saved by Jay Cross
on March 13, 2007 at 8:38:50 pm


Jay's blogs on Learnscapes. Free-range learning.

Informal learning is about situated action, collaboration, coaching, and reflection -- not classes. Developing a platform to support informal learning is analogous tol andscaping a garden. A major component of informal learning is natural learning, the notion of treating people as organisms in nature. Our role as learning professionals is to protect their environment, provide nutrients for growth, and let nature take its course.Self-service learners connect to one another, to ongoing flows ofi nformation and work, to their teams and organizations, to their customers and markets, not to mention their families and friends.



Because the design of informal learning ecosystems is analogous to landscape design, I will call the environment of informal learning a learnscape. A landscape designer’s goal is to conceptualize a harmonious, unified, pleasing garden that makes the most of the site at hand. A learnscaper strives to create a learning environment that increases the organization’s longevity and health, and the individual learner’s happiness and well-being. Gardeners don’t control plants; managers don’t control people. Gardeners and managers have influence but not absolute authority. They can’t make a plant fit into the landscape or a person fit into a team.


A learnscape is a learning ecology. It’s learning without borders.

If you are nurturing a Learnscape, it won't be all formal or all informal; it will be a mix of both. Discussion became quite heated when I depicted this with an audio mixer:

Learnscaping seven-minute overview

Internet Culture and the Evolution of Learning

Designing a Web-based learning ecology

Dave Gray's map (right) addresses common Learnscape issues.

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