In 1992, while watching his children play with LEGO building blocks as he mulled over learning strategies, futurist and e-learning expert Wayne Hodgins thought, “I can use that idea!” As Hodgins studied his children’s work with the LEGO bricks, he noticed that individual bricks or blocks could be used to construct an object, then be disassembled and reused to build something entirely different (Hodgins, 2002; Northrup, 2007). For instance, the standard shape and size of blue LEGO bricks allow them to be used with wheels to build a vehicle, then disassembled and combined with interchangeable red and yellow bricks to build a castle. Hodgins reasoned that perhaps small digital learning units could be developed and fit together in much the same way. Why not develop chunks of learning that can be reused in combination with other chunks of learning in a different context and for a different purpose? The concept of the learning object was born.
Wayne Hodgins is now retired and “Wandering, wondering and pondering the world, one nautical mile at a time.” He can be kept up with through his website at: http://waynehodgins.typepad.com/