A few months ago I promised I would come back with more information about social learning and so I’m doing it now. In my last social learning post I spoke about how people where supporting their own learning thanks to the use of social media and, since then, I have learned some new things about this matter.
The first thing I learned is that social media is just a tool that can come to support social learning, as it can support communication or fundraising. It is interesting to understand that informal learning is not something new but just how we have always learned, by watching, talking and asking others things like: Hey Jonathas! Can you please show me how to cook collard greens? Social learning is something that happens all the time and the recognition that learning is 80% informal clarify why organizations are now trying to support this kind of learning.
Also, it was interesting to discover that even though informal learning should be supported by organizations it doesn’t mean that it should be implemented by them. Informal learning is, by definition, managed by the learner himself so a top-down implementation will never work in this peculiar area.
Some activities like Communities of Practice are highly recommended when thinking about building on what is already happening with informal learning but I will leave some information about this topic for my next post.