Jay Cross writes: "In a knowledge era, it is irresponsible to disregard the prime means of creating, sharing, and replenishing intellectual capital. Informal learning is effective because it is personal. The individual calls the shots. The learner is responsible. It’s real. It’s self-service. It is the only thing that will work with the digital natives who are now entering the workforce. In the past, learning focused on what was in the in-dividual’s head. The individual took the test, got the degree, or earned the certificate. The new learning focuses on what it takes to do the job right. That includes the business environment, work flow, colleagues, partners, and customers."
Cross has written a manifesto of informal learning as something to formally examine in a corporation. Or rather, the corporation as a knowledge community and informal learning as personalized learning. This is the first place I've seen the term "free-range learning." I like the term--it evokes the independence we strive for in our own home with our own children and our efforts to raise "free-range kids."