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Social Learning: “When the Bird Tweets, Does Anyone Learn?”

Written by: Bill Sherman on Sunday, 2 August 2009, 5:24 PM

Chief Learning Officer Magazine published an article of mine about the newly emerging field of social learning in its August 2009 issue. What’s social learning? It’s the intersection of corporate learning (training and development) with social networks. In this article, I get to reference not only applications like Twitter and Facebook, but I explore new applications in social learning.

For example, World of Warcraft’s raid-culture can be viewed through the lens of team-based learning where individuals must master separate skills and learn to collaborate effectively in real-time to achieve objectives. To achieve these results, they use peer-to-peer communications (headsets), real-time data monitoring, and after-action performance analyses. Most employers would love employees who take such personal responsibility for learning and their own performance improvement.

Basically, the digital native generation will redefine how workplace learning will occur. Rather than sit passively to wait and learn, they’re going to reach-out in real-time to peers, look for information online, and get smarter by learning from errors in simulation environments. Workplace learning will be changing rapidly over the next decade, and this is a chance to look at the road ahead.

The article made the print version of the magazine, but here’s the digital link to the article, “When the Bird Tweets, Does Anyone Learn?” Also, the CLO homepage currently features it as its headline article with a awesome splash illustration. So, I’m very grateful to CLO for such wonderful positioning.

Let me know what you think of the article, and please feel free to pass it along to others who might be interested in the topic.

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