Education Slideshow: Social Media: A Workplace Learning Tool

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 10-05-2010

What is social learning?

Social learning is as old as the existence of organizations. It happens at training conferences, business lunches, company softball events/team-building exercises, etc.

What is social learning?

Whats different now?

The wealth of social-learning outlets in the digital age makes learning more dynamic than ever. Geographic location is now irrelevant.

Whats different now?

Three common misconceptions about social learning

1. It's only for knowledge workers.The truth: Any department can take part in social learning. Inter-departmental training can optimize results.

Three common misconceptions about social learning

Three common misconceptions about social learning

2. It replaces formal training.The truth: Formal training is still required for "deep" learning. Social learning can supplement, enhance results of formal training.

Three common misconceptions about social learning

Three common misconceptions about social learning

3. It's the same as e-learning.The truth: E-learning is a broader term to describe the use of tech to teach. E-learning can include social learning, but the terms are not interchangeable.

Three common misconceptions about social learning

What is social learning? - Page 6

Think of social learning like a playground. And, like playgrounds of our youth, there are "rules" ... No loitering. Social learning is for participation, engagement. Those interested in having influence both provide the greatest benefit, and benefit the most. Professionals of all generations are welcome. Abuse or bullying not allowed. Ideas are welcome. Keep egos in check.

What is social learning? - Page 6

Six Social Learning Tips

1. Build it and they'll come.Establish an online community for social learning. Example: Travelocity's SabreTown is used by 10,000 employees in 59 countries to post questions and get answers.

Six Social Learning Tips

Six Social Learning Tips

2. Stay current.Workers will perceive a static site as useless. Keep it up-to-date with blogs, posts, microsharing, profiles, success stories, etc.

Six Social Learning Tips

Six Social Learning Tips

3. Contribute to the conversation.When CIOs and other senior managers take part, it boosts credibility/authority for the effort.

Six Social Learning Tips

Six Social Learning Tips

4. Establish a "trust" factor.Rules are fine. But the social-learning environment should be a place where a candid exchange doesn't result in "consequences".

Six Social Learning Tips

Six Social Learning Tips

5. Build a site meant for social "production," not distractions.Social learning is engaging and can be fun. But the focus needs to stay on business. Don't make it another way for employees to avoid working.

Six Social Learning Tips

Six Social Learning Tips

6. Discuss mission-critical projects and topics.The greater the value a project has to the organization as a whole, the greater the legitimacy of your social-learning site.

Six Social Learning Tips