The NextGen Learning Platforms should facilitate – Curation, Contextualization, Collective Wisdom, Conversations and Personalization.
Ideally the platform should have these features built-in, but there are always new third-party tools coming up that perform these functions better. Hence, either the platform should have the capability to integrate new third-party tools.
Even without a learning platform that provides these features, learner can use use tools like Diigo and features like ‘hashtag’ collation and sharing to bring coherence in a learning experience. For example, I could use the StickyNote or Annotation feature of Diigo, add a hashtag to my note/annotation, and then share the Diigo link with my fellow learners.
I am not sure if Diigo StickyNotes are crawled by Google, if they are then curation for a particular course could be based simply on hashtags.
Coming back to the features of NextGen Learning Platform:
– Collate content to create new bundles. Either integrate following types of services or have similar features:
http://www.quora.com/ – where you can ask an enthusiast for help (personal curation)
http://storify.com/ – create stories using social media
http://www.curated.by – similar to Storify
– NextGen Learning Platform should have the ability to play content in native format (allow embed code for YouTube, SlideShare etc) – for instant gratification
2. Context and Collective Wisdom in the Cloud
– Content without context is meaningless
– Ability to social bookmark, annotate, highlight, add hashtags to learning modules, conversations and comments
– Like http://www.diigo.com/index
3. Conversation (including comments)
– Ability to ‘push’ content to email, twitter, facebook etc
– Let other learners ‘subscribe’ to a conversation thread or to a person – peer or facilitator
– Like http://www.amplify.com and http://www.disqus.com
4. Personalization (analytics based)
LMS or Institutional Level Personalization
– SNAPP (a software tool that allows users to visualize the network of interactions resulting from discussion forum posts and replies) – http://research.uow.edu.au/learningnetworks/seeing/snapp/index.html
– Radian6- it is a commercial software to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social media, but it could have uses in learning if a course is using lot of social media – http://www.radian6.com/
Self / Personal Control Analytics: I think Web 3.0 – Cloud-based analytics will be very useful – where the cloud compares my browsing history with other people who have similar history and makes suggestions. There is a huge privacy row on this but I think Google and others will provide enough controls to select exactly what I want the app to track and suggest. ‘People who read this also read…’ will be very useful for web-based self-directed learning.
Social Graphs + Context: I think tools will come up that allow me to map Social Graphs with Context. For example, right now I know my friends on Facebook (my social graph), but tools will come up that will help me analyze how my friends engage – e.g one friend regularly reads my book reviews, while another looks at all photos I upload. From a learning perspective, while using social media for learning, such insights can help an educator fine-tune the learning experience for each participant – once they know what each student finds more interesting.
5. Fit to Roam
The learning platform should be accessible from mobile devices.