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This is a series of posts sketching in, and envisioning,  a portion of what we know is either happening now,  could happen in the not too distant future, (NTDF), or should happen but isn’t likely to anytime soon given the current models in place. Sometimes what’s needed is that new model that comes somewhat out of the blue, or is just a very significant twist on what  came before…to make the old model obsolete.

The PSA 7 core elements could be envisioned around a wheel, with spokes to the center…which has an empty hole in the center that enables it to spin and perform it’s function. Which is what one of the “parables” in the Tao of LaoTse Tung presents.

If you will, in that model, the hole is the “Platform”.  The functionality is created by some form of connection at the heart of the wheel, which appears inexplicable and “invisible”. Which isn’t all that far from what happens when we try to explicate the complexities of functions in full connection in the cloud.

We might use a spoked wheel with a “black hole” at the center, because we struggle to envision the complexity of connections that are necessary to enable cloud learning and cloud healthcare. If we try to go with some non metaphysical model, we have instead a series of more or less random lines connecting various components…much like neurons in the brain…going every which way. Is there an explicable structure, or is it just more connections all the way down? Or up? Or really… all around? 

Each individual neuron can form thousands of links with other neurons in this way, giving a typical brain well over 100 trillion synapses (up to 1,000 trillion, by some estimates). Functionally related neurons connect to each other to form neural networks (also known as neural nets or assemblies).


Be that as it may, we can still examine the 7 core elements and see what’s up with each and how far there is to go, before we can composit and curate all the elements into a comprhehnseve functionality: IE Platform.

#1 Understanding Media in the Mobile Age


1. There’s an increasingly enormous amount of video learning material being created. But most of it falls far short of the capability of the medium. Shovelware of classroom based courses, and even Kaltura’s Course Capture, is like the early days of film, when stage plays were  filmed from in front by a static camera, with no changes in the stage play to account for the new medium’s possibilities.

This is a problem, but using film as an example, it wasn’t all that long  before people started experimenting with the various things that were possible with film. Some of the earlier practitioner’s of silent film such as Georges Méliès  DW Griffith, and Abel Gance and many many others developed film conventions for montage and misc en scene, film vocabulary, narrative intercutting of parallel story lines, and of course, many many other elements that make up the state of the art today.


2. Webinars are one form of presentation, that attempts to include teacher instruction / curation, ongoing chat tools, website presentation, links, comments and sometimes sharing of the mic…..  This is a format that has been supported by various hardware and software platforms over the last 5-10 years with companies such as Cisco offering their all in one solution “WebEx”… But to give us a report card on the state of progress there, it’s still very cumbersome to figure out a way to share live audio…share the mic…share video…and truly have a fully operational Social Learning Construct.

Rather than the model we need, the webinar model is more an example of how far we still have to go to have a learning platform that does all we want it to do. And while it can “record” a presentation/ interactive session, there’s a lot of non universal components when we try to “play it  back” on  various devices and OS.


3. We can look to YouTube for a lot of creative video ideas, and as a model for real time learn as you go, it’s at least partially functional. We can learn how to get the garbage disposal working again by watching a video…and many many other tasks…we otherwise would have needed a trip to the library in days of yore. Remember those? And the reference librarian might know or help us find a how to book on the topic we needed information on…but then again, would the library have that sort of book…say on how to throw a birthday party for a 4 year old without burning the house or appt down? 


4. However, access to video clips on “how to” may be very valuable, but what if the video is only half correct, or is missing one crucial detail? And what if we watch it, but need to understand certain terminology first, to know what is being said, or done? And what if we need to retain certain key pieces of information from watching the clip we just watched…did we retain it, or did we remember it correctly, or did we get something confused?

Quality matters Rubrics are likely not applied to many “how to” YouTubes, and we don’t know until we try something, if it fact is safe or the “best way” to do something. So we need perhaps a curation guide, and perhaps a social learning construct to supply us with needed context…and we need that in a way that we’re actually going to use it in the heat of the “how to” project’s moment.


5. To sum up this partial take on where we are at with using and understanding media in the mobile age, we aren’t there yet. As with the  first uses of film, we are mixing what we know from a previous media, with what we’d like to do with the present media…and getting lost in the process. As often is the case, doing it over from scratch is left up to  the fringe artists, or some oligarch with tons of capital such as Elon Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg etc.

Or sometimes the kids, as with YouTube, get their hands on new tools and do all sorts of new things with it. Often the huge institutions where the most change is needed, such as bureaucratic eduction and gigantic enterprises,  are the last to wake up and smell the need to change. And sometimes they never do, and the new model just makes the old model obsolete.