(From Learning in the Social Workplace) -- Social technologies now play a big part in everything we do, and it is quite clear that many knowledge workers use a variety of social tools and networks not only to help them get work done, but also to learn efficiently while on the job. We also know that this informal, social learning accounts for 80% or more of how people learn in the workplace, so it is not something to be dismissed as irrelevant or trivial.
For those organisations who still see “learning” as something that only happens in a training room or on an e-learning course, which is organised and managed by the Training Department, then thinking in terms of a Social Workplace Learning Continuum, can make it easier to move gradually into supporting this overlooked way of learning – and in doing so begin to support a wide range of activities across the continuum.
Whereas many individuals are happy to use their own social tools to power their own and their team’ activities, most organisations generally prefer them to use some sort of internal enterprise platform to keep the conversations and content private and secure. But one thing is clear, existing learning platforms are not appropriate to underpin the entire Social Workplace Learning Continuum – since they are built around the “course” model and focus on “managing” users in formal learning contexts. Whereas what is now required is a technological infrastructure that can support the full spectrum of working and learning activities; in other words it requires social workplace technologies– rather than (social) learning technologies.
With the growing interest in “social business”, an increasing number of organisations are replacing (or upgrading their existing intranets) with new social and collaboration platforms, with key features like
- Member profiling
- Activity streams
- Real-time updates
- Threaded discussions
- Group spaces
- File sharing areas
- Content co-creation tools