I've been following all of the discussions about the next wave of informal learning and it all rang a bell, but I could not place my finger on why. Then it struck me today in talking to a subject matter expert who was dismayed at the limitations we faced in developing elearning content. He stated that his subject is best learned by having the learner working with an accomplished individual.
That's when it hit me. The approach espoused by the informal learning proponents is a return to the old master/apprentice relationship and the trade guilds. The guild halls especially were places where tradesmen of all skill levels congregated and exchanged knowledge and skills. The question is, can electronic components recreate the give-and-take represented in both the master/apprentice and trade guild face-to-face experience?