I just got this email from Elliott Masie.
“What are we saying to each other?”
That was a single line, spoken by the sound engineer at the end of Close Encounters of a Third Kind, as he played chords and a friendly alien spaceship played music back.
The role was played by a young sound engineer who was spotted by Steven Spielberg and given the on-screen role to be the interface between these two worlds. That man, Phillip Dodds, was still young and inventing, as he passed this Saturday morning.
Phillip Dodds was the Chief Architect of SCORM and the force behind sharable and reusable content. He was deeply involved in the evolution of interactive multimedia and expanding the possibilities for learning via technology.
If you use a Learning Management System, author an interactive learning module or talk about the future of Web 2.0, take a moment to thank a man who you probably never met. Phillip’s work was KEY and CRITICAL to the exciting world of learning, knowledge management and collaboration that we take for granted.
Philip’s dreams were to create a global set of standards and specifications that would allow content to be searchable, reusable and expandable.
For my part, I was extremely fortunate to work with Phillip indirectly and directly over the last four years. I had many discussions and meetings with him and he was clearly the bright light that illuminated the room with wisdom and vision.
My first real project with Phillip was putting together a content package demo for Plugfest 8 that demonstrated how SCORM 2004 could work. I was in the building literally four hours when I had a meeting with him and I had no idea who he was or what his story was, but I could clearly tell by the questions he was asking that not only was he in charge, but he had an idea of how it was supposed to work. And that was a bedrock that I think many people involved with SCORM trusted.
Phillip literally and directly gave me the mission of making it easy for people to use SCORM, and I never really thought about how that forged my career until this terrible news today. Phillip and Claude Ostyn were there at the beginning of SCORM. Their collective passing this year ushers in a great deal of responsibility on those they trusted to keep improving and growing the body of work they started.
Phillip Dodds’ legacy will flourish, but the vacant chairs in the room at next week’s SCORM Technical Working Group meeting will be on all of our minds.