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This version was saved 15 years, 8 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Jay Cross
on March 17, 2007 at 9:16:19 pm


Learning is a process, not an event. A Learnscape is where that process plays out.



Learnscapes are learning ecosystems.




Informal learning is about situated action, collaboration, coaching, and reflection -- not classes. Developing a platform to support informal learning is analogous to landscaping a garden. You don't make the platform; you make what's there better.


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 of information 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.


Jay's blogs on Learnscapes. Free-range learning. Learnscaping seven-minute overview



Learnscapes are not formal or all informal; they are always a mix of both.


Discussion became quite heated when I depicted this as an audio mixer:






Major areas of any Learnscape




Learnscape Health Checklist


Conversations Relationships Individual skils & support Optimal network Learning Culture
Third places
Online discussions
Informal support of formal
Visual support
Fast: IM
Each one/teach one Foster collaboration BBS, VoIP, discussion boards Coach
Tech savvy
Mindful Web 2.0
Refined PKM
Conferences & unmeetings
Meta-Learning: reflection

Performance support
Large screen
Ease of access
Right people-ONA
Internet inside
Search: Findable: social search, tabs, federated search, tagging, cross-linking, V-search. Find people, too. Tag clouds.
Flexible< br/> Include customers & partners
Bus & bike




Characteristics of successful nodes
Transparency (findable, tagged, plugged in)
Mindful, enthused, open to opportunity
Skilled at communication and pattern recognition
System-savvy, understand navigation, visualizing connections, PKM
Communication prereqs
Read, write, speak, visual


Sound mind, well body


Friendly, outgoing, receptive


Internet Culture and the Evolution of Learning


Designing a Web-based learning ecology




Dave Gray's delightful drawing addresses common Learnscape communication issues.



teemu arina Teemu Arina's sketch puts informal learning in the center and formal learning around the periphery.




 A sample Learnscape (Unworkshop)


Nurturing connections

informal learning core


May 16th, 2006


beliefs and processes

1. learning is natural. get out of its way and let it happen.

2. learning is social. encourage conversation and networking.

3. learning is adapatation to one's ecosystems. it is a dynamic relationship.

4. learning involves skills one can improve.

5. authenticity trumps its facsimiles.

6. good learning comes from having good connections.

7. learning is spontaneous. so is rain. but you can seed a rain cloud…or learning



to others: know who, ease of access

to info: know where, perf support

pave the cow paths, bring trails

learning is a series of relationships


receiving node

nurturing relationships

listening skills, meta-learning, search, grok, frameworks, emotion, stability

sending node


audit, organization and individual

community, yeah, but…

strength of weak ties not just master and apprentice

seed groups

friendly nomenclature: helper nets

issue: mistakenly seeing only one connection. oversimplify. stereotype.

  • The rise of the individual
  • The increased capacity for connections and connectivity
  • The breaking apart of content
  • The creation of user-controlled space
  • the stocks become flows. "powerpoint = tyranny"


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