The other day I wrote a post on the cultural language differences I observed during our recent Comment Challenge. It was actually part of a large issue I've been thinking about in terms of the "edu-blogosphere" and what that really means. Who's included in that realm? Is it just "academics" or does it also include people who do corporate training?
Now I see that Tom Werner has written an excellent post suggesting that corporate trainers and higher ed folks shouldn't be lumped together, as their technology and learning issues are very different. He has a 10 item list that shows exactly how they differ. (BTW--I'd include the K-12 system in with the higher ed group in looking at this list).
Tom's final paragraph sums up what I think has been going on:
I think some learning-technology discussions get bogged down because Person A is thinking about an online college philosophy course on Blackboard, while Person B is thinking about a corporate sales training course on SumTotal.
These are really different things.
Yes, they are--and I think that's one of our problems in this sphere. We don't always recognize where the other person is coming from when they make their arguments. I'm not sure what the answer is--I wouldn't want to see the two groups go entirely separate ways, as I think we can learn much from each other. But to do so, we also have to recognize where we're working in very different environments with different kinds of constraints.
What do you think? Do corporate trainers and teachers have more in common or are they really only tangentially related to one another? Are there things we could learn from each other that would benefit our practices in both realms? How do we capitalize on our differences?