Organic Software, Ecosystems and Blended Learning!

Dear Commons Community,

This morning I upgraded by Mozilla Firefox web browser.  Upon completion, I was directed to the Mozilla website to review its latest software offerings.  What caught my eye was a reference to “organic software”.  In reading the description, organic software referred to people oriented software design as sometimes seen in open software development.

About a month ago, I was asked to be on a panel at a conference on blended learning to be held in Chicago in April.  The title of the panel is:  Ecosystems and Blended Learning.  An abbreviated description of this panel follows:

“Blended learning is the artful design of a teaching and learning experience that leverages instruction, technology, administrative and support services, into a seamless experience for learner and teacher…Blended learning can result in either a disjointed sometimes  confusing learning and teaching experience or can be one of the most rewarding environments in which to teach and learn.”

The terms “organic software” and “ecosystems” reflect the fact that we are beginning to look at online technology  as a “naturally occurring” activity.  This is good and it may be that we are at a point of maturity in designing online learning environments with enough refinements that can move us beyond what are sometimes “disjointed confusing teaching and learning experiences” to “seamless” or “natural” experiences. 

In sum, I like these terms/metaphors  “organic software” and “ecosystems” as applied to online technology and we should use them more to guide our instructional designs.


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