From DSC:
Several items have recently been written concerning learning ecosystems, prompted in large part by the
Ecosystem 2014 Conference.




Ecosystem 2014 – General Impressions — from by Wendy Wickham


Because a Learning Ecosystem is an evolving thing. Like a forest or any other organic system.
This is NOT a “build once, maintain for eternity” thing.


The Ever-Changing Ecosystem — from by Wendy Wickham


Brian Chapman led an introductory talk with his views on Learning Ecosystems and what they are.

What Brian hinted at, yet what jumped out at me when he showed Xerox’s Learning Ecosystem example, was that the Learning Ecosystem can (and should) encompass ALL of the tools of the workplace where people collaborate, find information, communicate.

This assumption that trainers need a “special” environment is where folks are going wrong.
This is why I have been hearing so much noise about LMSs and Talent Management Systems being “the ecosystem.’  No no no no no….

They are a part.  And a small part.


On Ecosystems and Learning Strategy — from by Catherine Lombardozzi


The eLearning Guild is hosting an important series of conversations this week at Ecosystem 2014. Learning solutions have been expanding way beyond traditional L&D outputs for years now, and learning professionals are working to figure out the best ways to strategize more robust recommendations that include performance support, informal learning, social learning, experiential learning, developmental programs and more. These strategies present a variety of challenges in terms of design, curation, and technology, and many of us are working on how to best bring everything together in support of performance and capability development.

Learning Ecosystem Defined
I appreciate that several of the speakers seem to converge on a definition of a learning ecosystem (or performance ecosystem) as a combination of people, content, process, and technology to enable learning.  I also agree that a metaphor that suggests life and growth is important – we “grow” an ecosystem (more organic), we don’t “build” it (suggests something more technical).


#LSCon day 1, Leapfrogging serious lean agile innovation performance ecosystems for 90% — from by Kasper Spiro


This year there is a second conference next to Learning solutions: Ecosystems 2014. It is more on a strategic level. You have to have a special upgrade in order to attend the sessions, build the guild was kind enough to allow me to party crash a session. The session I attended was about ecosystems and  was presented by Lance Dublin. For him the term ecosystem was also new, so he took us on a journey to discover it with him. I got from it that an ecosystem is a living and ever changing thing that enables and facilitates learning. It should contain four elements: Process, people, Technology and content. So it is not an architecture (that is part of the ecosystem) but the whole thing. The reason we have to thing about this is the increasing speed of things, our old ways (LMS learning with courses) do not work anymore. We need something that delivers Performance at the speed of need. He gave s an impressive list of opportunities/changes, developments that should be part of an ecosystem: Mobile, Moocs, Cloud, social learning, serious games, Big data, personalization and much more. He also defined the goal of an ecosystem: Performance.


My recap of day 2 at #LSCon Big data, tools and the learning eco system — from by Kasper Spiro 


Learning performance analysis. Aligning the eco system with the business.

They had a lot more on the ecosystem, but I will keep that for later.  I will end this session description with: You have to cultivate dynamic learners that can learn at the speed of change. Love that.




Additional thoughts from DSC:
When I was looking to create some graphics for this Learning Ecosystems blog, I was searching for a graphic that attempted to illustrate interconnecting nodes.  In my interpretation of a learning ecosystem, such nodes could be people, experiences, content, tools, processes, and other items that help us to learn and grow. I wanted the graphic to speak to something that was living…ever changing.  So I used this:




But here’s another example of a potential graphic that I just ran across and modified a bit (per an item from Gerd Leonhard):