This is the second and concluding part of the blog post titled ‘Do you see a paradigm shift in learning?’
It was the year 1987. Superpower leaders then –US president Ronald Reagan and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl took the stage with Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate as backdrop. ‘Tear down this wall’ was the dramatic line used by Reagan in his speech delivered about 100 yards from the Berlin Wall.Internet surfing data reveals that this speech, especially the powerful line, was Reagan’s most prominent call for the reunification of East and West Berlin.Considered to be a bold challenge to the then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to prove he was serious about reforming Soviet governmental policies, this speech of Reagan also signaled a hallmark moment in his presidency stint. Of course, history records show that the divide between West and East Berlin existed since 1961.
We come to the context now. Today, the advancements in technology and the transformation happening in the learning landscape have made it possible to present and access information in a way that is easy, trendy, and complete. A new dimension to learning is available replete with features such as relevance, convenience, and choice of consumption. It’s almost as if a social media learning wave is sweeping everywhere! “Through learning, we re-perceive the world and our relationship to it” – a relevant expression of the renowned American scientist and proponent of the 5th discipline concept, Peter Senge. This approach has given a ‘magnetic’ touch to learning that has been attracting a new generation of learners – young, tech-savvy, and also those who have the penchant to learn irrespective of their location and age. Interest is the main criteria.
In fact the lines from Reagan’s speech “We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace…if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate…open this gate…tear down this wall!” find a resonance when it comes to social media learning at workplace. The speech was delivered at a time when it could only be accessible globally through print, and a select few who had the technology could see a video recording. Imagine a fiery speech made in the digital age – it will be consumed across continents within minutes or seconds depending on the access and penetration of technology!
Harold Jarcherefers to the “Seeking, Sensing, Sharing” pattern in content, learning by using social technology and tools are creating a dynamic learning environment that has a pull rather than a push force at work. Don’t you “seek” out relevant content?Don’t you contrast it with your own experiences and the realities you face in your world?Don’t you make “sense” of it? Don’t you “share” that new story of how content (read learning) applies to your context with others? Seeking, Sensing, and Sharing! These indeed are the features that make social media an appropriate tool of measure for learning.
We also must recognize that learning content is moving out of the learning management system (LMS).Every organization is witnessing this accelerating gear shift. The engine of learning is getting a social media foundation or dimension that transcends boundaries across the globe. What this signifies is that the ‘diversity’ in learning can no longer be ignored – be it the diversity of thought, expression,or communication, to name some of the changing characteristics of learning.
That said, let’s be clear that integrating the social media framework into the learning architecture may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s to do with a fundamental shift in mindset apart from many things – which could include knowledge about the learners’ changing profile, their demographics, the appetite for change, their thirst for meaningful byte sized or chunked learning.It also includes the investment an organization is willing to make to allow the interactive smart flavor of social media learning in workplace. It means investment of a variety of resources even while there is need to evaluate if such a social learning framework can co-exist or be made to fit in the existing LMS.
Use cases reveal that the fuzzy layer of learning to use social media is getting uncovered at a pace that will determine if learning can be liberated. Agility, open access, user convenience and the ability to impart training and skill development in the emerging new dialect of learning (social) are what will see the success of deploying the interactive and social technology flavor to learning at workplace.
Origin Learning Solutions has built an innovative platform Konnect, which has analytics as its core. Given that learningis moving out of a formal structure or the LMS frame, Konnect is an opportunity to encourage interactive learning – one that is fun and engaging inciting participation. The monotony of learning has been broken with Konnect. It can induce learning appropriate to a learner’s profile and demographic. Reading, viewing, and monitoring of learning behavior is possible. Therefore, it would be right to say that learning by using the Konnect social platform is measurable! Konnect promotes predictive, progressive, and perceptive learning at workplace. What can Konnect do to reinforce learning is listed below:
- It tracks behavior of people
- It facilitates informal learning
- One can re-visit a topic from the posts hosted on the platform
- It may appear or feel like Facebook but the sphered way of learning makes it distinct from FB
- Connectivity to peers is easy
- Interactive learning
- Experiential learning
- Competency mapping
- Independent portal tracking (especially efficient for intranet)
- Connector to existing LMS
- Analytics for learning
- Visibility and visualization of what is learnt
- Capturing any learning experience by slicing, dicing, and parsing data relevantly