Josh is in town for the Learning Technologies conference on Wednesday and Thursday, where he’ll be talking about informal learning. Josh very kindly gave me a summary of his key points.
Transforming to a modern learning environment
The recession of 2000 catapulted e-learning forward as organisations rationalised their training and moved more on-line. The current recession has kicked off informal learning. At the same time, we have access to new social technologies. These two factors have collided giving rise to a revolution in informal learning (Josh sees this as consisting of on-demand, social and embedded learning.
Trainers and instructional designers have always known that informal and social learning is the way people learn, but they’ve not spent any time on it. They’ve tended to see their job as the formal stuff. They now need to take on new disciplines, move to a new design paradigm and change their instructional design models – putting elements of social media into every development programme.
Social learning is a good thing for the learning / training industry, but it’s forcing practitioners to rethink – they’re past talking about what it is – but they’re still working out how they’re going to apply it – what’s their job – and whether they will have a job.
But it’s a bit like the rise of e-learning again. L&D practitioners who ignored e-learning tended not to get involved. It’ll be the same with social learning – practitioners need to get with it or they’ll become more irrelevant.
But why would someone read a blog?
After meeting Josh, I had another meeting and talked about this blog. My contact responded that he’d read a blog once, but obviously wasn’t sure why he had, as he then asked “so why would someone read a blog?”.
Now, admittedly this person’s not in L&D, but he is a fairly high profile figure in the UK HRM and D world, and I don’t think his reaction was that different from that of many HR and L&D practitioners that I meet.
Perhaps this a difference between the US and UK, but whatever the reason, I don’t feel as positive about L&D’s sponsorship of social learning as Josh (or other speakers at the conference like Jane Hart). And I’d encourage L&D (and HR) practitioners who want to get on top of social learning (and social HR) to get involved in using social media for themselves – it’s by far the best way to learn (mind you, I suppose the people this point applies to won’t be reading this anyway!).
- Jane Hart’s top 100 tools for learning
- Jane Hart’s list of 100 learning professionals to follow on Twitter
- Top 99 e-learning blogs
Learning & Skills Group members can also view my Learning Technologies presentation from a couple of years ago at http://www.learningandskillsgroup.com/iptv.cfm – see under LT 2008 track 3.
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- jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com