A Dream: Learner-Centered Professional Development for Growth
We Are Media Continues--Some More Reflections on Community as Curriculum

Social Media and Learning

Picture_1_2 From the slideshow by Neil Perkins, What's Next in Media, via Beth Kanter.

Replace Neil's title with this-Learning 2.0: Workplace Learning Professionals Take on a Broader Role and the word "audience" with "learners" and I think this slide sums up a lot of how social media changes what we do. This is a sort of elaboration on my earlier thoughts about instructional designers and trainers as digital curators that breaks it down into some more discrete kinds of roles.

I would add another role, though--Network weaver. Who you know is now as important--if not more important--than what you know. In a connected world, it's all about finding and making the right kinds of connections and as learning professionals, I think that helping learners weave these connections becomes an important aspect of our jobs. Yes, we still help people find the right content, but we also need to create the environment that helps people find each other and build effective personal learning networks.


Here's another slide from Neil's presentation. Replace the column headers with "Learning 1.0" and "Learning 2.0" and the word "consumer" with "learner," and I think this sums up how the learning space is changing thanks to social media.

It seems to me that when we incorporate social media into learning, the values inherent in that media are going to force us to change our pedagogies. For example, inherent to social media is that space is defined by the learner and the learner is in control. If social media becomes a true part of the learning equation (as is increasingly the case for many people), this means learners creating PLEs and defining their own learning plans and objectives. I suspect that the more we use social media in other areas of life and work, the more it's going to shape our expectations about how we participate in learning. If we're used to participating in two-way conversations and being able to influence our environments, how content will we be to participate in "Learning 1.0" where we're expected to just sit back and absorb what we're being told?

What do you think? Am I off-base or do these things make sense? How do you think social media is shaping learning?

UPDATE--Beth Kanter reminded me of a whole post with resources she did on effective online network weaving.


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Have you explored all the wonderful writings about network weaving? There is a wonderful checklist by June Holley that lists the skills and competencies of network weavers ...

Thanks for the reminder about your post, Beth. I had that bookmarked but didn't add it in to this one, which I'm going to take care of. :-)

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