Over the weekend I heard an interesting story on NPR about the future of the book industry called Book It. Host Brooke Gladstone spoke with various guests about the changes occurring in the book industry including the growth of self-publishing and e-books. One section of the interview was with Bob Stein of The Institute for the Future of the Book who spoke about "books 2.0" and how the future of books will be a collaborative process between authors and readers. It sounded far-fetched at first, but as he described the process, I was intrigued.
The discussion about books 2.0 had me thinking about the learning industry and how technology has changed and will continue to change the industry. Many of the ideas that Bob Stein discussed can be applied to the learning industry, for example, readers influencing books by collaborating with authors as they write books. This sounds like learners contributing to learning programs by participating in interactive learning experiences such as wikis and web conferences. "Learning 2.0" has come about as a result of technology that allows for more interactive and collaborative learning experiences and it's good news for adult learners. Adults learn best when they are engaged and contributing to the learning experience. The pace of change in the learning industry has definitely picked up and I predict that adult learners will continue to benefit from new learning tools and techniques that focus on collaborative learning.