Is the Web Really a Self-Policing Society?

Listening to @reubentozman today as he presented his thoughts about where we are heading with learning for the @ASTDLearnTech. I totally agree that LMS’ lock information away and make it difficult if not impossible to get at the historical and intrinsic knowledge in an organization.  I really think that we, as IDs need to be thinking more about embedding learning into the workflow process rather than taking people out of the workflow in order to “learn” – most of what we design and develop is totally irrelevant or forgotten by the time the “learner” goes back to the actual work. What a waste!

An intriguing premise that Reuben raised is that the web is shaping the future of learning. In my own research, I have been asking participants to respond to how they make decisions about who to follow or what content is “good”.  I think a lot about the decisions that we all make about whether the information that we read is “true” or “good” content and whether the people who are out there blogging are speaking “truth”

It seems to me that we are all dependent on helping each other to determine who or what to accept as true.  In CoP, connectivism, and network theory, the viability of a contributor or content is based on the connections to it.  But, what worries me is that, since we are depending on each other to help us make this determination, what stops a crowd for making a “bad” content possible? At DevLearn, Brian Brushwood, one of the keynote speakers, talked about how he crowd-sourced the writing of a novel and then managed to move the book into the top-rated books on Amazon.  So, the question is, if we really are self-policing on the web….how does that happen?  I’m not saying that the premise is wrong, it just worries me…

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