Learning and development, what you’re missing if you don’t connect, if you don’t tweet…

Connect and debate this Learning at Work Week

Learning at Work Week is fast approaching — the week in May when we as learners and learning professionals are reminded that learning can be fun and rewarding, and when we’re very much encouraged to grasp new knowledge and learn new skills.

This year’s event has an exciting theme — ‘connect’! This is perfect because such topics as social media and social learning, often considered essence of connecting and sharing, are buzzing on and off line, and many of us can relate to it. It’s also a great opportunity to start and engage in interesting debates and perhaps answer a few questions social media and social learning raise among the Learning and Development and HR community.

Food for thought: learners

While many learners would probably be interested in social networking (many actively participate on them and are experts in this), they don’t really think in terms of learning when interacting with each other on those sites. It could be argued that being aware of one’s involvement in it is not really relevant, because social learning takes place whether people realise it or not (right?).

But what if learners approached their social interaction online with their colleagues or peers as a two way learning experience? What if someone helped them become aware that they can learn but also teach someone a new skill? Wouldn’t that make them better learners, or more active and responsible teachers?

And what about learning and development managers?

The subject of social learning has been trending for quite some time, there is now also social learning technology, but it still seems to do everybody’s heads in when they try to figure out how to embrace and measure it in their organisations. But what if L&D pros learned how their employees use social media and for what purposes? What if they could map that and translate it into social learning programme at work? How would that work out?

Learners and trainers coming together

So this Learning at Work Week gives a perfect opportunity for those involved in the development of their staff, to connect with their learners and colleagues; perhaps explore new grounds, ask questions they’ve never asked before, find solutions to their training challenges, and get inspired by their peers and staff.

A great way to start the debate and have your questions answered would be interacting on such social networks as Twitter, where Learning at Work Week uses backchannels #NLAWWeek and #LearningAtWorkWeek to connect everyone and keep the spirit of learning high, not only during that one week but also before and after it’s ended.

Get Twitter ready…

I’ll definitely be watching these hash tags and looking to interact with those of you who have keen interest in social media and social learning. So make sure to keep an eye on @Commelius because we’ll be sharing many hints and tips, articles and inspiring quotes.

Learning at Work Week starts on the 16th and ends on the 22nd of May this year; I hope to see you on Twitter during that time!

Find Commelius also on LinkedIn!

8 practical steps to successful social learning for your staff

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