Who would have imagined that the rapid pace of technology advancement would transform the learning landscape so dramatically! So, if Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest are not part of your vocabulary, then either you are living in isolation or you certainly do not belong to this era.
Let’s dwell for a minute on social learning which has redefined the framework of learning in organizations, big and small! Insanely easy to use, effortless and an expression platform are words that will surely lead you to experiment with the social method of learning. As you read Marc Rosenberg’s piece on ‘the special sauce of social learning’ – Eight steps are all it takes to understand the power of Social Learning, you will lap it up and discover the need to embrace this way of learning that is also inclusive in nature. This learning approach can help to create networks and sustain them too. For, colleagues, experts and others can be tapped in a way that was not possible before the advent of social learning! The flavor of social learning is enhanced with the convenience of ‘whenever, wherever’ learning – making it a trendy way of upskilling oneself.
Informal interactions that often tickle the grey cells enough to think hard, have led to the formation of platforms like blogs, wikis and discussion boards. These are now perceived as mature technologies that are centric to social learning. Digital revolution has progressed to such an extent that the scope of learning has expanded.
For individuals (professionals, especially) to gain an improved product knowledge, for on-boarding and for career development, these social learning tools and platforms are fundamental in the current global scenario. That apart, leadership and executive development too are aspects that rely on social learning substantially.
Online learning culture, which not only facilitates dynamic learning in a shared environment but also supports collaboration and innovation, is a global phenomenon. Geographical boundaries no longer matter. So, even if you are in Timbuctoo, you can still learn, thanks to the spread of technology and the power of SMAC (Social Mobile, Analytics and Cloud).
Social learning, evolving every nanosecond, is here to stay – timely, relevant and a useful medium that cannot be ignored any longer. Organizations are investing in social learning and addressing the challenges that it throws up. However, a word of caution! Moderation or content curation is imperative so that measuring the impact of learning through time-tested tools is effectively possible.
In this age of ‘Social’ learning, the dynamic nature of content allows a learner to explore the various facets of knowledge! Take a scientific lesson that altered the course of thinking, for instance. The word ‘apple’ during the time of Issac Newton had a different connotation – as the humble fruit led to propounding the law of gravity. Think of apple now, it will invariably lead you to the era of the technology mogul Steve Jobs, who created the global iconic brand Apple, known for the greatest innovation in consumer technology and personal computing.
Like the evolution of man, whose needs and aspirations have led to newer and latest discoveries and innovation, learning too has moved to a different sphere. The subject matter may be ‘serious’ but the scope to understand it in a more comfortable and personalized way is available and possible today.
Listen to Sales strategist, Jill Konrath (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcBD8SVyHvI #SocialHangout Episode #11 – Back to Basics is Sales – Guest Jill Konrath). Learners who have not yet watched this clip will realize the benefits that one can derive using the social medium effectively! So, go ‘social’ in your learning and experience the value it brings to improve your performance at work…