The Inclusion of Social Media to Enhance the Learning Experience

In ‘Social Media and Learning: Interview with Jane Hart,jane_hart an article posted on the e-Learning Coach’s blog site by columnist Connie Malamed, Jane explains how and why the implementation of social and collaborative learning components enhance educational experiences in the workplace. She also discusses specific social media forms that have been useful in the field of e-learning, and the potential difficulties that might occur in their adoption. The interviewee has always been a fan of technology-based learning forms, and so online learning, particularly the inclusion of social media into the classroom, is something she views as essentially “just another step along the path.”

I particularly liked Jane’s breakdown of the two forms of online learning: social and self-paced. What separates social learning from self-paced learning is the students’ abilities to discuss and share information amongst each other, as well as with their instructors, in the former and not the latter. Humans are social beings, and so Jane believes that social learning presents an instructional strategy that is more natural to our sensibilities than other, more traditional approaches.

Moreover, I appreciate the interviewee’s candor on the difficulties of incorporating social media forms into the learning experience. She notes managerial concerns regarding the potential for embarrassment by employees, since many social media postings are visible to the public. She also highlights the tendency of employers to trivialize the importance of social networking, and recommends a certain vocabulary be used when talking about the inclusion of social media in workplace learning (viz. “social and collaborative platforms, social learning environments or networks or communities”).

To read the interview in full, please visit the e-Learning Coach’s blog here: http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/social-media-and-learning

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