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Simulations, Microcosms, Apprenticeships, and Skunk Works

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Tue May 24 2005

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I wrote a book called Learning By Doing, all about the use of computer simulations in formal learning programs. But in many ways, it should have been called "Learning By Doing Part I."

Other, critical "learning by doing" techniques includes Microcosms, Apprenticeships, and Skunk Works.

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Microcosms are small, controlled, comparable, but "real" worlds or projects, such as growing a garden, planning a party, running a meeting, baking a cake.

Apprenticeships are learning from someone with more experience, often in exchange for performing some menial task.

Skunk Works are teams that are trying something that has never been done before, with the goal of getting real feedback from the marketplace or enterprise.

The role of technology in all of these can be transformational, suggesting projects or"matching people up" at the beginning, giving real-time workflow centric advice during, and then tracking results afterwards.

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