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Social media is not a fad—it’s the future!


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Article published in AITD journal June 2012.
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Social media is not a fad—it’s the future!

  1. 1. June 2012 Vol 39 No 3Training&Development ‘Age-old’ problem: Improving learning initiatives with A.G.E.S. PLUS... • rain-friendly B training • earn the L language! • ocial media is S here to stay
  2. 2. Technology Resources Social media is not a fad—it’s the future! Anne Bartlett-BraggSocial media is more than just a fad, it is shaping the way organisations communicateand engage with their employees, their customers and their business partners. As aconsequence, the nature of business is changing.There is an irrepressible shift to social • 65 per cent of employees state they At the same time, employees are frustratedtechnologies that connect people, break can find the answers to questions more by the disconnect between their workplacedown silos of information and reach beyond quickly. technology and personal computingthe boundaries of the office to enable the • 83 per cent of new workers say they experiences. Traditional enterprise ITcreation of innovative practices that re- feel better connected with co-workers systems (including LMS) do not afford theignite the collective intelligence within the through internal social networks—giving lightweight, ease of use people have come toorganisation. The rise of the ‘social business’ them a stronger sense of community. expect in personal social media not only enabled through the use of social In addition, the inability to easily share • Classroom courses blended with socialtechnologies, it is also being reflected in the and collaborate with colleagues—a process learning communities now experienceredesign of how we approach our work. that underpins the fundamentals in all 97 per cent course completions—up social media—further increases currentHow effectively organisations harness from only 60 per cent in solely face-to- organisational technology dissatisfaction.the power of these fundamental shifts in face delivery environments.workplace practices will be reflected Anecdotal stories recount examplesin their ability to adapt to these of employees relying more on theirdisruptive, changing environments. personal smart phones than their It’s important to highlight that workplace desktop for faster, more Social business is one of the biggest shifts in the structure and process of it’s not about the technology, effective computing—many of the latter still having limited internet our organizations in business history. It taps into entirely new sources of it’s about how we use it! access. Yet, as LD practitioners, we all know that learning drives creative output (everyone on the organisational flexibility and adaptability, network), relinquishes structure that reduces In 2005, I wrote an article for Training so being able to foster practices that will productive outputs, and inverts methods of Development: ‘Social Software: The age of keep pace with the changes not only in the traditional control and decision making in connection and the connected learner’, organisational context but also in meeting work processes (anyone can contribute as which reviewed the application of a variety the learners’ needs and expectations will long as they create value) while focusing on of social platforms such as blogs, wikis, social be critical. Shouldn’t we be leading by useful outcomes. An excerpt from ‘Social bookmarking and chat, and examined their example and demonstrating the value Business by Design’, May 2012, p.20 potential uses and anticipated implications that can be attained through the effective for organisational learning. I revisited thisFurther supporting the case of social implementation of social, collaborative article as I drafted my thoughts for this piecebusiness changes, organisational research platforms? and pondered how far we’d progressed inreports are starting to provide evidence our adoption of social media technologies in However, learning with social media isrelating to the impact for the early adopters. our learning tool kits. Disappointingly, in the NOT the same as traditional learningThe results are impressive: learning context, the answer is that not much practices, including existing eLearning• Organisations that use collaboration change can be noticed—despite the increase courses. Learning with social media is and social networking tools are 57 per in positive outcomes demonstrated in case dynamic, learner controlled, self-directed cent more likely to outperform their studies, as well as the dramatic increase in and at times, it may even appear to be competitors. journal articles and conference presentations. chaotic. Results from my doctoral research| 034 | JUN 12 | TRAINING DEVELOPMENT
  3. 3. Technology Resourcesthat explored the learners’ experience of Modes of teaching:social media found that: Mode 1: Transfer Mode 2: Tutor Mode 3: Coach• Learners are more actively engaged— (Directed teaching) (Facilitated learning) (Informal guide) both with each other and the content. • programmed instruction • problem-solving • complex situations• Learners report feeling more • to teach, to explain • o observe, to help, to t • to co-operate, to support demonstrate empowered. • production of correct answers • election of methods and their use s • ealisation of adequate action strategies r• Learners demonstrate deeper levels of • to know, to remember • to do, to practise • to cope, to master reflection. • transfer of knowledge • resentation of pre-determined p • ction in real situations (complex and a problems social)BUT! It’s important to highlight thatit’s not about the technology, it’s about Source: Baumgartner, P. 2004, The Zen Art of Teaching Communication and Interactions in we use