Informal Learning

I’m excited about the changes happening in the learning area. You may have read that Brandon Hall announced new categories late last year, for their excellence in learning awards including:

  • Best Use of Blogs, Wikis, or Other Content-Sharing Tools for Learning
  • Best Use of Games for Learning
  • Best Use of Mobile Learning
  • Best Use of Video for Learning
  • Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning

Methods of learning are obviously changing, and this makes my role in Learning Services and Knowledge & Collaboration even more interesting (and challenging for the year ahead.)

I’m expecting to see more companies implement structured programs and modify existing learning models this year to accommodate informal learning styles. Many existing learning programs fail to engage the audience or harness the expertise “in the room”. I think we will see more people using blended learning models to include blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds etc in more deliberate, constructive, program driven initiatives, something I’m happy to say we are already beginning to see at IBM.

As more companies allow employees access to social media, more support for management and employee guidelines will ensue. Frontline managers will be taught more about online impression management, benefits of using social networks to capture tacit knowledge and build community – and ways to facilitate attention management, trust and authenticity.

The benefits are great, especially as more people begin to work from home and move to part-time hours. So many people talk about using social media to attract Gen Y (the Net Gen), but the maturing workforce will become even more dependent on social media to support lifestyle changes.

Learning, Knowledge and Collaboration – they are becoming even more entwined and I think learning of the future will be so much more engaging, innovative, social and learner-driven. Yes, I think it should be a good year ahead!