The Google of Learning - Part I

Dr. Balasubramanian Krishnan
Chief Executive Officer
NuVeda

What follows is a vision and a dream of mine. I have been an unabashed admirer of Google and its efforts – not only in its technologies, but also its philosophies. I believe with some of Google’s technologies, online universities and schools can be created that are unparalleled in depth, breadth and impact.

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Articles and contributions

In a series of articles, I will outline what I wish to create in my lifetime. I admit that I tried to create this on my own and did not succeed, for a variety of reasons – for one, it is not an easy one to create. I am happy to contribute my time and energy in creating this space for people interested in this effort. I mean Google itself, if it is interested. I invite comments from one and all.

Why?

I am a firm believer in that Learning began when Nature began. Plants learn, animals learn, human beings learn. Learning continues even where electricity doesn’t. I feel that if there is a way to capture, deliver, synthesize, personalize, collaborate and innovate on all things we know about, it can be good for all of us, not only to leverage for business needs, but personal needs of humanity as a whole, and who knows – one day perhaps, more than humanity. I look at this as the ultimate innovation engine, if ever something like this should exist. It would become the ultimate open university. It would also create his-tories or her-stories – a story-telling of a kind yet untold.

How?

I’ve decided that this needs to be an open-source project – one that invites collaboration, research, experimentation and more (just like the Google of Learning itself). I am looking for volunteers to suggest, participate and develop the system. I am also looking for companies, universities and organizations to contribute to the effort with software, and more.

Definition

A system or space with the following characteristics

  • Content-rich : Leverages freely available resources, organizes and structures them continually.

 

  • Personalization: Personalized & structured according to ability, when required; allows to create learning universes, when and where desired.

 

  • Collaborative: is collaborative & facilitates contributions

 

  • Feedback: Provides continual feedback automatically; encourages feedback from others, when desired

 

  • Gaming & Experimentation: Provides a fun environment – one that encourages Gaming and experimentation

 

  • Research: Provides opportunities to research any item in the learning process always; refines research where and when appropriate

 

  • Nuggetization: Allows for collective synthesis and sharing; creates stories for re-telling

 

  • Sense-itive: Appeals to all senses – visual, auditory, touch, smell and taste; automatically reconfigures for maximum efficiency if one or many of the senses are absent.

 

  • Continuous Learning: Is always learning – therefore intrigues the learner in the process to learn more; Fault-resistant – i.e., learning continues even if mistakes are made.

 

  • Analytics: Metrics continually guide the learning process; offers techniques for correlation analysis, across objects, time, and learners

 

  • Delivery:
  1. bite-sized nuggets of learning for continual improvement
  2. Is available 24x7x365
  3. Is device & space agnostic – mobile, desktop, brick-and mortar or otherwise
  4. Leverages all available and relevant technologies – SCORM, videos, webinars, virtual classrooms and more

Base Technology

There are a variety of learning technologies – including excellent learning management systems (LMS-es) that do a portion of what I envision above. Over the course of these articles, I will start to inventory these systems for widespread application.

Google+ or Facebook can be a prime candidate for the base system of this project. One can also argue that the University or a school is one such space. If such a University exists, I would like to know about it and contribute to its growth!

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