Reflections on #mLearnCon: learning from our social lives

I’m at mLearnCon in San Diego this week: exploring developments in technology and methodology over the last year. The impacts of social collaborative technology, mobile devices in every aspect of our lives has been huge: in both our formal work environments and our informal social ones (to the extent that any divide still exists between the two).

Social and mobile technology

Social collaborative technology cuts through both our formal and social lives, but we use it differently in different spaces

In our social lives, we use it more to share, to build and reinforce our communities. We use it to capture and contextualise content and tell stories with it on Facebook or Skype. We use our mobile devices to enhance our capability, with tools such as Google Maps, Shazam or a guitar tuner. They let us achieve more that we could without them. They enhance and extend our capability.

In our work environments, I’m primarily interested in the ‘sense making‘ function of communities, the ways we come together to create meaning, to learn. Social Learning is that activity which takes place within and around our semi formal spaces. It’s complimentary to formal learning, but is inherently grounded in our everyday reality, so it’s more pragmatic, more applied.

Our formal communities and usage tend to be moderated or controlled to some extent by the organisation, whilst our social lives are free and agile: an agility that needs to cascade into how we utilise technology at work if we’re to develop agile organisations. Innovation in organisational learning tends to be about the introduction of scoring and game dynamics, whilst they really need to consider storytelling and engagement through relevance and timeliness.

Great learning design is about a broad methodology, about great storytelling. The technology facilitates the communities, amplifies our stories, but without great learning design, it’s worthless.

Ultimately, our social lives represent the test-bed where we learn how to interact with the technology. The more closely organisational learning reflects our native behaviours, the higher the adoption is likely to be.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Learning Design, Learning Methodology, Social Learning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflections on #mLearnCon: learning from our social lives

  1. Pingback: Reflections on #mLearnCon: learning from our so...

  2. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

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