Learning has always been a social act. A lot of what we learn in the workplace or in other parts of our lives has always come from our interactions with others, working together to share knowledge or create something.
While training may provide us with answers that others have already solved, it is through collaboration where we can create solutions to the problems that have yet to be solved.
Enhancing the social dimension of learning is thus really about turning colleagues to collaborators; getting work done with better connection and collaboration with others.
Much of collaboration occurs face-to-face, in both formal and informal spaces. But technology has heralded a new form of collaboration too, those that take place in virtual places – on social networks, online forums, intranets, wikis and numerous other social platforms. Technology has made it much easier to work with people across geographies, connect to subject experts, and form communities.
In our personal lives, social collaboration is a blast. We develop art projects together on Pinterest, form our interest groups on Facebook, Facetime our friends to plan our next adventure, and share abundantly across Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
In the future, I imagine arriving at work via a teleportation machine like the ones they had on Star Trek; which would beat having to jostle for space on the public commute.
I also imagine working alongside human colleagues and robotic colleagues. Preferably robots which come equipped with both jaw-dropping features aka EVE from Wall-E, and a heart-warming disposition aka Wall-E from Wall-E.
Social learning supports continuous learning for employees; and when employed effectively in organisations drives an increase in the exchange of thoughts, ideas and knowledge to accelerate employee development.
What is A Self-Directed Learning Network?
A self-directed learning network is a network of people learning from one another through various forms of virtual communities. These communities can be created through blogs, social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which facilitate collaboration and sharing of information.
Self-directed learners in an organisation are motivated to learn on their own outside the structure of the training provided by the organisation because they want to and recognise the need to.