The Learning Hypernet


Roger McNamee & Mike Maples

Mark Suster pointed me to Roger McNamee and Mike Maples new Hypernet blog. Let’s start with their definitions:

Hypernet: the physical infrastructure that results from combining the internet with cellular and wifi. At present half the nodes are computers and half are smart phones, but the balance is moving away from computers.
Hyperweb: the software and services layer that leverages the Hypernet. HTML 5 appears to be a fundamental building block of the Hyperweb.

The combination of web + cellular + wifi is fundamentally new infrastructure enabling mobile computing, new enterprise models, and new ways to learn.  Roger and Mike are interesting thinkers and successful investors.  The have 10 hypotheses for Technology Investing:

  1. “Next” Web Architecture = Hypernet + Hyperweb
  2. Enterprises Adopting Consumer Technology
  3. Index Search is Peaking
  4. Apple’s App Model Has Undermined Economics of HTML4 Web
  5. HTML5 is Game Changer for Publishers
  6. Tablets Are Hugely Disruptive
  7. First Wave of “Social Web” Is Over
  8. Smartphones in US: Apple + 7 Dwarfs
  9. Wireless Infrastructure Is a Competitive Threat to US
  10. Integration of TV & Internet Could Be Disruptive
At least half of these are highly relevant to US education:
#1: NextGen leanring ecosystems will be Hypernet + Hyperweb.  Next Gen platforms are beginning to enable customized anywhere anytime learning across multiple devices.  (You can find the 10 elements of learning platform ecosystems here)
#2: Districts are adopting consumer tech and allowing students to bring their own technology to school (see 6 reasons why EdLeaders should allow BYOD)
#5. HTML5 is a big deal for content developers.  On one hand, the combination of Common Core and HTML5 requires that learning content developers redevelop their entire product library.  On the other hand, it will have the potential to work (and be adopted) almost anywhere.
# 6. tablets are disruptive.  Tabs will be the primary access tool for most kids in a couple years.  They will replace backpacks full of books.  With BYOD, we will rapidly shift from 3:1 to 1:3 (3 kids per computer, to 3 screens per kid).  Students will do some learning on a phone, some on a tab, and some on a big screen–some at school, some at home, and some on the bus!
#7. The first wave of social web is over.  As Michael Staton said on Mashable, With a user base approaching five million students and teachers, Edmodo has won the race in America’s K-12 education system. The big question is now that the company has secured participants, what will it do to change the game?”  Social functionality is a new given for learning platforms, it’s now a question of what you do with it.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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