Social Learning is not a Fad


We are certainly training in interesting times. Our students have access to more information than ever before and are bringing with them devices which facilitate the access to this information in more volumes than ever before. No longer is the trainer the main source of new content. And why would they be? With Apps for everything from education to productivity tools and always on internet searching functions, we have never had so much competition for face time with our students! Social media brands like Facebook and Twitter may be a fad, but the social learning that has exploded as a result of their development is not. Our students are coming hard-wired for social learning. This is evidenced by the fact that “trending topics” on social media platforms are reporting news faster than traditional media can cope, “crowdsourcing” is being used to enable mass problem-solving activities at a fraction of the cost and time of outsourcing and participants are able to ask a question and have experts from all over the world provide feedback before the end of the day! The challenge for us is to balance our roles as presenters and subject matter experts with an open mind and an open classroom. Rather than narrowing choice and participation avenues, we should be broadening access and supporting the networking. Students are now publishers and editors of content, not merely consumers. Therefore, we need to embrace the “sharing”, rather than trying to control the message.

Marc Ratcliffe
Follow Me on twitter: @MRWED_CEO