Social, Informal Learning

Posted at 18 May '17 by Kommio
Featured image for Social, Informal Learning article

Social media is sometimes defined as web-based tools that allow their users to freely share information, to do online collaboration, and do communicate with other users. Patti Shank stated that social media provide us one or more of the following faculties:

· Microcontent, which focuses on including some small pieces of content instead of providing an entire web page.

· Read/write the web, it allows users to both read and provide some content.

· The web as a platform, a platform in which one app is interconnected or provided inside of another app, like the weather of any area being provided on the home page of a web page, newspaper or a Google map which is loaded to the Directions page.

Social learning, Informal learning, and collaborative learning are all terms we usually hear and these terms are normally used conversationally. Yet while linked and not mutually exclusive, each one of these terms is different and should be understood in the context. Of these three terms, social learning and informal learning are somehow nearer to each other; collaborative learning is much more organized than the both social learning and informal learning.

The term social learning intended with the rise of social media and social networking. Thought leaders were very fast to get that tools such as Yammer, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and many more collaboration tools could be held to support learning. There may have been some interesting experiments in using Twitter, or Facebook to bring some courses, or parts of courses and collaboration tools such as Yammer and Twitter were usually bolted into learning architectures in enterprises.

The term informal learning appeared from a book by learning industry thought-leader Jay Cross in the year 2006. The basic principle of that book is that over seventy percent of workers learn about anything, mostly from their co-workers than they do from some formal training courses online or maybe in classrooms.

Five Social Tools You Are Probably Using Already

For most of us, the term social media usually recall some social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But the question is how can you use these social media tools for learning? Here are some various classes of common social collaboration tools and recommendations for how you can use each of them with informal learning.

1. Blogs. Although this one is originally invented as a personal journal shared online, blogs have developed to become columns, articles, or posts, as users call them, to which visitors can post some comments and the author(s) sometimes replies to their comments. These can normally range from topic-driven blogs, in which author focused on a topic, or the others are personality-driven blogs, which reflect the views of an individual personality.

2. Social networking refers to those websites that allow the users to share any content for other users to view. Most of the social networks support the users to upload and share the information regarding their current activities. These social collaboration tools also let users restrict that who can see their profile or information added to their profile to that allowed access to their personal profiles, which comprises of visitors the user has contacted or particularly invited to see their personal information or personal profile. 

3. Microblogging refers to the status updates that consists of 140-characters that users post, by using Twitter, and other status updates on various social networking sites like Pinterest, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Although Twitter popularized the microblogging and each post on twitter are called as a tweet, many users prefer to the act of microblogging as tweeting.

4. Photo and video sharing services refer to those services that allow users to publish images and video clips in a central location if they want to make them widely available to other users.

Training and development professionals design the images, video clips, and some similar graphic photos using the same types of apps that are used to create vodcasts and podcasts. They also share different materials on photos and video sharing sites. Training & development professionals can, with permission, usually use the photos from some other learning materials they conduct. 

Final thoughts

· Social learning encourages the learner to expand his/her knowledge base observation and instruction.

· Informal learning usually unscheduled and happens “on the fly”.