Greg Ritter is blogging again! I used to follow his previous blog…but he “dropped out” one day with a cryptic message along the lines of: “I’m done blogging, might be back”…so it’s good to see him back!
Second: Greg takes issue with my post on bloggerizing (butchering the English language) elearning. He makes some great points:
“One purpose of software is to abstract interactions so end users don’t have to understand protocols and standards.”
“Dumbing down the standard won’t make a difference, except to potentially rob the teaching and learning community of potential functionality. It’s not the standards that need to be “bloggerized.” Blogger is a tool that makes use of common web publishing standards (HTTP, HTML, FTP, etc.). It’s powerful becuase it greatly abstracts those standards (and the processes of using them) to “push-button” simplicity. That level of simplicity is important in the tools that make use of the standards, but it’s not necessarily required in the standards themselves.”
In some ways, he sums up what I was trying to say (i.e. make it easy for the end user)…but he draws an important distinction: standards development and use are two different things. Simplicity is primarily important at the user level. In this area, I completely agree.
The second aspect of my argument still stands: the standards are being built ahead of use….”we build it…you move in”.
Standards should be created to allow for the injection of experience. The open source community has something to offer in this area: build functionality and features as users define them to be important…release early, release often – let the users needs speak to the standards development. It doesn’t matter how simple you make the end user process…if the standards haven’t reflected their wants and needs – you may have a simple process…but one that’s not useful.