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Social Learning: Why, What, and How

February 19, 2009

I spoke today at the Day of Learning session sponsored by Bank of America and ASTD.  It was held in Charlotte, NC.  Follow the link to find my deck from today’ session.

A couple of quick observations from today:

  • More people in the audience (80+) had experience editing Wiki pages than writing Blogs.  This is the reverse of what I normally see.
  • *No one* was on Twitter.  The lack of Twitter adoption among learning professionals still astounds me.
  • Deep dissatisfaction with LMS vendors – some going as far to say that their LMS vendor was *the* barrier to Social Learning adoption, either because they don’t include any social learning features or because they don’t allow deep linking of learning objects outside the LMS.  In some cases, both.
  • Lots of typical concerns:  what about accuracy?  what about certification and compliance?  management doesn’t *get* it.  we’re in the wrong industry for this…  etc…

Good session overall.  I still struggle between “getting through the material” vs “letting conversation flow.”  I’ve been leaning toward the latter — I am, after all, an ambassador for *social* learning — but I worry sometimes that I seem less polished as a presenter when I opt to run out of time rather than curtail good discussion.  I wonder how this is perceived by the audience.

I’ve also been downplaying the fact that I’m with a vendor in the space, but I wonder if I’m not really doing them a disservice.  We really seem to be one of the few vendors that “get it” and who has the real world experience to help these companies succeed.  But pushing the vendor angle is always dicey when doing thought leadership.  Lots of fine lines to be walked in these sessions:  be the expert, but encourage crowd contributions; be the thought leader, but somehow convey our ability to provide solutions and services.  All that said, these speaking gigs are hella fun!

More to follow, likely in a separate post.

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