Virtual Learning: Changing face of Learning

How Does Enterprise Social Networking Change the Role of Learning Professionals?
Enterprise Social networking platforms have the power not just to change the way how people do their jobs but also how jobs roles are getting evolved for professionals especially in the Learning organization.
If we talk to any learning leader today, one of the biggest opportunity is integrating technology for effective learning. Web 2.0 provides ample opportunities to do that. Learning professionals need to resort to innovative methods to complement formal learning events so that learner’s performance on the job goes up.
Generation Y is entering into the workforce who has grown up using the emerging technologies. They are the digital natives and like to embrace social media and social networking technologies with ease. People like to connect and learn from one another. According to US Dept of labor and commerce 80% of the learning happens informally, outside the classroom .Social learning or informal learning is one of the oldest forms of learning being propelled and catalyzed even more due to rising social networking platforms. I can safely say that Social learning is increasingly becoming prevalent. The role learning professionals can play in this changing context and environment is very critical and important.
I’d like to take a little more time here to start a discussion about how I expect individual job roles in the learning organization to change as social learning becomes increasingly common.
At the same time, I think that it’s really important for learning professionals to remember that despite new emerging technologies, formal learning continue to play a role in enhancing business performance. We, learning professionals, must think how we can strengthen existing learning process and embed the new Social learning process into existing learning programs, courses or curriculum as we ourselves witness a Social revolution both within and outside the organization.
Taking the larger context of formal and informal learning in a socially networked world, learning professionals have the opportunity to play a critical role: that of a community facilitator and / or community curator.
Community design is such that it puts the focus back on learners/ workers. The job of community facilitator isn’t necessarily an easy one – team will have to continuously ask the right questions and find new ways to encourage participation. As a matter of fact, learning organization most likely already has the skills and capabilities needed to serve as effective community facilitators – they just need to apply these capabilities towards a new way of thinking about learners and the learning process.
I believe the solution to existing challenges faced by learning organization lies in thinking how our role as learning professionals change with the changing demands , learning styles and preferences of our learners/workers. Facilitator’s role must evolve from being on stage to a virtual guide by side. 🙂
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