Social learning and mobile learning have a lot in common. After all, what do we use mobiles mostly for? Communication, right? Instant messaging, e-mails, texts, social media interactions- all of these have become an inseparable part of our lives ever since the smartphone revolution has taken place. A lot of social learning is already happening on the mobile platform. You forward informative or entertaining messages, access social media to know what’s happening around, read and share content and what not.
Any general activity if channelized in the right manner can achieve specific, intended results. You love running and you run whenever you can, but if you practice an exercise regime wherein you run and exercise for 45 minutes daily with the goal to lose weight or maintain your fitness level, then it becomes an endeavor to achieve a specific result. Similarly, mobiles are being used by everyone, everywhere. A little effort to channelize their usage in the intended direction can make them wondrous tools of social learning at the workplace. Now social learning can be enabled through mobile in a number of ways:
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We use apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Quora all the time. A little change in the way we use them can make quite a difference. For example, a group like ‘Marketing: ABC Corporation Pvt. Ltd.’could have all the marketing staff added to the group wherein the admin posts relevant and updated information on marketing. Similarly, employees can engage in active discussions on Quora and share relevant videos on employees’ Whatsapp groups.
A specific app developed by you or your leaning solutions provider that is tied to your LMS is the best way to use a mobile app for social learning. A native app (in contrast with a web app) can let you access content even when you are not connected to the internet. Plus with Experience API, you can track all of the (formal as well as informal) learning that employees undertake. A good native app and fully functional social learning mobile app could be something like this: Each user has his own dashboard. He can choose to view what others are learning by searching using hashtag, he can access content posted on the appand share what he has learnt with others, with even tagging contacts and adding locations, media and hyperlinks, if he wants to. He can initiate and comment on threads, rate them, save or add them to his favorites as a planned activity for himself and receive notifications when someone comments on or likes his thread.
Games, puzzles or quizzes that are designed to inculcate certain behaviors like team building, leadership, management etc. can be launched on the mobile platform in a manner that employees can compare their performance and build a healthy competitive environment.
mLearning is the hot topic in the eLearning arena for a reason: it has the power to turn an everyday device into a powerful medium of learning.
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