Monday, November 30, 2015

Developing a Learning Portal--Part II--Functions of the Connecting Networks

The last post described how the Learning Portal was a gateway to one of 6 global hubs. The following diagram is an example of what a learner might see upon entering the Learning Portal. As I mentioned before, how immersive you want to make the experience is up to the organization. It is prudent to remember a couple points in this regard:
  1. Creation of effective immersive functional networks is not as difficult as it once was. We now have the necessary tools to design the immersive environment and they can be quite cost effective. The development of WebVR is just the beginning.
  2. If we have learned anything from the experience of Second Life VR  it is that learning experiences that appeal to as many of the senses as possible and are social in nature tend to result in better engagement and deeper, sustainable learning for the learners. We can not defeat the idea that Man is a social animal but we can harness its potential.
 A Modifiable Rendition of  a Learning Portal
 Naturally, the pathways could be modified to suit our interests but it does give you the concept in mind. The Learning Hub itself acts as the core of the central nervous system and could also be a stopping off point for those going and returning to the other networks.

Functions of Connecting Networks

 In looking at the functions of these connected global networks, there are two points worth repeating:

  1. Business organizations are very much like living organisms. Like living organisms, balance and symmetry in the functions of its parts is necessary in order for it to remain vibrant and healthy.
  2. In an age of information and learning, the sector of education and the sector of business have a necessary digital symbiotic relationship that under the the previous industrial economy was not there.
The Business and Innovation Council--The Path to Collaborative Open Innovation Networks
One of the confounding barriers to innovation becoming systemic within a business organization is being able to devote enough organizational resources to it so that it becomes a natural company mindset and actually develops into a core value for the organization which like other core values the organization is unwilling to compromise on. There is great inequity among business organizations due to the ability of an organization to marshal enough resources in relation to the organization's size. As a result many organizations fall into the trap of "herding" mentioned in the previous post where an organization becomes merely a purchaser of innovation but never a creator of it. This maintains the industrial economy mindset in a world where it does not fit. The question then becomes:

"Is there another potential solution that will restore some equity to organizations that are trying to re-shape their learning culture and establish innovative thinking as a core value?"

The functions of the Business and Innovation Council Network are principally :
  1. Provide a forum for businesses to encourage new and innovative ideas by employees to be brought forward where they can be discussed openly with an understanding that proprietary concerns need to be addressed.
  2. Explore and nurture the development of Collaborative Open Innovation Networks as an alternative to what is presently available.
What is a "Collaborative Open Innovation Network and what are its charactertistics"?

 Manos Giannadakis (2014) describes the characteristics of COIN's very effectively in the following Slideshare from Dec. 2014:

    Collaborative Innovation Networks from Manos Giannadakis

     Another important collaborative characteristic of this type of network is that it would be designed in such a way that it could collaborate with other councils in other global learning portals to share common problems and seek appropriate solutions that will keep innovation moving forward. It could also help coordinate business opportunities to help developing nations within a specific family of nations develop E-Learning access that is more in line with that of developing nations. The form that this could take could range from establishing appropriate infrastructure to the creation of targeted MOOCS to address educational needs specific to a particular region.

    Next---The importance of Cross-Disciplinary Research and Mentor Networks to business organizations

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