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Social media is driving a major shift in workplace learning as L&D professionals become ‘curators’ of training content than ‘creators’, delegates at HRD 2012 heard yesterday.Employees are already informally using tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn on their mobile phones to research new techniques, experts speaking in the Learning in the Social Workplace session said.This puts the onus on L&D to signpost them to the best content, the panellists explained. Sam Hackett, global staff development manager at charity Save the Children, explained that social media had really helped them when they wanted to offer more training to their staff in the field, for example working in Ethiopia.“We started with e-learning but I hated it,” said Hackett. “E-learning is very static, time consuming and it requires a lot of resources. So we are starting to think about how we could use mobile phones to deliver it.“I recently became a mother and I used my mobile phone apps to learn ‘how to be a mother’,” she pointed out. “I didn’t ask experts, I asked other people in the same situation as me for their experiences via social media. And this is what my staff are doing. They are going informally to people in the same situation to learn from them.”Hackett said that most staff use their mobiles to access information, and 90 per cent of them are already using social media as part of their learning. She explained that this shift in how staff access learning has led to a different emphasis in L&D roles at the charity.“I’m now looking at how I’m a relationship manager,” she said. “I don’t need to produce content because it’s out there. I need to capture that content and work with the experts. We also need to work in a collaborative environment. So our role is about what our staff should be doing in terms of development, what is the content they need and how can we direct them to it.”The charity is using social media tool Moodle to summarise what is available because the amount of content is so vast.Group Captain Phil Sagar from the Royal Air Force said: “Our starting point for using social media in the workplace was to give the learners of tomorrow, for example generation Y and Z, what they want.“The idea was to get away from e-learning, because we’ve had some horrendous click-and-go experiences and ‘learning for the learner’ was not happening with that. So the use of social media was about a more collaborative approach rather than stand and deliver training.”Session chair Perry Timms, head of talent and organisational development at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “I think we as practitioners are becoming curators of training content and not necessarily the creators of content. There are people out there who are really smart and good at their job and they should share that. If they create the content then we will curate it and make it accessible. We will link it to things like competencies and behaviours and then we’ll facilitate it for users.”Rob Jones, head of organisational effectiveness at Crossrail and a prolific tweeter, urged delegates to “just get involved”, adding that with apps like twitter “you can learn on the hoof”.“For me social media is about finding, sharing and reflecting on information.”He added that he uses trusted fellow tweeters as buffers or filters to get the good quality information he needs. “By using these facilitators, it means I’m not overwhelmed by content.”
Hmmm...so MOODLE is now a social media tool is it? Last time i checked it was a CMS/LMS, you should really check your facts before putting articles like this out, and hate is a very evocotive word!
@Paul: Interesting point that Twitter is a type of e-learning. <br/>But I think the difference in how you would use Twitter for collaborative learning compared to the bad experiences of click and go e-learning is quite clearly expressed by the speakers in this article. I do not agree that their issues are all about design, particularly given the example cited by the Save the Children speaker.
I have to write. This article smacks to me of poor research and anecdotale evidence. Firstly Social media like twitter falls into e-learning, to state it is replacing e-learning is a sweeping generalisation. Repeat, Twitter is another tool, e-learning is not being 'replaced'. The problems encountered by the individuals are down to design and delivery not meeting the requirements of the client, and the technology being blamed.<br/><br/>Good e-learning design meets the client requirments and is delivered using appropriate tools to meet the demand.
@wahab khan, why do you think this would be a problem? Does it have to be on site?
Through my work with Livetime Learning I design and delivery live online trainer led interactive learning sessions to invividual employees, from a wide range of enterprises, spread around the globe. This approach I believe blends the accessibility benefits of e-learning with the social interaction of classroom training. It can stand alone, but probably works best with a blend of other solutions.
it would be a win win situation to both employees and employers in terms of flexibility but the problem is that how much percentage of the employees would prefer L&D at home sitting on laptop or using phone instead of doing on the firm site.. survey should be conducted to get the key facts
@George: I will not agree that social media is in its infancy. It was always there when Myspace, Wikipedia, and other information fostering websites started; and has matured a lot more than a lot of other conventional/ traditional forms of learning since social media learning can make learning easier along with your work without stressing it out. It sure is a deterrent when strategic/ global businesses and individual goals/ intentions/ biases come in place or when army comes into the picture where it can really be a No-No. But otherwise, for Non-Critical systems/topics learning, it is okay and at times better. Even social media main stream businesses take just cues and trends as a base, and for real time business, responsibility, learning accountability, and learning effectiveness innovative conventional learning system have always proven to be better. Else you will not have class rooms and teachers in business in teach high schools and grad schools. There is a saying, when you do not trust a system, it is never effective, but it may sure be efficient in some cases specially when marketing comes into picture. But how much is really document-able, at standardized levels or focused will always be the question.
This is interesting! Interestingly, even kindergarteners are tweeting now! <br/><br/>www.forbes.com/.../2
It is good. The only problem that starts is arm twisting in the net when business needs take over learning needs and the social learning turns evil which moves in real time. In India, the system had to move courts to stop online originated crimes, forging, and frauds. Social Media Learning has advantages but limitations and boundaries to a lot extent specially privacy and IP crimes in the name of cost saving and stakeholder value compared to eLearning and mentor assisted classroom and on the job training. More so, when everyone vanish or start finger pointing when crimes happen.
I have been deploying Learning systems for many years and am a huge fan of the principle of knowledge transfer. One client I had switched me onto the concept of employee empowerment meaning - enhance the working environment of an employee by providing choices not just of learning but by their choices in knowledge ... Social Media is in its infancy, as a developer I have interesting plans in developing Social Networks to incorporate a blend of learning, knowledge and social community... I call my offering Social Kinetics ... you have not seen anything like this yet!<br/><br/>So watch this space...<br/><br/>george