4 Oct 2011
Social learning is not the same as social media
I have noticed in recent discussions just how confusing it can get when social learning is regarded as synonymous with the use of social media. First of all, social learning pre-dates social media by thousands of years. We have always and always will learn socially. It isn't the only way we learn but it is a highly significant element.
Secondly, social media has very many outcomes other than learning. People use social media to collaborate on tasks, to promote goods and services, to entertain each other, to exchange information and so on. Much of this is relevant to our work lives as much as it is personal. As a result, learning and development departments are certainly not the only stakeholders in workplace social media and they are perhaps not even the most important. The initiative to apply social media in an enterprise context is as likely to be driven by IT, internal communications or senior management as it is l&d.
What is important is that l&d is at the table, campaigning for the use of social media at work where this is likely to make a worthwhile contribution to the overall learning architecture