(This post is part of a Working/Learning blog carnival hosted at Manash Mohan’s blog: Life, The Universe and Everything about eLearning and Content Development)
What are social learning technologies? Someone asked me if they are the same as “social media” and “social networks?” For sure there’s a whole lotta “social” going on. It’s easy to get confused.
My definition of social learning technologies includes networking and, in the context of human systems, connections among people. Instructional content is shared among connected, networked people. It is interactive and collaborative.
The platforms of social learning technologies include text, images, audio, and video submitted via blogs, social networking services, podcasts, wikis, video, VoiP, and others. The social connections are made with information published on the Internet. People find content, share it, and interact with it.
Have you noticed how quickly social learning technologies are changing the way we learn at work?
The “old media” of workplace learning are one-way lectures, binders full of information, the static Intranet, and even static e-learning courses. The “new media” of workplace learning are online networks where connections among individual learners support learning. These can be, and often are, blended with other formal learning activities. But it’s not all about “new.” The old and the new co-exist. I think it’s important to remember that.
Consider these quotes from a presentation I ran across:
• “[This Device] appealed at once to the eye and to the ear, thus naturally forming the habit of attention, which is so difficult to form by the study of books. Whenever the pupil will not fully understand [it] will have the opportunity of enlarging and making more intelligible.”
• “[These instruments are] not uncommon, but are little resorted to by the teacher.”
• “The teacher almost knows as little how to use [it] as his pupils.”
They were talking about the chalkboard! The new social learning tools we talk about are just as “disruptive.”
It’s helpful to view this disruption through the eyes of the learner. This is a re-run slide show from a prior post:
When you look at the new 2.0 learner, don’t think it’s out with the old in with the new. Your challenge is to utilize the best and most useful aspects of your current learning environment while adding those social learning technologies that support learning.
I think these new social learning technologies require rethinking pedagogy by rethinking instructional strategies, delivery channels, and styles of instruction.
What do you think? Are social learning technologies changing the way you learn at work?