Last week I attended a webinar run my Andy Lancaster from the CIPD called “Social and Collaborative Learning: What really makes it work?”
It was a very good webinar. I found it useful, informative and interesting. I learned new things and I had some of my own ideas validated. It was also run very well (as you would perhaps expect!).
But I do have issues – and I realise it’s probably just me being pedantic. My grumpy old woman is starting to emerge perhaps… A list of the top 200 collaborative learning methods was bought up. However, not one of the top 200 was coaching, feedback, on the job training, action learning, stretch projects, workshops, even having a good conversation i.e. face-to-face, in person interaction…. It’s like we are being hoodwinked into thinking that we can’t be “social” unless we are using some app or technical interface!!
Well, as far as I can tell humans have been learning socially since time began, and we will continue to do so with or without apps to help us.
Personally, I’m 100% on board with learning via social technology – I learn through it myself – particularly my two favourite Facebook communities: The Training Designer’s Club and Trainer Talk, both of which are invaluable to me. But… I learn even more when I take those conversations off-line and meet someone in person, or pick up the phone to them and have a really meaningful conversation. Though I suppose the phone is just another piece of technology now I think about it!
It’s like managers thinking that they can’t have performance conversations if it isn’t the right time of year, or they don’t have a form to complete: It’s the conversation that matters, not the format. The reality is we can (and have always been able to) learn at any time, in any way. In terms of social learning, the tech doesn’t really matter. The only thing required is another human being who is willing to listen and share.