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).
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.
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.