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When the Bird Tweets, Does Anyone Learn?
If woven organically into a company's learning programs and culture, social media provides a powerful addition to the learning tool kit and an effective method for just-in-time learning.
Many social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter continue to experience growth and garner media attention. Now, many CLOs and other learning professionals have begun to explore the viability and application of social media tools within learning programs.
There have been some early successes. Speakers and conference presenters now often use Twitter for question-and-answer sessions. Questions arrive in a clear and orderly fashion, without missing any raised hands. In this context, one could imagine Twitter as a useful classroom tool. Indeed, post-lecture Q&A might be more lively and productive when learners ask questions anonymously.
Yet, even if social media becomes the next great training tool, we must consider the needs of a highly diverse workforce. Some learners may have limited access to home computers and smart phones. Even those people who have computer access often choose not to engage in social media within their personal and professional lives. Let’s look at one current social media tool: Twitter.
The National Business Review reports that Twitter is currently gaining an amazing 10 million users per month, but ReadWriteWeb reports that 40 percent of Twitter users have not “tweeted” since their first day on Twitter. Essentially, “Hello, World!” also became their goodbye.
In April 2009, Nielsen reported a meager 30 percent retention rate for the 12 months prior to Oprah Winfrey’s entrance into the Twitter universe, and they, too, confirmed the 40 percent retention rate post-Oprah. Twitter may be today’s media darling, but there will always be learners who will resist social media. You can lead people to Twitter, but you cannot make them tweet.Social Media: Not Exactly Plug and Play
For social media to serve as another valid learning delivery tool, it must at minimum meet the following criteria:
• The use of social media must organically fit with the program’s overall instructional design, rather than be thrown in as an afterthought.
• The organization’s technology strategy must support social media to fully leverage the just-in-time learning capabilities the platform offers.
• The organization’s culture must intelligently embrace and practice the use of social media.
• Learners must be receptive to social media, and alternatives must be available for those who feel uncomfortable with social media.
The Next Generation of HR: Whatâ€™s Wrong? Whatâ€™s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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