Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Social Learning (Talking HR 020)


   So Talking HR is finally back with a new show on Social Learning.

What’s that?  Well, in the show I started to define social learning as something more than just the use of social media to support learning.  But I’d now like to elaborate on this (I didn’t want to go on about this before or this one point could have taken over the whole show).

My main point is that learning has always been social.  So social learning can’t just be the application of social media.  But it has to be something different to what learning has been before.

This is a similar argument to the one I’ve used t suggest that HR 2.0 and management 2.0 are approaches aimed at the development of social capital.

And I’d suggest that learning 2.0 is probably about social capital as well.  But I think it’s about one form of social capital in particular – and this is ‘the learning organisation’.

I read somewhere that when the learning organisation first became popular (via Peter Senge and others), it wasn’t really achievable.  Social media has made it much more so.

But I’d suggest that there’s an important distinction between learning that uses social media, and learning that aims to create a learning organisation.

The other way of looking at this, which I also mention on the show, is that when we talk about social learning, we really should mean social learning, ie learning of the social unit (the team or the organisation as a whole) and not just learning socially (generating, co-creating and sharing content, collaborating etc).

It should be about developing a common understanding, a common way of doing things, a new culture even, between people in a team.

This is the real reason that social learning is so important.


I also attempted to link Honey & Mumford’s learning styles with Li and Bernoff’s social technographic profiles (the ladder from Groundswell – pictured).



Listen to the podcast and read the show notes at Blogtalkradio.  You can download the podcast to your hard drive or play it streaming from the web.

Subscribe to the show at itunes.

Talking HR is hosted by Krishna De and Jon Ingham and you can contact them with your thoughts and feedback about the show at talkinghrpodcast(at)gmail.com.



This post is cross-posted at Social Advantage.



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  • 1 comment:

    1. Great job explaining the real meaning of Social Learning.

      If learning does not benefit the complete group (Organization or team), it is not a Social Learning, whatever media it uses.

      Right now we are probably in stage 1 of Social Learning where individuals are learning using Social Media.

      Social Learning 2.0 is yet to happen.


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