Can Social Media Tools Enhance Learning?
Posted by Administrator I On Thursday, January 21, 2010 @ 05:49 AM
Social media has transformed the way people interact with one another. From viewing static content on static pages to gaining access to real time dynamic information, many businesses are using social media tools to achieve their goals.
So what is Social Media? For a lay person, this is a blanket term for a set of internet-based media tools enabling you to share and discuss information with numerous people in an interactive manner. In short, social media tools allow you to connect with old friends and align with like-minded people for collaboration on future projects.
A few years ago, companies would market their products directly to people through traditional media tools like television, radio, newspapers, etc. Today, if a company launches a new product/service in the form of a video on YouTube, tweets about it, displays the content for tagging on bookmarking sites, immediate response is guaranteed.
The most common forms of social media tools are blogs (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Live Journal), micro blogging (Twitter), social news and bookmarking (Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Google Reader, Live Bookmarks), social networking (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Geni, Orkut), video and photo sharing (YouTube, Shutterfly, Flickr) and Wikis, to name few. While formal learning takes place through classrooms and workshops, informal learning happens through reading, listening and watching or simply by talking to one another without one’s knowledge.
Imagine having an in-house learning and information environment such as a blog, social news and bookmarking, social networking, RSS, collaborative tools, video-sharing, podcasts as rich as the Internet.
To encourage learning through Social Media tools, organizations can create a seamless interface by blending both formal and informal learning. These tools encourage individuals to manage and create their own Personal Learning Environment (PLE). Individuals can browse and access all kinds of Social Media resources (video, social news sites), create their own resources (blogs, micro-blogging) and store them for easy retrieval.
Not all employees of an organization may adopt an informal style of learning through Social Media tools. While some people are born learners, others need help to acquire focused skills. Some work happily together, share ideas, knowledge, resources and help others learn, work and collaborate, while baby boomers or traditional employees could detest an informal way of learning by calling it a waste of time and depreciate the value of learning through Social Media tools..
I have learnt a lot by using various Social Media tools. Blogs written by experts and wikis update me with the latest happenings in the e-learning world, while social bookmarking sites offer news, reviews, etc, and networking sites allows me to connect and collaborate with experts who are more than willing to share ideas, resources and experiences.
Thank you for reading my blog.
Love to hear your views.
Syed Amjad Ali
Director – Technology
Online Training Course: Business Writing
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