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About The Experience Designer Network

The Experience Designer Network (EDN) is a weblog authored by Brian Alger focused on exploring learning from a wide variety of perspectives. The perspectives are categorized under general themes and each entry targets a general perspective on learning. The exploration of learning is unified through the question How do we learn the things we value most?

Brian is the author of The Experience Designer: Learning, Networks and the Cybersphere. He has designed and implemented network learning environments for: KPMG Digital Strategies Practice, UNESCO, Connected Intelligence, The Madeiran Ministry of Education (Portugal), Apple Computer, The Learning Partnership, Scotch College , Australia and The Composers In Electronic Residence.

Brian has appeared on City TV's Media Television and TV Ontario's Parent Connections, in Computing Now magazine, and has delivered presentations in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Portugal.

Brian was a public school educator for eleven years. During this time he received the Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Educator Award and produced The Virtual Community Project, described by Industry Canada as a national benchmark for the use of multimedia in education.

Brian lives in Ontario, Canada.

The Experience Designer: Learning, Networks and the Cybersphere

"Every one who has a desire to improve their own process of learning should spend some of their precious time with this book. This is simply the best book that I have read on the process of learning. The Experience Designer begins by making us conscious of our own narratives, critical thinking, and creativity, and asks us to question the assumptions we have about learning and education. We then walk through network learning environments where we use our inventiveness, cleverness and imagination to interact with a wide variety people, places and things. The design and implementation of network learning environments are a distributed responsibility serving to promote diversity in learning.

Finally, we explore the interactive process of designing hardware and software tools to support human ingenuity. His vision is unique, risky, and compelling. This is essential reading for anyone interested in taking charge of the future of learning."

Jerome Durlak, Ph.D.
Communication Arts Professor, York University and the Canadian Film Centre, Canada

"A Breath of Fresh Air: It's so nice to read a book about e-learning that focuses on learning at a much higher level than simply transferring information.

From the book: We tend to think of learning in terms of lesser aims such as knowledge, skills and attitudes... If learning is to be a 'solution' to anything, it must emanate from ideas about stability, durability and sustainability in the face of change and innovation.

This idea alone is worth giving the book a read, but the rest of it, about networks enabling learning and the future of learning in the 'cybersphere' both echoes and expands on the work of Etienne Wenger, Verna Allee and Ross Dawson, among others. Alger also explores themes like "e-Learning hasn't yet been invented... e-Learning is not the same as e-Education and e-Training" and The learner is not only a user of tools, but a designer and creator of them. What learners do with Internet tools is of far greater importance than what designers intended.

I predict that this book will become a classic.

Lisa Galarneau
Toucan House: Flexible Training Solutions, New Zealand

"With The Experience Designer the author goes beyond the conventional notion of e-learning to provide us with a comprehensive context for lifelong and personal evolution. I highly recommend this book to everyone with an interest in learning. Brian empowers us to take control of the learning process through his holistic, systematic and inventive approach. This excellent volume should be on every educator's desk!"

Robin G King
President IMAGINA Corporation; Founder - Sheridan College Digital Animation Program, Canada

"Brian Alger has raised the bar significantly. By challenging all of us as learners and designers of learning to assess our current systems for education and training, he encourages us to make fundamental changes. Thoughtfully implemented, these shifts in thinking and practice will unleash the largely untapped power of e-technologies to help design authentic, interactive learning experiences for students, teachers, trainers, trainees and learners everywhere."

Bob Williams
Education Leader; Director of Education, Canada

Overview of The Experience Designer

The Experience Designer: Learning, Networks and the Cybersphere is an invitation to the reader to engage in an innovative system of thinking that explores, invents, imagines, probes, provokes, and builds ideas about e-Learning. The thoughts in this book are a collage of critical, creative, hopeful, and skeptical probes that unique perspectives on learning.

Learning is the most critical human resource and source of stability for the unavoidably lifelong and lifewide confluence of modern life. It is obvious to say that learning occurs over the entire course of our lives. We learn whether we want to or not; it is as much about the things we remember as it is the things we forget, the things we are aware of and the things we are unaware of, the things we do and the things we do not do, the things we make and the things we destroy, and the things we consider to be good and evil. Learning is simultaneously a public concourse and a private discourse.

Networks are a very powerful force in modern life. Network phenomena have a pervasive influence on our corporations, governments, educational institutions and cultural organizations. The real source of design for network design is learning, not technology. The interactive domain leads us to consider a unified approach to learning through networks that facilitate a broad range of communication and exploration across a global repertoire of people, places and things.

The Cybersphere is a term used to capture the cross-media electronic surroundings of the Internet. The purpose of an e-Learning system is to capture, integrate and facilitate the optimum range of possibilities and opportunities for learning and networks, or network learning. In other words, any meaningful approach to the design of e-Learning systems originates in a rich and vibrant conception of network learning.

The Experience Designer: Learning, Networks and the Cybersphere
Copyright © 2002 Brian Alger
All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher.

2002 First Edition

Published by Wheatmark Inc.
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104
Tucson, Arizona 85705, U.S.A.

International Standard Book Number: 1-58736-092-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002101049

Cover design by Atilla L. Vékony

Printed in the United States of America

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