Sunday, September 23, 2007

Architecture tweets? ArchMoodle?

Gardner Campbell provides an intriguing vision for digital education in The Future of Online Education. It is nicely summarized in the following quote.

"... learners will arrange their own “cognitive apprenticeships” by means of RSS feeds of content generated by a personal suite of trusted and inspiring experts, and they will build their reputations through certifications, testimonials, and a body of their own online work that generates persistent, sophisticated commentary."
If this is indeed a picture of the future, it seems Architects have a golden opportunity ahead - an opportunity both in the positive sense of the word and in the euphemistic MBA sense of the word.

In the positive sense, we have the opportunity to directly participate in the education and training stream, articulating our models and strategies as educational material. We can capitalize on the viral properties of networks to spread key concepts, allowing us to focus on delivery to key influencers. We can clarify misunderstandings by directly participating in the conversations spawned when clarifications are needed.

In the euphemistic sense, we have an opportunity to improve our ability to connect directly to problems and conversation streams. Architects are prone to the ivory tower syndrome. We get embroiled in frameworks and strategies, often lagging in our ability to connect theories to practices. We must continually check ourselves to avoid the darker tendencies of the job.

James Governor recently posted Some Enterprisey Use Cases for Twitter. He references a blog posting that enumerates uses from the Marketing community. He then goes on to describe how he uses it as a research tool with a direct connection to practitioners. James McGovern chimes in from a slightly different angle with Enterprise Architecture: When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation?, in which he comments on the value of direct conversations.

How many Architects use twitter to tap into their network? How many use as a way to pass along interesting web sites to their constituents? Are we using these tools to their full potential, or is this the PC to our Mainframe?

Do we find ourselves using 'skip-level' influence to overcome obstacles to adoption? If so, are there communication mediums we could be using to reach deeper into organizations, touching a wider range of alpha geeks/influencers? Would our effectiveness as leaders improve if we were capitalizing on those mediums?

Should we be articulating some of our ideas in a SCORM-compatible format and distributing them as enclosure links via RSS pipes?

Does anyone else see the huge potential for Architects to participate in "personal suites of trusted and inspiring experts"?

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