it! It’s about creating learningopportunities by engaging, creating and enrich the learning experiences. The learning The learning landscape: professional becomes pivotal in facilitatingsharing through platforms that connect beyond the boundariespeople with others in ways that have never the establishment of network contacts, and empowering individuals to identify and • Once the door closes as you step out ofbeen previously accessible. By integrating customise their personal knowledge processes the training room, how do you maintainsocial media into their learning strategies, to best support their learning needs in the engagement with your learners?organisations can generate powerfulnetworks where the current practices of complex, changing workplace environments. • How do you extend the conversation—learning are being challenged by reframing transferring learning back into thethe transfer of knowledge and skills intraditional delivery modes to participatoryenvironments where learning comes fromsocial interactions.What is the future role for Master eLearning Coursethe organisational trainer? Our course is an experiential learning experience. It consists of: on demand, interactive eLearning courses built in Articulate Storyline, live webinars, extensive mentoring and support from our qualified and experienced learning coaches, practical application, social networking with otherAt the recent AITD National Conference, learners and eLearning experts. All these factors combine to ensure individuals gain the necessaryI challenged participants to shed the job skills and knowledge to successfully implement, or improve eLearning in their organisation.title of ‘trainer’—commenting that training • Exclusive Australian Articulate Certified Training something we do to dogs and babies, • Aligned to two Diploma competencies from the Training and Education training package.while learning is something we do with • Take away a fully functional, eLearning course people. Conceivably, this requires a shift ready for mindsets, away from our traditions of Download a brochure today from our website or contact us to learn more!delivery, towards one of participation.In 2008, I published another article forTraining Development: ‘Reframing Practice:Integrating social software to enableinformal learning’, where I focused on theapplication of social software to supportinformal learning. In that article, I referredto pedagogical practices and differentmodes of teaching. The table above, basedon Baumgartner’s (2004) prototypicalmodes of teaching, describes the rolerequired to enable learning with socialsoftware. Practitioners who continue toapproach learning with social software froma mode 1 or 2 will not be able to adapt theirpractices to support the learning conditionsrequired for socially enabled technologies. Suite 205 The Cooperage 56 Bowman StreetThe role of a traditional face-to-face Pyrmont NSW 2009 Australia Phone: +61 2 9571 6888 or 1300 66 29 35trainer must emerge into a role where the ® Email: of social technology is embraced, registered training organisation the shift provides opportunities to TRAINING DEVELOPMENT | JUN 12 | 035 |
  4. 4. Technology Resources workplace, where it can be applied and practised?• How do you extend the reach of your conversations? Share the learnings with others beyond your usual sphere of contact? How do you embrace and discuss the diversity of differing opinions across the organisation? A traditional learning environment,constrained by physical location or timezones, has limited our (LD’s) ability to challenge is to move beyond the traditions that blends formal and informal learning,maintain and support ongoing learning of building content for classroom delivery while providing access and alternativeconversations. Implementing social media and refocus on providing learners with experiences through different channels,technologies adds an extension to existing new and contextually relevant ways to most importantly now to include mobilepractices and can be one of the simplest access information, engage with others, access with smart phones and tablet devices.strategies for cultivating the adoption of and provide opportunities for transfer Learning is a process, a lifelong journey andcontinued learning across the business. and application to the learner’s workplace not a one-off event that occurs at a physical situation. There is an urgent need for LDPerhaps it could also be considered that location. Learning must become discretely to create an entirely new strategic approachit’s not about the content either! The embedded in everyday activities and not a dislocated action that occurs away from the daily reality of business. Quite simply, learning in a connected company is smarter, simpler, scalable, sustainable and social. I encourage you to open the door of the training room, to look around and to reach Rapid Interactivity for Effective Learning out to others within your organisation and beyond. Worlds Largest Library of Challenge the traditional ways of approaching training, rethink your practice, HTML5 Learning Interactions re-invigorate your learners, and reengage with the nature of learning as it was always intended to be: social! Further reading Social Business by Design by Dion Hinchcliffe Peter Kim. Social Learning by Jane Bozarth. Anne Bartlett-Bragg is Managing Director for Headshift Asia Pacific. She specialises in the creation of innovative Save up to communication networks with social media. She is constantly challengingCreate Interactive Content fromWide Selection of Interactions in No Time 30% with special year-end offers organisations to reframe their models of communication, service design, and workforce engagement, while in the final throes of completing her PhD. LearnX 2011 Awards Best Learning Innovation Technology Best Assessment Tool Best Simulation Solution| 036 | JUN 12 | TRAINING DEVELOPMENT