“People want to go online and check out their friends, so why not build a website that offers that? Friends, pictures, profiles, whatever you can visit, browse around, maybe it’s someone you just met at a party. Eduardo, I’m not talking about a dating site, I’m talking about taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online.” – Mark Zuckerberg in ‘The Social Network’
We have cited this for a reason. There often exists a demand within consumers that they are not even aware of. Think of 10-15 years back, the time before social media existed. Could we have ever imagined that social networking would become a need that needs urgent fulfilment every day? A need that would drive a whole new market of smart devices that fulfill it? Well, most of us didn’t.
Social learning is a concept analogous to social networking. Learning leaders that do not yet believe in the power of social learning must carefully recognize the huge unfulfilled demand for social collaboration that employees probably don’t even know, exists. Here are the top 6 reasons why you need social learning right now:
To facilitate shared learning
Learning when shared is always greater than the sum of its parts. Any employee, no matter how good he is with his workcan always have something to learn from others. Enterprise social learning also champions the idea that organizations as whole can learn from each other. This is what makes cross-application possible, such as the between healthcare and IT.
To spur innovation
Talk about today’s business environment, and a lack of innovation comes at a heavy price. Market leaders such as Google, Apple and GE manage to stay ahead of the curve because their employees are nurtured in a culture that is inherently creative. People are constantly sharing new ideas and developing those further. A social LMS gives employees the platform of “pull” learning where they themselves access and share information from various sources, as opposed to “push” learning where only delivered content is used.
To create a dynamic environment
This is a corollary of the previous point. An innovative culture will always be dynamic and evolving.
To facilitate informal learning
Informal learning is a necessary driver of creativity. Out-of-the-box ideas come about when employees feel free to share all ideas (the good, the bad and the ugly ones too!) with whoever they want. Otherwise, they will never go beyond the everyday, safe ideas because they may not push their brains too hard for fear of rejection.
To change the role of the instructor
In healthy social learning environments, employees enjoy the control they have over their learning as they participate in threaded discussions, chats and interactive sessions, raise questions and seek answers. The instructor is less of a teacher and more of a facilitator of learning.
To overcome new challenges
Each employee is a stock of his entire knowledge, skills and experiences. Imagine these stocks interacting with each other to overcome a given challenge, and you have a resource base which grows exponentially. Collaboration tackles challenges no one has overcome before.
Need more reasons? Ask us for a demo and witness the power of social learning for yourself!
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