Adventures IN Building Learning Ecosystems

I left the teaching field in 2000 to become a game developer with the goal of building a game for a character I created about my dog, Murphy, who travels the world and solves mysteries.

Murphy and the Missing Panda – illustration by Flos Vingerhoets

Murphy’s adventures take place all around the world and he loves meeting new people and teaching readers about the places he is visiting. His nose always gets in the way of him solving the mystery right away because he gets easily distracted by bones and scents.

Even though Murphy lives in the animal world – he solves mysteries through finding something that is missing, that is the same way EdTech leaders need to think about finding better ways to train their employees and customers.



I truly believe this after 10 years in the EdTech industry – people will only learn if we build them personalized learning ecosystems. I have created the below diagram to showcase what assets I believe are relevant for learning ecosystems.

View PDF: Learning_Ecosystem_2018

But be warned, like Murphy, even though he is super smart this can lead him to be a bit closed minded (too much expert thinking) and only focusing on the end result and not realizing what is right in front of him.

It’s OK if you don’t have a plan in place or your plan has failed. Take a breath, reconnect with your learners and teams. Build your foundation and listen. You can only be successful for tomorrow if you listen today. What came out of many years of research and discussions with my colleagues and customers is something I would like to share with you.

1. It is important to consider the learning style of your employees
2. Develop a content strategy as well as a learning strategy to personalize the experience
3. Use Pre-and Post-skill checks (test engine) for assessment and certification
4. Develop learner feedback through the recommendation engine and data
5. Incorporate elements of gamification and social learning through community to engage and motivate the learners

My gamer career didn’t work out and my book idea never sold to a publisher. However, my 8-year old niece knows almost every word from the self-published copy of Murphy and the Missing Panda hit New York.
And I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of global teams which has taught me a lot about how to utilize today’s technology in the learning space. It changes monthly so it’s important to focus on the goal. 

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