Learning in the Social Workplace

My first afternoon session is a panel discussion on Learning in the Social Workplace. As it’s a panel, it’s going to be tricky to write some clear notes on this. This post will almost read more like bullet points.

Samantha Hackett from Save the Children spoke first, where the global organisation has 15000 staff. They embarked a change in learning using elearning some years ago. In recent years there’s a need to move to use mobile technology. Using social media to help people talk to other people who are in the same situation. Using tools like LinkedIn to share content quickly and easily. Informal learning happens all the time. Content is readily accessible on the web, and in this kind of organisation it’s about helping to share the knowledge easily and very accessible. Name drops to Moodle by way of a LMS and Skill Pill for creating mobile based learning in bite sized chunks. The attitudes of staff can be the biggest barrier to new learning. There is a future where the SLT are made up of people from their respective countries.

From the RAF, Group Captain Phil Sagar gives his thoughts on how to do more with less in the face of cuts. This piece was quite focused on the technology married with real life learning. Quite impressive, just not easy to capture the key learnings from. Their starting point was about taking a learner centred approach. There are real challenges on keeping information secure where possible, and accessible at the same time. “Gate Keepers” can be a real barrier to encouraging new usage to happen. You have to be open to good ideas in the business in order to move forward.

Rob Jones, Head of Organisational Effectiveness at Crossrail, talks about his personal experience of using social media. “I used to send a tweet, and then sent a text to my friend asking if he saw my tweet”. He’s created friendships, sought information, and has helped him to learn a lot about himself. You have to be in it to win it with social media. Don’t use policy to control social media usage at work, trust your colleagues. We shouldn’t measure what social media brings – we don’t ask about the ROI of the telephone.